Oi. My apologies for the late post. Though it is Friday, I can attest that the cake is not a lie! As promised, I created an epic Portal Cake for this year’s birthday festivities (read: I spent all day making this cake and NOTHING ELSE). This classic Portal Cake recipe is chock full of decadent dark chocolate, sweet cherries, and creamy homemade whipped cream frosting. That’s right; it’s a black forest cake! Sounds too good to be true, right? Not so. A little elbow grease and a lot of patience will give you the cake of your dreams.
Yes, I see the scary Four Skillet rating up there. It’s not horrifically challenging, but it does take time and effort to make the frosting. And have you ever shaved a bar of baking chocolate with a vegetable peeler? It’s kind of a tedious and messy pain in the ass.
Alas, it’s worth it. It’s so, so worth it. Ready? Let’s go.
Because I got an unacceptably late start on today’s cake, you’re getting the Q&A sesh now. So, hi. I’m Leisel, creator of the geeky food blog Skill Up Skillet, and today I am 26 years old. In last week’s post I gave you, Probably Impatient Reader, the opportunity to ask me questions about gaming, baking, blogging, whatever. Some of the questions are surprising, to say the least! So while I’m waiting on the first part of the whipped cream frosting to cool, let’s do this.
Obligatory Birthday Selfie, or Something Like That.
Q: What is your all time favorite video game? (From anything Atari, PC to XboxONE)
A: That’s almost impossibly hard to answer. Can we do a top 5? Is that a thing? In no particular order: Skyrim (PS/PC), Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega), World of Warcraft (PC), Hearthstone (PC/mobile), and Twisted Metal 3 (PS). I don’t do XBox, personally.
Q: What is your favorite dish that is NOT related to or in your blog? (yet)
A: My all time favorite food would be sushi. Just about any kind, really. I rarely meet seafood I don’t like. Not too keen on the giant caviar rolls, though – too salty! A close second would be tiramisu.
Q: What is your favorite or least favorite sleeping position?
A: I prefer to sleep on my side, slightly curled, back-to-back with The Boy. I hate sleeping on my back.
Q: How do you decide which ingredients and method you will use in each recipe? I mean, how do you decide between marshmallows or cake for a minion?
A: Sometimes it’s pretty self explanatory (like an actual omelette for the Omelette du Fromage or working off the IndieBox recipe card for the World’s Best Enchiladas). Other times try to take what feels right and work with it. I like to refer to the process as “Organic Steps”. Like, Ryuk (the shinigami) from Death Note loves apples, so Death Note Apples were an easy evolution of this idea. It’s harder to explain the ones that seem to come from left field but I do a lot of daydreaming and a little research a la Google. Sometimes Pinterest is useful, but for the most part I just don’t get it. The Boy and I also collaborate on what will and what won’t work. That’s prevented a few catastrophes.
The Minion Trifle was an ever changing idea from the start. It was going to be one giant trifle because it was going to a party but the marshmallow eyes were a last minute hunch. They were originally going to be made from white Candy Melts on the side of the dish, but they looked small and awkward. I also considered cutting the marshmallows in half and sticking them in the yellow part of the trifle but ultimately ruled it out because I didn’t want anything to make them look messy. In the end I just decorated two marshmallows and plunked them on top. It just felt right, y’know? Whew.
Q: When you make these recipes how easy is it to substitute certain ingredients? Like say I’m not a yellow cake fan, could I substitute it for say red velvet with out worrying about it turning out properly?
A: Sometimes there can be a bit of leeway with ingredients; other times, no. If you check out the comments for the HP Snitches, there was a lot of substitution conversation due to lack of availability for certain ingredients. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. All it takes is a little research and human ingenuity. I’m not touching that red velvet/ yellow cake substitution idea, though. Unfortunately, some things just aren’t going to work and in this case color’s too much of a factor. You could substitute white cake and add yellow coloring, though.
Q: Though this isn’t so much a question as it is a request: mention one lil’ confession on your birthday post!
A: 70% of what you see here is me having no clue whatsoever, but doing it anyway. Crab cakes? Well, I know how to reheat fish sticks. Fondant? How hard can it be? Chocolate and candy designs? That’s what sandwich bags and molds are for, right? It’s been a blast learning new things and I’m excited for what I have planned for the future.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have whipped cream frosting to put together! See you in the next post.