Monday, May 26, 2008

Grey Jay, Part 3 (Finishing)

We covered the back of the crown and the beak first with blue grey frosting and then with poppy seed filling. Theoretically one can buy poppy seed filling in stores (where it comes in cans and goes by "mohn"), but we couldn't find any, so we borrowed a friend's poppy seed grinder (dang that Article 6!) and made our own. One cup of whole poppy seeds made roughly 1/2 cup ground.

Poppyseed Grinder

I used a similar process for finding a recipe as with the sour cream frosting. I ended up using this recipe, although this recipe (posting by martmurt a little more than halfway down the page) sounded very tasty, just likely to be too pale for this application. The finished product was fairly dry and crumbly, but moist enough that it could be squished together. Next time I would try making a smoother filling.

Grey Jay Cake - Eye and Poppyseed Topping

If you were going to make a cake with a heavy emphasis on poppy seeds, it would be worth your while to find a source for really fresh poppy seeds - they go rancid quickly. If nothing else, there's mail order. Any ideas on good places to order from?

The eye is a disk of licorice. It didn't contrast much with the poppy seed filling, so Matt added a dab of white frosting.

Panda Stick Licorice

The leg is two pieces of Panda licorice (stick format) that Matt carved into shape. I think the licorice might have been nice for the beak too - less fuzzy than the poppy seed filling. I also think it might be fun to make an open beak holding a chunk of the leftover cake. Although disturbing if you think about it too hard.

Grey Jay Cake - Licorice Leg

After frosting the cake, Matt sprinkled whole poppy seeds on the wings and tail to sketch in the anatomy - he did a beautiful job of it.

Grey Jay Cake - Strewing Poppyseeds

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