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Volcano cake a hot hit at Boy Scouts Banquet

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - When it comes to making sacrifices for my three sons, there's nothing I wouldn't do.

I've taken them camping in the driving rain, supervised sleepovers where "sleep" didn't bother to show up, and I repeatedly figure out ways to get all three to three different sets of practices and/or games, often all at the same time.

But the latest challenge took the cake.

Isaac "Food Boy" Keith and I teamed up to whip up an entry in Pack 152's Boy Scout "All Fellas Cake Bake" this past weekend.

And since said cakes would be judged and eaten during a Hawaiian-themed awards dinner, Isaac believed our choice was clear: I was to help him bake a "volcano sitting on an island with a sandy beach and palm trees."

Oh sure, piece of cake.

Little dude even sketched the design on a sheet of paper, which he repeatedly pointed to every time I tried to suggest an alternate decoration plan.

We mixed up a double batch of tropical carrot cake (getting its island vibe from the addition of crushed pineapples, coconut and toasted macadamia nuts folded into the batter) and filled three pans - one large rectangle, one medium Bundt and one small cone.

We stacked the two graduating cone-shaped cakes to form the volcano, which rested on the rectangle island. (Not ideal, I know, but we didn't have a circle pan big enough for a more realistic island base.)

When it came time to decorate, green-dyed coconut made our grass, graham cracker crumbs became sand and blue icing made waves in the ocean. The towering volcano was covered in chocolate icing and ground chocolate wafers resembling dirt. Then we drizzled orange sparkle gel icing down the side to create streams of fiery lava.

I had rivers of doubt as Isaac described his volcano vision, but the resulting cake was one hot hit at his banquet.

***

After last week's lament about the lack of nice local restaurants open on Sundays, I feared a backlash from businesses calling to defend their honor.

I didn't hear a single complaint. Quite the opposite, actually, with several folks sending in a collective, "Amen!"

"Kudos on finding restaurants open on Sunday and also Mondays!" wrote Alisa Bailey, executive director of the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"Our tourists who come in for entertainment and meetings need some options! Charleston's food scene is so awesome; we just need some more options on those evenings."

A friend who drove in from Parkersburg for the same Clay Center performance that brought me out that Sunday night also lamented the lack of interesting dining options before the show.

"We had tried Soho's and Bluegrass Kitchen before ending up at Adelphia as well."

Contact writer Steven Keith at dailymailfoodguy@aol.com or 304-348-1721. You can also follow him on Facebook and Pinterest as "DailyMail FoodGuy," on Twitter as "DMFoodGuy" or read his blog at http://blogs.dailymail.com/foodguy/.


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