Cute enough to eat!

Greetings Bakémon lovelies! We resume our numerical journey through the Pokémon where we left off before our Halloween jump to the ghosts; Caterpie, Metapod and Butterfree. These are one of the classic two bug families (the other being Weedle, Kakuna & Beedrill which you’ll make next week) that all Pokémon trainers are familiar with as they inhabit nearly every patch of grass in Kanto and form part of many trainer’s early game teams. This is quite a long recipe that we recommend you undertake over a period of two days, unless being trapped in your kitchen for hours and hours is something you enjoy. Caterpie will be made as cake truffles covered in candy melts, evolving into Metapod cake truffles with a hardened (geddit?) meringue shell and finally metamorphosising into colourful butterfly cake Butterfrees (which, incidently, are most definitely not butter-free). These make totally cute and colourful bugs that even Misty would have to love, but be warned they’re very rich & probably not very good for you (although a lot easier to eat than real insects!) Technically our Butterfree are butterfly cakes and not cupcakes so our promise to ease off cupcakes for a while still stands. Also, if you’re wondering what a cake truffle even is, it’s basically a ball of cake crumbs and icing smooshed together. Delicious. Here comes the recipe!

Yield:

  • 8 – 10 Caterpie cake truffles
  • 8 – 10 meringue coated Metapod cake truffles
  • 6 Butterfree cupcakes
  • if we were to make these again, we’d probably make more cupcakes and less cake truffles

Equipment:

  • bowls, spatula, spoons, whisk, pokéballs, etc. The usual.
  • 5 extra smallish bowls
  • sieve
  • cupcake tray
  • 6 multi-coloured cupcake cases
  • 8″x8″ square deep cake tin
  • baking parchment/baking paper/greaseproof paper
  • cheese grater/food processor/blender
  • medium bowls
  • 2 baking trays
  • melting bowl and saucepan
  • icing syringe/icing bag/sandwich bag with the corner cut off
  • no. 98 fluted crescent nozzle
  • butter knives
  • bread knife

Ingredients:

For the cake bits:

  • 12 oz (340 g) butter
  • 12 oz (340 g) caster sugar
  • 6 large, free range eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 12 oz (340 g) self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (vanilla essence may also be used, but only if you’re desperate. Extract gives a better flavour)
  • red, yellow and blue food dye (paste type)
  • orange, purple and green food dye (paste type) (optional)

For the icing:

  • 12 0z (340 g) butter
  • 20 oz (570 g) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (see above note about using essence)
  • red and blue food dye/purple food dye

For the other decoration bits:

  • 1 bag of green candy melts (12 oz)*
  • little circular sprinkles! (any bright colour)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 oz (115 g) caster sugar
  • green/yellow and blue food dye

*if you can’t get candy melts, or if you read the ingredients on the back and decide they’re far too artificial, use white chocolate and a little green/yellow and blue food dye (paste type) instead. The instructions are the same either way.

Instructions:

We did this over the course of two days, and we suggest you do the same.

Day 1:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. If you have a second oven, preheat that one to 150°C.
  2. Put the cupcake cases in the tray and line your cake tin.
  3. Cream the butter and the sugar with a whisk. You know the drill by now.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract, and gradually add in the eggs, whisking as you go.
  5. Sieve in the flour, bit by bit and gently fold it in with a spatula.
  6. Split the cake batter into six roughly even parts (this is what the extra bowls are for. Last part stays in the main bowl).
  7. Add food dye to the bowls as follows:
    Bowl 1: red
    Bowl 2: red and blue/purple
    Bowl 3: red and yellow/orange
    Bowl 4: yellow
    Bowl 5: yellow and blue/green
    Bowl 6: blue
  8. Gently mix the dye through the batter.
  9. Fill 6 cupcake cases with a mix of the batters (but don’t blend the colours together). We chose to colour each of our Butterfrees in 3 colours; two primary colours and the secondary colour they make (e.g. red, yellow, orange), but you can design yours however you like.
  10. Pop the cupcakes in the 180°C oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly poked.
  11. While they bake, prepare your rainbow cake.
  12. At one edge of your cake tin (line it with baking paper first), put in all your remaining red batter in a line roughly 1 & 1/3 inches thick. Beside that, make a similar line with your remaining orange, then yellow, then green, blue and purple batter.
  13. Admire your awesome rainbow cake.
  14. Unless you have two ovens, pop it in the fridge until your cupcakes are done, then turn the oven down to 150°C and bake it for about 20 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly poked.
  15. Once out of the oven, admire your pretty, colourful creations.
  16. Don’t worry if some of the colours have turned brown while baking, it’s likely that this is just on the outside. Our purple turned completely brown in the oven, but inside it was still quite vibrant.

For the icing, and decoration of the Butterfree cupcakes:

  1. In a large, fresh bowl, whisk the butter until soft.
  2. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar, whisking as you do.
  3. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add in a little more icing sugar if the icing is to wet.
  5. Transfer about a mug and a half full of the icing sugar to a separate bowl and add in purple/red and blue food dye, and mix it through. Set aside the remaining icing for use in the cake truffles.
  6. Use a bread knife to cut the tops off each of the cupcakes and to cut each top into two semi-circles.
  7. Spread a dollop of icing onto the cupcakes using a butter knife and arrange the semi-circles on top to look like wings.
  8. Using your icing implement with no. 98 nozzle, pipe fluted lines down the centre of the cupcakes, between the wings, with a little dip about a centimetre from the end, to mark the head.
  9. Put two little circular sprinkles of the same colour on the head to make eyes.
  10. Take a moment to appreciate your colourful Butterfrees.

