Minecraft Halloween costumes

My nephews are very into Minecraft, so of course they wanted to go as Minecraft characters for Halloween. Nathan chose to go as a wither and Sam chose to go as a mutant enderman. I spent the better part of week staying up late to build their costumes out of foam core, duct tape, and LEDs. It was totally worth it.

Sam at his kindergarten Halloween party. He ran around showing everyone with great delight how he had four arms.

Sam at his kindergarten Halloween party. He ran around showing everyone with great delight how he had four arms.

Nathan ready to go trick-or-treating. He got tons on compliments on his costume and the lights made him very easy to spot.

Nathan ready to go trick-or-treating. He got tons on compliments on his costume and the lights made him very easy to spot.

In my totally unbiased opinion, Nathan, Sam, and our friend Isaac (who was dressed as My Hero Zero, lavishly adorned with EL wire) had the best costumes we saw all day.

Schoolhouse Rock cake

Leigh baked a delicious orange cake with fresh orange juice and zest

20141011 My Hero Zero cake DSC_4815

My little friend Isaac loves numbers, so for his eighth birthday we decided he should have a cake based on My Hero Zero from Schoolhouse Rock.

DSC01908

It was a really small, casual party at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, so I wanted the cake to be both entirely edible and convenient to eat without utensils. Each number was an individual cylinder of cake. I made the tubes, as well as the numbers, out of gum paste, then filled them with alternating layers of orange cake, milk chocolate ganache, and ginger cookies. The ginger cookies were structural, since the gum paste couldn’t bear the weight of seven layers of cake cylinders plus the gum paste figure.

Gum paste Hero figure resembles birthday boy, Isaac

To make the figure on top of the cake entirely edible, I reinforced the gum paste with an armature of uncooked spaghetti. I send my brother-in-law to the store to get the spaghetti. He evidently read every box of spaghetti in the store to find the one with the longest cooking time, under the theory that a longer cooking time would indicate sturdier pasta.

DSC_4853

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Isaac as happy as when he saw this cake, and he’s generally a happy guy. I love making cakes because cakes make everyone happy. This one has to rank amongst the most gratifying cakes I’ve ever made.

DSC_4894

DSC_4898