Monday, July 26, 2010

StarCraft Cake

Right at midnight tonight, there'll be panic
As GameStops 'round the world become manic
With a retail debut--
Holy crap, StarCraft 2!--
Its appeal reaches 'cross the Atlantic.

In Korea, the frenzy will peak;
Eager gamers will cheer, shout, and shriek,
Copies (cradled with love)
In the avid hands of
Each and every respectable geek.

When they get home, they really should try
Adding sweets to their psi or supply
Baked goods raise APMs
And start internet memes*
Although, baby, this cake's not a lie.

It fills Terran with verve and elation,
Readies Protoss for carrier creation.
Chocolate makes it OP
(Other cakes say, "GG!"),
Rushing hydras to Zerg domination.
Dating a StarCraft fanboy has taught me many things in the past year, but one in particular -- StarCraft 2 is a big freaking deal.  Over a year ago, TeamLiquid** started hosting these really creative game-themed contests, the winners of which would receive StarCraft 2 beta keys.  The first one Albert (my boyfriend) ever told me about was a StarCraft cake-baking contest.  At the time, I'd never even baked before, but when his birthday rolled around, I made a cake with some ready-to-go mix and tried my best to decorate it with the face of his favorite progamer.  Albert appreciated the effort, but let's be real...the face I made out of sprinkles and brown sugar was hardly a worthy or accurate representation of Lee Jaedong.  Also, it tasted kind of boring.

I've been waiting a whole year to try again.  This time around, I made a big chocolate painting of Jaedong's face, and little ones of hydralisks, the coolest-looking component of the Zerg race.  Then I tried to bake a simple chocolate cake from scratch.  My first attempt failed -- I forgot to grease my new cake tin, so the whole cake collapsed when I tried to turn it onto a plate -- but I used the opportunity to create an even better and more delicious cake.  The end result, decorated with sweet chocolate paintings, is best enjoyed with birthday drinks...or with the sounds of StarCraft 2 roaring through your headphones. 

*I'm told I pronounce this word incorrectly...but I can't stop.
**For those uninitiated into the world of South Korea's national sport, TL is a forum for StarCraft enthusiasts at its most basic, and a fount of fascinating stories, contests, and life advice at its most extensive***.
***Those initiated into the extensive world of TL will appreciate the fact that this post's poem is in limerick form.

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Paintings
heavily adapted from Citrus and Candy (and Eye Candy)

  • 400 g bittersweet chocolate
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 12 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 50 g granulated sugar (I couldn't find caster sugar)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, washed
  • 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Boston Cream Pie yogurt
  • white and dark chocolate (for chocolate paintings)
  • strawberry preserves


Prepare chocolate paintings per Eye Candy's instructions.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a 10-inch springform cake tin.

Melt 360 g chocolate over low heat.  Add the butter, stirring gently until completely mixed in.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 30 g sugar.  Stir into the chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Beat in the remaining 20 g sugar.

Pour a quarter of the egg-white mixture into the chocolate mixture, beat well, and then fold the chocolate mix into the remaining egg whites.

Reserve 1/4 cup batter, then pour the rest into the cake pan and bake for about 35 minutes.  Remove from cake pan and let cool.  The cake should collapse into itself a little, forming a shallow bowl.

Melt the remaining 40 g chocolate over low heat.  Stir the two yogurt flavors together, and mix the chocolate into them -- upon hardening, it should form tiny chocolate chunks in the yogurt.

Slice and arrange the strawberries in the cake's "bowl."  Drizzle the reserved batter over them.

Fill the rest of the "bowl" with the yogurt mixture.

Place your big chocolate painting on top.

Arrange any smaller chocolate paintings around the side of the cake, attaching with dabs of strawberry preserves.