How to Make a Tardis Cake

So, as a general rule, if I’m going to be around for a friend’s birthday, I’m going to make them a cake. Its tradition born from my own stubbornness (and love of cake).  So when my roommate, Kassia’s 24th rolled around, I was going to make her a simple chocolate chocolate-chip cake. No biggie. And then her brother, Nick, and his girlfriend (now wife), Emily planted the seed.

It had to be done. There were no more options.

I had to make a TARDIS cake.

So, wtfh IS a TARDIS, anyway? Fans of Doctor Who will know, but for the unindoctrinated, TARDIS stands for “Time and Relative Dimension in Space” and is the Doctor’s spaceship. It can take him wherever he wants, whenever in time he wants. Its shaped like a blue police phone box and is much, much larger on the inside.

So how does one go about making this monstrosity of a cake?

First, you throw everything you know about cake baking out the window. Just throw it all right out. Pretty sure I was brain dead when I was making this thing.

Second, find a recipe. I used Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe. This was the best part (as I had hoped it would be). It was incredibly moist and delicious.

Third, add chocolate chips to an already hyper-chocolatey cake. This was also a delicious decision. Too bad it was the wrong decision for a layer cake. Because they were interspersed randomly througout it, the cake didn’t hold up as well as it should have. Pieces fell off and I had to glue them in place with buttercream. Which leads to…

Fourth, frost and hold the layers together with a way too sugary buttercream. Buttercream is amazingly delicious, don’t get me wrong. But I think I used a bad recipe. Or screwed it up somehow. Either way, that stuff was born of demon seed. We had to scrape around it to eat the rest of the cake because it was so sugary sweet that our teeth hurt and we were having instant sugar highs.

Also, because the cake had fallen apart and I had to “glue” it in places, the TARDIS was kinda lumpy, which made decorating it a pain in the rear. I also only had a couple of sizes of piping tips, neither of which worked well for the purpose I needed them for.

But, in the end, it was just the thing we needed to start our evening. After we ate it (or at least tried to) we took Kassia to Kansas City to go swing dancing. Which actually made the sugar highs kind of helpful. And to top it off, we got a great story that we still giggle over. Not everything that we view as a disaster will seem that way in the long run. While I thought I had ruined her birthday, what actually happened was that I helped create a memory that has brought joy to all of us in the year since.

Maybe I’ll try again this year. Or I could, y’know, just be lazy and make a normal sheet cake.

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~ by Meagan Rhoads on October 27, 2010.

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