DuckTales (1987)

Episode: The Money Vanishes
Ma Beagle’s Cake

“Scrooge McDuck, he had a vault. Ee-i-ee-i-oh. And in his vault, he had some dough. Ee-i-ee-i-oh.” What? You don’t immediately start singing this song when you think of DuckTales? Me neither. I like something with a bit more “Woo-oo!” in it. Hey, after all my Disney Afternoon days, I’ll never be able to get that theme song out of my head. But that catchy tune is just one thing I love about DuckTales. There’s also adventure, mystery, riches, Launchpad. I could just sit here and type about this series for days, but then we’d never get to the recipe. Let’s just say that I love this show as much as Scrooge loves money. No, my cartoon obsession won’t make me three cubic acres of cash, but I feel rich in other ways. Even Scrooge comes to realize that wealth isn’t always measured in dollars and cents. But that never stops him from fussing over the money he has and finding ways to earn more. Scrooge didn’t become a zillionaire by luck alone. He did it by being “smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies.” And those skills of his, as well as those of his grandnephews, are put to the test whenever they travel across the globe in search of treasure or come face-to-face with the villains right in Duckburg.

You’d think life would be easy for the richest duck in the world, but it’s not all triple-mint ripple ice cream and dips in the Money Bin for Scrooge McDuck. He’s got to deal with pains in the wallet like Flintheart Glomgold, Magica De Spell, and the Beagle Boys. When we first meet the notorious Beagle Boys, Big Time says that they’ve hit the Money Bin 299 times! And after all those attempts, the Beagle Boys still somehow keep finding new ways to try to make off with Scrooge’s cash. They once stole Gyro’s Furniture-Mover Ray and Preparation Spray and zapped all the money in the Money Bin straight to their hideout. They never had to lift a money bag! But let’s back up here a bit. The Beagle Boys were in jail. They’re always in jail. How do they keep getting out? It’s definitely not because of good behavior. El Capitan, Glomgold, and Magica have all sprung them from jail, but they usually escape thanks to their dear old Ma. Whenever her sons end up in the slammer, Ma Beagle goes to the kitchen and bakes up something special to send to her boys. And her tokens of affection are filled with the best surprises. (I’m not talking chocolate chips.) More like “a file, some dynamite, maybe a blowtorch.” In the case of “The Money Vanishes,” Ma Beagle sends a cake with a shovel in it. I know what you’re thinking, “There’s a shovel in that cake?” Yeah, you can’t even tell, right? Okay, so you can OBVIOUSLY see that a shovel is hidden in it, but Officer Parolski doesn’t notice.

Recipe makes one large chocolate cake.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:

1 cup vegetable oil

4 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

3 cups sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

 

Frosting-You’ll need 3-4 batches

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon heavy cream

 

Sprinkles

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon meringue powder

2 tablespoons warm water

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Blue and Red/Pink Food Coloring

 

Directions

Chocolate Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 10 x 2-inch round cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer, combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until pale, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatingly, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Divide cake batter amongst pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cake is tested. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes. Turn out cakes on a wire rack and cool completely.

Frosting:

In a stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat powdered sugar in, a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.

Sprinkles:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, vanilla extract, and water until smooth. (You may have to add additional water if it’s too thick, but you want the mixture to remain pipe-able.) Divide the icing into two bowls and tint one blue and the other pink. Transfer one bowl of icing to a piping bag fitted with a tip about ¼-inch in diameter. (I wanted bigger sprinkles and the best tip in my drawer was a Marpol #10.) Pipe long, thin lines onto parchment-lined baking sheets until all the icing is used up. Repeat with the other colored icing. Let the icing sit uncovered for 24 hours, or at least overnight. Once the icing strips are dry, chop or break them up into your desired lengths.

Putting It All Together:

Trim any excess cake so both rounds are level. Spread a large amount of frosting on the top and sides of one of the cakes. Top with the other cake. Now here’s the fun part! Stick a shovel right through the cake. Cover the cake and the shovel with a lot more of the frosting. Top with sprinkles. Now it’s ready for delivery or you can just go all Burger on it!

