Pop the Ball Celebration: Fruzz Cake

For the last year or so, a friend of mine has been developing a game for iOs – available for iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads.  I’ve been watching the progress with quite a bit of interest because I actually did the translation into English.  The game is called Pop the Ball, and it’s for sale in the app store here, with Facebook page here.

I may be a little biased, but it’s awesome. It’s easy to learn but I’m somewhat backward and am still stuck on the fourth level.  My roommate is doing much better than I am.  I’m not surprised.   But what the hell does an iPhone app half to do with a food blog?  Truthfully, if you’re asking that question you haven’t spent that much time on the internet.  We be baking us a cake.

This is Fruzz.  Or rather, one of the Fruzzes.  He’s a little fuzzballl, and the cute face of Pop the Ball.  Sergio and Fran form the development team the Walking Dev, and have been working their butts off (with help from others) to get the game out and we were all excited to see them come back to life, socially, when it finally got off the ground.  Unfortunately for us as their friends, but fortunately for the world, they are currently working on a special iPad version with more levels and higher quality graphics.  To egg them on and to keep their spirits from flagging after almost a full year of constant work, it was time for some celebrating.  Let’s cake it.

Let’s start with the cake interior.

Fruzz Cake

Yellow cake with raspberry jam filling (because it’s my favorite)

Recipe adapted from about.com

2 c cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c butter, softened

1 c sugar

3 large eggs at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F, 175 C.  Grease and flour your cake pans – when to the hardware store that very morning to pick some up.

They strike me as lumberjacky.

Mix the flour, salt, and leavening together with a whisk, or sift.  Whatever gets you going. I used a bag of cake flour with the leavening already in it because I sent my roommate to the store for me and you don’t turn up your nose at someone with a car doing the heavy lifting.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Stupid immersion blender whisk attachment wants to spray sugary butter all over the kitchen.

Mix the eggs in one at a time and add the vanilla.

Mix in the flour mix, alternating with the milk. Half the batter in one pan, half in the other. And in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, and then cool completely.

This cake is on the dry side.  But that’s actually a good thing for me, as I’m going to have to mess about with its shape, and moist crumbly cake is not going to be the best thing.  So.  We have cake rounds.  Now what?

Decapitate your cake.  Carve off the top of the bottom layer so that the second layer will lie flat.  Otherwise, your top layer will gap and crack and it’s awful.  I speak from experience.  Now, spread with jam!

I love love love raspberry filling in my cakes, and usually I make it from scratch to get the right consistency and flavor, but I can’t find raspberries here so oh well.  La Vieja Fábrica has really great, fruity jams that are sold in the grocery store at the end of the street, so I’m not going to be picky.

Note: Push the toothpicks aaaall the way down into the cake. This is just the placement shot.

Put on the top layer, and secure with toothpicks or skewers.  This will keep your layers from slipping around on each other. Let’s talk frosting.  In the past I’ve explained that I am a rather crappy cake decorator.  My buttercreams are historically iffy and honestly, the weather here was not going to allow that kind of cake to keep very well.  We’re in mid-October, but it’s in the mid to high 80s F in the late afternoon.  I also do not have a stand mixer, so I started thinking a littler farther afield.  I have never tried fondant which is the fallback for funky cake ideas so I wasn’t about to try it in my closet kitchen in the heat with a weak whisk and a distaste for the flavor of fondant.  What’s left?  Chocolate.

Fruzz is basically three colors: brown, black, and white.  In my head this automatically translates into milk, dark, and white chocolate.  If I just used chocolate, then I wouldn’t have serious frosting melting problems in our indian summer (or St. Martin’s summerette as some say here), nor would I have to tackle any serious debut frosting issues while trying to carve for the first time.

I am also not an artist, so I pulled up the picture of Fruzz on my laptop and tried to draw with a knife in chocolate. That did not work.  I quickly gave in to my inner child and started…finger painting.

I had to exaggerate his hairstyle a little so it would come out in chocolate.  Cake is not the most subtle of media in my hands. Then, take a serrated knife to it and start taking out the white space.  Easy does it.

Now.  Let’s cover that cake.

I got to to do this three times. Melt, spread, wash. Melt, spread, wash.

If you can, please use buttercream.  It took me forever to cover up all the cake crumbs with straight up melted chocolate.  A ganache would work as well, but again with the heat issue.  A lovely Skype date with Michelle and lots of decorating myself with chocolate later?

Yes, that is my laptop framing the top of the picture.

I left a lot of knife tracks in the chocolate on purpose.  He’s supposed to be a furball, so thie was the best way I could cheatingly get some texture that reflects that.  I then traced out his eyes and mouth with a butter knife to guide my piping (ziplock bags, of course). Let the chocolate cool to room temperature and solidify (mine had to go in the fridge) and then have a party!

I’m happy with the results.  It’s definitely homemade looking, but as my first off-the-wall cake?  I’m pleased.  And definitely proud to be part of the journey with these guys.

Ok, this part was a little sad. But it was delicious. So there.


3 Responses to “Pop the Ball Celebration: Fruzz Cake”

  1. 1 Michelle October 17, 2011 at 6:34 am

    It looks awesome! Glad to see some of the chocolate landed on the cake and not just in your face. 🙂 Of course, that’s the best part of baking so I can’t blame you.

  2. 2 Kel Attorneys October 18, 2011 at 10:23 am

    http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2010/08/02/focus5.html Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂

  3. 3 Mary October 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Awesome cake! Rasberry filling is the best 🙂 your blog is fantastic!

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!


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