A spaghetti meatball monster. That’s what I wanted. When I first saw the game, Overcooked, I figured I would make some little hamburger cookies or something. But no… as soon as I saw the first (and final) boss, I knew what had to be made. A spaghetti monster. Everything after that just kind of fell into place.
If you’ve ever graced us with your presence for a spaghetti dinner, you’ll notice something relatively uncommon around these parts; I make my spaghetti sauce with cinnamon. So naturally, the cake I needed to make for my spaghetti monster was a cinnamon cake. Now, I’ve tried to make cinnamon cakes before, based on recipes I’ve found online. I had yet to find one I was completely happy with. This particular cake also needed to fit some requirements – namely, it needed to be moist, dense, and structurally able to hold up to being stacked four layers high (after all, a tiny spaghetti monster isn’t very intimidating). So I did some searching online. I couldn’t find anything that looked like what I wanted. Sure, I was being picky, but I really wanted to find a solid cinnamon cake recipe. There was only one thing left to do… create my own recipe (dun dun duuuuuun!).
With a laugh of half determination, half uncertainty, I grabbed the nearest paper and pen. I knew my monster had to be four layers. Generally, I determine how big a batch will be by looking at the flour, and sometimes the butter. For four layers I would need somewhere over four cups of flour and a few cups of butter. One of the biggest problems I have with cinnamon cakes is that they are good for a bite or two, and then the cinnamon taste is either overwhelming or boring. So I wanted to mix that up a bit. I wanted to make a buttery, delicious, not sweet base cake, with very distinguished parts of overly sweet, intensely cinnamony goodness. With that in mind, I knew I wanted to divide my cake into two batters: two parts less sweet and one part more sweet. The batters both needed to be around the same consistency, and both needed to be moist and sturdy. This was worrisome because sugar can play a part in bringing out moisture. I was worried that the flour in the less sweet cake would absorb all the moisture and turn out dry. Milk, and more importantly, eggs were my saving grace. Eggs would provide moisture as well as the sturdiness I was seeking. All in all I spent a good 10 minutes with my pen and paper, tweaking numbers and ingredients until I found what I thought looked good and cohesive. When it was time to actually pull out the mixer, the only thing I decided to change was adding a teaspoon of cinnamon for good measure.
After both batters were good and mixed, I was pleased that they both did end up with the same consistency – hurdle one was over. I layered them in my cake pan, popped them in the oven, and then did my dishes while occasionally glancing at the oven, in true Nervous Nelly fashion.
Upon pulling them out of the oven, I discovered that they baked relatively evenly – hurdle two was now behind me. After a few minutes, I threw them onto the rack to cool. I was in the home stretch of recipe nerves… I knew that as soon as they were cool I could cut the tops off and have a taste. It was too much. In a panic I threw caution to the wind and started sawing the tops off while they were still warm! Okay, okay… so it wasn’t all that exciting… but I’m trying to make this more interesting to read here, guys. Anyway – they tasted great. Hurdle three was over, and I was relieved. I still had to transform their appearance into Spaghetti Monster style… but at that point I knew I had my recipe.
I had a lot of fun making the Spaghetti Monster. It was my first time carving this wacky kind of shape from a cake. My favorite part of the process was getting to play around with luster dusts to create highlight and shadow effects. The monster, in game, is a fun texture… so it allowed me the pleasure of playing around with the buttercream in a non-traditional fashion. My only real regret with this cake was not taking the time to do the teeth a little better. I used Guittard A’Peels white chocolate wafers, cutting them into a rectangle-ish shape, shaving off the top part of the dome, and softening the corners. If I were to do it again, I would still use the A’Peels, but I would take the time to smooth the top part of that dome so it didn’t look like Mr. Monster had cavities!