Karen: I am NOT an artist. I am not a cake decorator; no patience…… So this project was a bit of a stretch for me. Thankfully, the directions were easy to follow and it helped. I managed to do things a bit differently than written (which I find I do most weeks). I added more than the suggested amount of food colouring to both frostings. I also didn’t use a microwave to melt the chocolate; I prefer a double broiler. I did find the shaping of the cake to be a bit of a challenge but nothing I couldn’t handle. I forgo using the green stripes because I couldn’t find any and used licorice, instead. I think this is a fun project that could be accomplished by kids with the help of an adult. What a fun first week of school treat!
Chef Jonathan: I was very excited to try this pencil cake to celebrate the start of school this week, although it was a bit of a challenge. I found that my loaf cakes were smaller than the ones in the magazine, so I adjusted my measurements accordingly. I found it a bit difficult to bevel the edges of the pencil, but I just kept shaving it off until level. I found the method of microwaving the chocolate in a plastic bag a bit unsafe, so I decided to use a double boiler. The other obstacle was attaching the chocolate tip to end of the cake, and shaving off enough to make it look believable as a pencil. I used a rainbow sour belt, instead of green, and I actually like it better. All in all, a great project if you have several hours to devote to it, and I also recommend it for a children’s project!
This recipe was found in the September 2011 issue of The Foodnetwork Magazine.