's Sites We Love Saveur Magazine has listed The Skinny Gourmet among its "Sites We Love"

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Buttercream Cake Decorating: Game of Thrones Cupcakes

Spring gives some people a burning desire to clean things. I have never suffered that particular affliction. But every spring I seem to find myself newly obsessed, OCD style, with some specific aspect of food. One year it was a burning fascination with making homemade biscotti. I went through dozens of recipes and then once I totally understood the form, I started making up my own. Another spring it was scones. Batch after batch of exotic flavors came through my stove and into the patient palate of my husband.

This year, it appears my Spring obsession is cake decorating. This seems quirky and a bit old fashioned. Like something out of the 1950s where I put on my frilly apron and wow my friends with a spectacularly decorated cake. I think it came with my child though. It started at my son's first birthday when I realized that every year there would be this big event--his birthday--that would occasion cakes. The first year they were monkey cupcakes. This year I realized that as a two-year-old he would actually be old enough and aware enough to be interested in his cake, and excited about what it looked like. So I got really super freaking crazy and made a three dimensional Thomas the Train cake. It was moderately successful, but lets just say that it ended with an accidental beheading of Thomas, and the realization that I might just not be innately God's gift to cake decorating. I might have to work at it. I might have to learn something.

So off I went, in search of cake decorating classes. So far I've only had two quick classes, but I've got plans to take more. And recently I had a chance for my Spring obsession in food to meet my 2011 obsession in books: Game of Thrones Cupcakes.

This is probably where I should confess, up front, to being a total utter geek. I love all manner of truly geeky books. I am not someone at a cocktail party who professes only to like deeply esoteric French literature. I am someone who lights up for a discussion of old school Asimov. And right now, I am deeply obsessed with the Game of Thrones series. My husband and I read all the available books out loud to each other. They are well written with meaty characters and a political power struggle theme that all together is just a joy to read. So I was thrilled when the series was developed for television on HBO. Our family's geekery has met up with other families and we've agreed to get together for weekly viewing parties.

It so happened that this all coincided with a recent buttercream frosting cake decorating class. The result was inevitable: Game of Thrones cupcakes inspired by the sigils of the various houses.

The full pan: Lannister lions, Stark Direwolf, Greyjoy Kraken and more. (Right) A special cupcake with a unicorn sigil. There is a house with a unicorn sigil in the book, but mostly I made this for a little girl who loves unicorns.

My fierce Stark Direwolf is neither fierce nor terribly recognizable as a wolf.
This wolf thing is harder than I thought it would be.

In my head I would render a fierce and stoic Lannister lion. In reality it is too cute and cuddly.

The white rose of Highgarden turned out well enough (rosette really).
But Sincere apologies to Riverrun; a leaping trout on a field of blue and red seemed easy enough until I tried to do it.

Sorry Targaryans, no three headed dragon for you. Like the unicorn, the dragon was more inspired by a certain little boy who loves dragons and who will be in attendance tonight. That said, the dragon was not terribly difficult to make. It helps that wings plus fire makes a blob of icing look decently dragon-like.


Frieda Loves Bread said...

These cuppy cakes are darling! It was fun to see you on CL today! Congrats on the win!

cooking contests said...

I love Game of Thrones - I was just telling someone how entertaining it is. And the cupcakes are adorable! I might have to follow your lead and make some of these.

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