This Thursday our craft is a baking project that we’ve paired with one of our favorite television shows.
Our creative baker, Lorraine Masonheimer, explains the concept behind her creation: The cake is inspired by NCIS New Orleans. The NCIS team wears navy blue baseball hats with white NCIS lettering above the bill. The fleur de lis is deeply ingrained in Louisiana’s history and the purple, yellow and green color combination honors the tradition of Mardi Gras. Rum is added to the cake and frosting as a nod to the part rum played in New Orleans’ history. In a traditional King cake, the baby hidden inside symbolizes luck and prosperity. In the NCIS New Orleans cake, the skeleton replaces the baby and symbolizes the homicide investigations of each episode. If desired, the person that finds the skeleton gets to create a mystery-themed dessert for the next party.
Materials for Cake Top:
Fleur de lis, 2
Gold pearl bead string (optional)
Wooden skewer, 4”
STEP 1: Create the Cake Top
To create the Fleur de Lis for the top of the NCIS New Orleans baseball hat cake, make a color copy of a fleur de lis or print a royalty free copy from Clip Art Best. Using scissors or an x-acto knife cut out two fleur de lis and set aside. To separate the gold pearl bead string, cut the wrapping tape from the stem. Wrap three gold pearl beads to a wooden skewer and remove excess wire using scissors or wire cutters. Turn the images face down and place a generous amount of glue dots onto the center and edges of the fleur de lis. Place one fleur de lis face down and glue the beaded wooden skewer to the center of the image. Place the second fleur de lis face up directly over the first fleur de lis. Press along the center and edges to firmly attach to the wooden skewer. Set aside.
Fat Daddio’s Hemisphere pan, 10”
Cake mix & ingredients, 3 boxes of your choice
Blue frosting, 2 tubs
Blue, black & red food paste
White icing tube with tip #5/dots
Tuaca liqueur (vanilla/orange)
Captain Morgan Rum
Fleur de lis wooden skewer
16” cardboard cake circle
STEP 2: Create the Cake
Set oven 300 degrees. Coat the hemisphere pan and cookie sheet with cooking spray. Combine one cake mix, water, eggs and oil in a mixing bowl.
For a touch of New Orleans flavor, if desired, add 1 tablespoon of Tuaca liqueur and 1 tablespoon of rum. Beat according to package directions. Pour batter into hemisphere pan. Repeat using the second box of cake mix and pour into the hemisphere pan.
Fill the center of the heat core to 2/3 full. Place the heat core into the center of the hemisphere pan.
Place the pan into the middle of the oven and bake for 80 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Combine the third box of cake mix and pour batter into a cookie sheet.
Set the oven to 325 degrees and place the cookie sheet on the center rack, bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
STEP 3: Create the Frosting
Place two tubs of prepared blue frosting into a mixing bowl. Combine .5 oz. of blue food paste, .25 oz. of black food paste and 10 drops of red food paste into the blue frosting. Mix and adjust food paste until the frosting is a dark navy blue.
If desired, add 1 tablespoon of rum to the frosting and mix until combined. When the cakes are done, cool for 20 minutes in the pans. Remove the heat core from the hemisphere cake. Remove the cake from the center of the heat core.
STEP 4: Assemble the Cake
Turn the cake out onto a 16” cardboard circle and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Placing an NCIS New Orleans twist on the Kings Cake, place a plastic skeleton into the hole created by the heat core. Fill the hole using the cake baked inside the heat core. Press down to create a smooth dome for the top of the hat.
Turn the cookie sheet cake out onto parchment paper and cool completely, about 1 hour. Using a 5-5 ½” bowl, cut a circle into the sheet cake. Cut the circle in half.
Place the half circle next to the hemisphere cake to form the bill of the baseball hat.
Spread the navy blue frosting evenly over the dome of the cake using a spatula. Use upward strokes to create the structure of a baseball hat. Make a decorative swirl at the top of the hat.
Frost the bill of the baseball hat using the spatula to form a sharp edge.
STEP 5: Finishing Touches
Place the decorative tip #5 (dots) onto the tube of white icing. To center NCIS, begin forming the C and I onto the front of the baseball hat using dots to form the letters. Write the N and S to complete the acronym NCIS.
Insert the Fleur de lis cake top at the center of the top of the dome.
Serve, see who finds the skeleton and enjoy.