No, I haven’t fallen off the planet, so the 3 of you that read this can stop worrying! :-) I had back-to-back catering jobs (very challenging in my little kitchen) and a baby shower cake to put together.
Can’t say I was terribly thrilled with the cake itself. Very moist and tasty, but not so sturdy given the drive I had to make in a hot car. But it survived. I did have fun making all of the little animals, though.
In addition to the cake, I brought along this fruit tureen, which I totally hijacked from Martha’s site. It was so popular the first time around that I actually added it as a fruit option for one of my catered breakfasts. Very healthy, and it goes together quickly, which is always an added plus!
It holds up to heat a lot better than cream cheese frosting, let me tell you.
Mixed Berry Tureen
2 cups clear juice (I used white cranberry)
½ cup sugar
2 packets plain gelatin
About 3 cups of fruit*
In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup of the juice and the sugar. Bring to a boil and continue to cook and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, combine another ¼ cup of the juice with the gelatin. Stir until mixture is thoroughly combined.
Add the gelatin mixture to the juice in the pan. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in the remaining 1 ½ cups juice.
In a loaf pan, layer the different fruits, leaving the cut sides of the strawberries (if using) facing up. Slowly pour the juice mixture over the fruit. Press fruit down slightly.
Chill for at least 3 hours. To unmold, run a knife around the edges of the loaf pan and then dip the outside of the pan in hot water for about 5 seconds. Invert onto a plate.
*My first time making this, I used about a cup of blackberries, a little less than half a cup of raspberries, and then made up the difference in strawberries slice in half. The second round I substituted chopped nectarine for the raspberries.