DuckTales BBDuckTales BB Cake

I’m a big fan of this shovel cake, (It doesn’t have a fun, alliterative name.) so I would love to take a peek at Ma Beagle’s recipe book to see all the weapons she’s baked for her sons. There are Pumpkin Pistol Popovers, Metal Meringue Pie, Huckleberry Hand Grenade Cheesecake, and Ma’s favorite, Chocolate Chainsaw Surprise, just to name a few. All these sweet treats warm the Beagle Boys’ hearts and fill their stomachs, and most importantly, get them out of jail. That is, once they figure out how to use the tools. Big Time is the only one who understands that they need to use the shovel to tunnel out their cell. Too bad all of their digging and deceiving is for nothing because Huey, Dewey, and Louie turn the tables on them and zap them back to jail before they can even spend a dime. They may have only gotten a small taste of freedom, but they’ll be sinking their teeth into another one of Ma’s cakes in no time.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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Jem

Episode: A Father Should Be…
Carrot Cake

“Me and my friends are Jem girls!” Actually, I don’t think most of my friends have any idea who Jem is. That is a crying shame. This show’s got it all: the clothes, and the hair, and the singing. I love it love it! And even though the show is chock full of drama, I don’t mind because all the situations are truly, truly, truly outrageous. I love Eric Raymond, but it’s impossible for me to take him seriously as a bad guy. And Jem and the Holograms are always being locked up or stranded somewhere. And everything that The Stingers do is completely over-the-top. (That’s why they’re my favorite!) Yeah, this show is definitely not about the typical rock stars. Well for one, there aren’t a whole lot of bands with a holographic projection computer meant to serve as an “ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesizer,” like Synergy. And there aren’t a whole lot of rock stars who support a charitable organization to the extent that Jem and the Holograms do for the Starlight Foundation. Not only do they live with the girls, most of the money the band makes goes to support them. Yup, that means they are a big time rock band that isn’t rich. (When it comes to money.)

The Starlight Girls aren’t just there for show. They have their own problems to face and do play important roles in the series. Without them, there really wouldn’t be a Jem and she works hard for their sakes. When Ba Nee can’t handle being apart from her father any longer, Jerrica/Jem, the Holograms, Rio, and Riot and his dad’s connections all pitch in to find him. But before any leg work is done, Jerrica offers Ba Nee a great big piece of carrot cake to help cheer her up. When that doesn’t do the trick, she knows there’s a big problem. I’m fortunate enough to not know what Ba Nee’s going through, but I do act similar when I’m upset. If I’m offered something yummy like carrot cake and I turn it down, then it’s time for action.

Recipe makes 9 giant cake squares.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups carrots, grated

3 cups flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 X 9 baking dish.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil. Add the grated carrots in small amounts, alternating with the eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each addition. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared dish. Bake for about 1 hour. Remove the dish from the oven and cool upside down on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the dish and allow it to cool completely. Cut and serve!

Jem Cake Ba NeeJem Carrot Cake

It could be that Ba Nee likes carrot cake because of its connection to her father’s red hair, but I’m sure nothing in Starlight Mansion tastes bad. They don’t eat anything fancy, but it’s all made with love. Jerrica would go above and beyond for any of her girls, but Ba Nee has been pretty special throughout the show. She gets to sing her own song twice! And she is the only one in the entire series who has the ability to make peace between Jem and the Holograms, The Misfits, and The Stingers.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Ewoks

Episode: The Curse of the Jindas
Taffy

I’m one of those lucky individuals who had been introduced to Star Wars at a very early age. I can’t even remember the first time I actually watched the movies, but I’ve seen them a ton. My parents loved them, so the tapes were always close at hand. After spending most of my life with Star Wars, I could mention like 6 million things I love about the franchise. But, I’m going to try to narrow all that down. Here’s a fun fact: When I was little, I wanted an Ewok. (I also wanted a droid, and Yoda, and to be a Jedi, and have Darth Vader be my friend.) But asking for an Ewok seemed to be the most reasonable thing for me to do. I thought I could take care of one. To me, they were cute, little teddy bears with attitude and I couldn’t get enough of them. I guess I wasn’t the only one because there’s a cartoon dedicated to the Ewoks. I found that out when I saw a tape at one of my local video stores. (Well, it was labeled as a film, so I called it the Ewok movie for years.) Animated Ewoks! It just can’t get any better! I rented that tape multiple times and always enjoyed it. Years later, I finally got to watch the series and I still gave it a thumbs-up. (I can overlook Season 2’s issues.)

I love getting a closer look at the forest moon of Endor and the daily lives of the Ewoks. Wicket W. Warrick will always be my favorite, but I’ve found that I identify most with his slower, klutzy brother, Willy. When the village is attacked by Master Logray’s Stranglethorn Plant, Willy runs to the bakery and tries to eat all the baked goods before the plant does. He also has a thing for taffy. (Actually, he has a thing for any kind of food.) When Wicket and the gang go to Mooth’s store to trade their surplus goods, Willy eats from a large vat of taffy and begins to make a sticky mess. Yeah, Ewoks and taffy seem like an odd pair, but that’s nothing compared to some things that’ve come out of the Star Wars universe.

Recipe makes at least 50 pieces of taffy. It depends on how big you cut them.