For the cake truffles:

  1. Mentally prepare yourself for a strange experience. Also, physically prepare the baking trays by putting a sheet of baking parchment on each.
  2. Divide the rainbow cake into three sections:
    Section 1: half the yellow, all the orange and half the red.
    Section 2: the rest of the yellow, all the green and half the blue.
    Section 3: the rest of the blue, all the purple, and the remaining red.
  3. Using a cheese grater, crumb each of the sections into its own medium sized bowl. This may well be the strangest thing you do this week. You can also do this with a food processor or blender, but then it won’t be quite so amusingly bizarre. Also, the cake can turn to gross mush that way.
  4. Grating the cake may take a while, so it may be necessary to periodically stop and question what you are doing with your life.
  5. Once everything is crumbed, retrieve the icing you set aside earlier (see above section).
  6. Add a heaped teaspoon of icing to one section of cake crumbs and mix it through with your fingers (you can use a spoon or spatula to mix it through, but using your hands will probably be quicker, and you have to shape it by hand anyway- you should wash your hands if you haven’t already). Add more gradually until you can roll the cake crumb/icing mix into a ball in your hands.
  7. Roll this mix into balls of three sizes (small, medium and large. Large should be no larger than a ping pong ball) and place them on one of the baking trays. Make two to four sets of these.
  8. Squish the remaining mix into crescent moon/Metapod shapes and put them on the second tray.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 with the other two bowls of cake crumbs.
  10. Put the trays of cake truffles in the freezer.
  11. Be glad that strange experience is now over.

END OF DAY 1.

Day 2:

Decorating the Caterpies:

  1. Melt the candy melts the same way you’d melt chocolate. I know the instructions on the bag say differently, but we tried it their way and it didn’t work. So just stir regularly, keep the heat under the saucepan low, and hope for the best.
  2. Take the tray with the balls on it out of the freezer. Divide the balls into groups of three, each group containing a small, medium and large.
  3. Candy melts are meant for dipping things into. We tried this, and the resulting Caterpie looked like it had been deformed in some sort of horrible accident. So we coated the rest of the cake truffles a little differently.
  4. Using a butter knife, spread some of the melted candy melts onto a small bit of one of the balls.
  5. Place that ball candy melt side down back onto the baking parchment.
  6. Use the knife to smear candy melt goop onto the rest of the cake truffle’s surface.
  7. Repeat for the other two balls in the group, making sure to place the balls right up against each other, in a straight line, with the medium sized ball in the middle.
  8. Use two little circular sprinkles of the same colour for the eyes, and place them on the front of the largest ball.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 for the rest of the Caterpie cake truffle ball groups.
  10. Set aside to harden.
  11. If you’ve done this right, they should look kind of cute.

Decorating the Metapods:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and a little green/yellow and blue food dye until soft peaks form. It’s pretty difficult to dye meringue we found so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t turn out as vibrant as your cakes.
  3. A tablespoon at a time, add in the caster sugar, whisking as you go.
  4. Beat the meringue mix until stiff, glossy peaks form. A traditional test to see whether meringue has been beaten enough is to turn the bowl upside-down over your head. If it has not been mixed properly it’s your own fault if your head is now covered in eggy mess.
  5. Remove the tray of crescent-shaped cake truffles from the freezer and coat each with about half a centimetre of meringue on all sides, and place them back on the baking parchment covered baking tray.
  6. Leave at least an inch and a half between them. This may mean you have to use another baking tray.
  7. Work quickly, meringue isn’t very forgiving.
  8. Pop the baking tray(s) in the oven and turn the temperature down to 140°C.
  9. Leave to bake for about 45 minutes.
  10. Turn off the oven, but leave the meringue-coated truffles inside until the oven has completely cooled.
  11. When cool, use the tip of a knife or a spoon to smudge a small circle of blue food dye onto each Metapod  as an eye.
  12. Put your Metapods with your other creations.
  13. Smile at their prettiness.
  14. Cringe at the ridiculous amount of sugar and butter they contain.
  15. Eat them (but maybe not all at once).

We hope you enjoyed our cake truffles & butterfly cakes; we thought they were pretty damn tasty! We also hope that we haven’t scared you all off by asking you to grate a cake (every week we think we can’t get any weirder and every week we prove ourselves wrong…) If you enjoyed this recipe then you’re in luck as next week we’ll be bringing you a variant of it for the Weedle, Kakuna & Beedrill bug family, we’ll do our best to make it even more delicious than this week’s! Remember to share our blog with any Pokémon or baking fans you know, we love getting comments and hearing about your experiences with our recipes (you can follow us on Facebook here)

Happy baking!

(** this post is dedicated to Bakémon Master Siobhán who while playing Pokémon Emerald lost both the Pokérus and a shiny Slugma on the same day, due to unfortunate circumstances of running out of battery and an unlikely critical hit 1HKO with Cut. Her pain and suffering will be channelled into producing more Pokémon baking excellence.)

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