Summertime is slipping through our hands like fine sand. Just as there is no stopping the waves that roll up on the shore, charging into our lives are the changing seasons. So, why resist? Whether it’s the weather or anything else in our lives, change is inevitable. Why not honor the metamorphosis? The Japanese have done just that for centuries.
In Japan, the traditional tatami straw mat family room has a tokonoma – a recessed alcove where an elegant but simple scroll and flower arrangement celebrates the current season. The tatami room tends to be uncluttered and spacious; the eye goes directly to the art and flowers in the alcove.
Master Japanese Tea Ceremony Teacher, Mme. Kazuko Schlesselman
in her tea teaching room. The tokonoma with an elegant but simple scroll and ikebana floral arrangement is in the background.
Protocol demands that a guest stepping into the Japanese family room compliment the host on the tokonoma centerpieces. Win bonus points with remarks about how fitting the scroll, flower vase and flowers are to the season. The appropriate autumn maple or spring blossom is also etched on the tray serving tea and seasonal treats in the family room.
A taste of Autumn: Chestnut Pocky
Click here to see the photo credit.
This respect for the turning of seasons is also reflected in Japan's “conbini” store displays. In 7-11s and other convenience stores, Pocky says sayonara to summer fruit flavored biscuits. Autumn breezes bring a chestnut marron covered Pocky. Snow-white chocolate and almond bits coat the Pocky biscuit in winter. Spring sees sakura cherry blossom Pocky. Reminiscent perhaps of America’s Oreo cookie which also salutes the changing season. Halloween candy corn, Christmas peppermint cream...Which Oreo is your favorite?
Strawberry Pocky & Mini Oreos are great for parties and party in chocolate cake!
Regardless of season, both Pocky and Oreos disappear quickly at any gathering. At tonight's Sunday Supper get-together, the topic of discussion is what makes a tantalizing tray. (Scroll down to see how you can join the chat.) The Ninja Baker's Sunday Supper offering? An edible Pocky and Oreo chocolate cake tray which serves Pocky and Oreo filled chocolate cupcakes.
An edible cake tray which serves chocolate cupcakes filled with Oreos and Pocky.
Rich frostings blend with the blissful marriage of subtle chocolate flavors. The cake crumb is tender and moist. First graders to college cupcake experts pronounced the Chocolate Oreo and Pocky cake and cupcake, "Amazing!"
A tender chocolate crumb minngles with bits of Oreo cookies and Pocky biscuits.
I'm also pleased how nicely the sour Morello cherries added balance to the vanilla buttercream foundation in the cake frosting.
As Pocky, Oreos are tantalizing treats in any season; I whipped them into chocolate cupcakes. And what tray could be more tantalizing than one made out of cake? Chocolate cake smothered with Morello cherry buttercream to be specific. Enjoy!
The cake recipe is adapted from the Pillsbury Softassilk flour box.
For Chocolate Oreo and Pocky Cake and Cupcakes:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups Pillsbury® Softasilk® Enriched & Bleached Cake Flour
- 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (alkalized) or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup crushed Oreos
- ¾ cup chopped Chocolate Pocky
For cake garnish:
- 6 regular-sized Oreo cookies
- Morello cherries (drained)
For cupcake garnish:
- 18 mini Oreos
- ½ cup crushed Strawberry Pocky
For Morello Cherry Buttercream:
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 Morello cherries
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Morello cherry juice
For Chocolate Oreo and Pocky Cake and Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F
Slip 18 cases into muffin tins. Generously butter and flour (or use baking spray) a 13” x 9” pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter and flour (or spray.)
In a kitchen stand mixer with the paddle attachment:
Fluff up the butter for about 3 minutes.
Add one tablespoon of sugar at a time to the butter.
Pour in the extracts.
One at a time, beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Starting and ending with this flour mixture, alternate mixing into the butter/sugar bowl with the buttermilk.
Stir in the crushed Oreos and chopped Chocolate Pocky.
Ninja Note: Scrape the bowl often to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
Fill the cupcake cases about 2/3 full. Pour the remaining batter into the rectangle pan.
Cupcake bake time: 21-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cake bake time: 30-32 minutes.
Allow the baked goods to cool before frosting. Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting adorns my cupcakes. The cake is slathered with my Morello Cherry Buttercream and garnished with strawberry Pocky which was crumbled in the food processor. Morello cherries also decorate the cake. Strawberry Pocky crumbles were sprinkled on the cupcakes and given a mini Oreo center.
For Morello Cherry Buttercream:
Combine all the ingredients except the powdered sugar with an electric mixer or a Kitchen stand mixer. Gradually add the sugar. Add liquid or powdered sugar to reach the consistency which sings perfection for you.
Ninja Note: Keep your speed low when mixing in cherries and powdered sugar. (Morello cherries are yummy to eat. However, the clean up of splattered cherries and powdered sugar is not so fun.)
Conni of Foodie Army Wife is the host of this tantalizing tray Sunday Supper. Conni’s love of country, husband is evident in every post. So is her ability to cook some of the best comfort food in America. She’s also posts great photos! You will also see great food pictures of tantalizing trays at the sites which follow.
- Antipasto Skewers by Simply Gourmet
- Bite-Sized Meatballs by MealDiva
- BLT Bites by The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
- BLT Canapes by Peaceful Cooking
- BLT Crostini with Basil Mayonnaise by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Blueberry Jam and Goat Cheese Crostini by Casa de Crews
- Brie and Tomato Bruschetta by Jane's Adventures in Dinner
- Cajun Deviled Eggs by Peanut Better and Peppers
- Charcuterie Board by Family Foodie
- Cheese-Filled Apple Rounds by eatingininstead
- Coquilles St. Jacques by Nosh My Way
- Crudite Platter with Copycat Hidden Valley Ranch Dip by Hot Momma's Kitchen Chaos
- Crunchy Tuna Salad Boats by A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Cucumber Sandwiches by Momma's Meals
- Feta Zucchini Bites by Curious Cuisiniere
- Gluten Free Thai Soup Shooters by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs by Eat, Drink and be Tracy
- Heirloom Caprese Salad by Shockingly Delicious
- Jalapeño Mac 'n Cheese Bites by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- The Modern Relish Tray by An Appealing Plan
- Mostarda di Frutta by Rhubarb and Honey
- Pimento Cheese Stuffed Peppers by Magnolia Days
- Ploughman's Platter for a Party by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Puff Pastry Cheese Sticks by Basic N Delicious
- Rye Party Puffs by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Southwestern Turkey Sliders by The Texan New Yorker
- Spinach and Mushroom Pizza Bites by The Dinner-Mom
- Tomato Basil Soup Shooters by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Zucchini and Summer Squash Crostini by Hip Foodie Mom
- Alice in Wonderland Sugar Cookies by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Baked Lemon Glazed Mini Donuts by Killer Bunnies Inc.
- Chocolate Oreo Pocky Cupcakes, Cake, and Morello Cherry Buttercream by NinjaBaking
- French Silk Shooters by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- German Chocolate Brownie Bites by Wallflour Girl
- Mini Banana Nutella Cheesecake Parfaits (#glutenfree option) by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Raspberry Fools by The Foodie Army Wife
- Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Shooters by The Redhead Baker
- Vegan Caramel Truffles by What Smells So Good?
- White Chocolate Peanut Butter & Banana Bites by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Witchy Chocolate Mousse with Culinary Fairy Dust by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Wishing you blessings with every turn in the change of seasons.
The Ninja Baker
© ™ Watkinson 2012
The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.