Saturday, July 9, 2016

Let them Eat Cake! A Marie Antoinette Bastille Day Dessert

 Maybe it's the fact that I'm an avid francophile or maybe it's just an excuse not to take down my red, white and blue decorations, but I've always greatly enjoyed celebrating France's festive Bastille Day, July 14th.
Marking the famous 1789 storming of the bastille prison, a symbol of the oppressive monarchy, this holiday featuring parades, parties and patriotism, commemorates what many think of as the start of the revolution and ousting of the "ancient regime"
Of course Marie Antoinette was a key player during this time and though many now believe she never actually uttered the famously insensitive words "Let them eat cake" when informed of the poors' bread shortage, it seems the phrase will forever, if unfairly, be linked to her. 
To honor this most stylish, extravagant and perhaps misunderstood royal, why not create a dessert in her likeness for a whimsical way to celebrate a 
Bon 14th Julliet!

Marie Antoinette "Let them Eat Cake" Cake
Who can forget oohing and aahing over that classic girl's birthday cake featuring a plastic doll with frosted dress at so many childhood parties. Still as popular today (Disney princesses anyone?), this "slightly" more grown up version uses the same concept with a dollar store doll spruced up with some paint and regal touches. 

For Marie Cake Topper
You'll Need
inexpensive plastic doll 
(I found this mermaid version at a dollar store)
crafty accents: Feathers, lace, sparkle etc
multi surface craft paint
I first removed her bottom half. Then using multi surface paint added some touches to her make-up 
(going more for 1789 than 1989)
I did her hair loosely in her signature pouf style and painted hair with a wash of white to simulate a powdered wig, adding some feathers and royal accents.
Paint and trim scraps become the bodice of her dress

for Cake
2 boxes Cake mix or homemade recipe
oven proof batter bowl and round baking dish or cake pan
I needed two cakes to create a taller "skirt" for better proportions for my doll but a shorter Marie may require just one batter bowl- simply measure first

With limited talent for scratch baking I opted for a store mix, French Vanilla seeming appropriate.
I prepared the two boxes of mix (one for the batter bowl), and one batch for the round pan 
Plus I had batter leftover for a pan mini cupcakes!
Keep an eye on the cakes and bake until done-
my batter bowl cake caved in slightly but worked fine
 the batter bowl mix took about 50 minutes while the others 20-30
once cooled I stacked the cakes and "glued" together with a dollop of ready made icing 
The bottom cake can be trimmed but I kept it as a little flounce

for decorations
icing glaze recipe
2 cups confectioner's sugar
6-8 teaspoons corn syrup
6-8 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon desired flavoring  
spray coloring
ready made decorative icing
I had used the icing glaze and stencil technique previously in my Jane Austen tea party post.
Mix icing glaze  ingredients until blended and glossy, increasing corn syrup and milk if too thick
gently pour over cooled cake and let dry completely

gently lay doily over skirt, spray and then carefully lift

repeat on other areas of cake, shielding overspray with a paper plate

add some more ready made icing accents, sprinkles or candy cake decor touches
pop doll top onto chopstick or skewer and insert carefully into center of cake 
camouflage where doll and cake meet with some icing accents
made with images from the fabulous Graphics Fairy

cut out printable, tape onto skewer and insert
To preserve her dignity you can retire the cake to the kitchen to carefully remove Marie (she can be fragile) and the cake sign and then slice onto individual dessert plates before serving

Of course the fun part is using your own creativity and favorite colors for the Queen's look. For fashion inspiration there are hundreds of images of the famous queen. 
These images are from my Pinterest page "let them eat cake".
 For sources and more images of Marie and her world click here
For unique and entertaining insight on this fascinating historic figure, find more info and fabulous podcasts at 
The History Chicks

Why not Put on some french music and serve with Champagne (of course) 
 and add some sparkly accents francais!