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup corn syrup

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing hands and pan

1/2 cup water

1/2-1 teaspoon extract/flavoring

Food Coloring

 

Directions

Butter a shallow pan or cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add corn syrup, butter, and water and place over medium heat. Stir to combine ingredients until the mixture begins to boil. Attach a candy thermometer and cook until the mixture reaches 255 degrees F. Remove from heat and add flavor and color. Pour taffy onto pan/sheet.

Let the taffy sit until it’s cool enough to handle. Butter your hands and begin pulling. Pull the taffy until the color lightens and takes on a sheen. It should be difficult to pull by then. (This is when placed it in a small loaf pan for the picture.) For actual taffy pieces, roll the taffy into a long, thin rope and cut into pieces with kitchen shears. Wrap each piece in wax paper and they’re ready to devour!

Ewoks Taffy WillyEwoks Taffy

I did try leaving my taffy in the small loaf pan and just pulling some out when I want it, so I’ve gotten pretty sticky like Willy does. It’s a mess and gets tough after a while (Willy must be playing with hot taffy.) but I find it fun. I also love the versatility of taffy. I have no idea what flavor Willy’s taffy is and Sugarleaf Taffy could be anything, so I made some fruity and left some unflavored. And they both taste delicious. It’s too bad my parents never got me an Ewok. I could’ve shared my taffy with him. Oh well. More for me.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)

 

 

Episode: Turtle Tracks (and just about every other episode)

Pizza

Sometimes I wonder how long I would’ve been able to survive if I never met the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Every instance where I thought I was going to positively die of boredom, those heroes in a half shell came to my rescue. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was a huge deal for me as a little kid. Family haircuts were an excruciating three hours of flipping through the same old magazines until I discovered our hairdresser’s son had an extensive Turtle toy collection. Or whenever my parents threw parties at our local lodge, us kids would find solace in one tiny hallway with a Turtles arcade game. Even when our parents didn’t give us money to play the game, we’d still hide out in the hallway and watch it replay the same scenes again and again. And most importantly, I could find those boys on my TV, protecting me against Shredder, Krang, and bad television.

Every time I tuned into my favorite fearsome fighting team, I learned just how far a pizza could be pushed beyond the limit of simple pepperoni. I’ve eaten enough pizza throughout my life that I could easily go toe to toe with Michelangelo. My combinations aren’t as inventive as bananas and sausage, but I’ve made some masterpieces. Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner is one of my very favorites. It may be more work than ordering out, but I haven’t seen any Weird Pizza To Go locations anywhere and what Pizza Hut carries guacamole and marshmallows?

Recipe makes one large pizza

 Ingredients

 Crust:

1 ¼ cups warm water (105-110 degrees F)

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (active dry or instant both work)

3 teaspoons sugar

3 tablespoons instant non-fat dry milk powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

3 cups bread flour

Sauce:

1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ small onion, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

Toppings:

Whatever you want. I did a mashup of:

Pepperoni and Ice Cream, Jellybeans and Mushrooms, and Anchovies and Peanut Butter

Use as much or as little of:

8 ounce bag of shredded mozzarella

1 6 ounce package pepperoni

1 small pack of mushrooms

1 small can anchovies

1 small bag of jellybeans

1 heaping spoonful peanut butter

1 heaping spoonful chocolate ice cream

1 heaping spoonful vanilla ice cream

 

Directions

 Crust:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast, sugar, and dry milk powder in the warm water. Let rest for 5-10 minutes or until foamy. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and yeast mixture to flour. Stir to combine and form into a ball with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball again and place in a large bowl. Lightly coat dough with oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and flatten and stretch it into desired pizza size and shape. Let rest for 15 minutes on a lightly floured pizza paddle or on a pizza pan.

Sauce:

Mash tomatoes in a small bowl. Pour olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add tomatoes and ketchup. Add oregano, parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Putting It All Together:

If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. If not, make your pizza on the pan and place it in the oven once it’s heated.

Preheat oven as high as it can go! Mine was at 550 degrees F.

Ladle desired amount of sauce onto crust. Add cheese. Add toppings. (Meat and mushrooms in my case.) Transfer pizza from paddle to stone or pan. Bake until crust is browned and cooked through. My pizza was in there for 15 minutes, but ovens vary so you may have to adjust your cooking time.

Remove pizza from the oven. Let it cool slightly and add the melty ingredients. Slice it up and have at it!

DSC_0371 (2) DSC_0361 (2)

Pizza is the greatest food ever! It tastes amazing, it’s portable, and you can put whatever you want on it. I’m pretty sure if you cut me open, I bleed pizza sauce. Well, if the Turtles ever need another member, I’m always free. My ninja skills are nothing to write home about, but I can always help them eat through a mountain of pizza. Oh, and I’ve been practicing this for years, so I’ve got to say it once before I go…ahem…COWABUNGA!!!!

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!