"Help yourself to some tea and cakes. They're spirit cakes so you won't gain any weight. Of course, you won't loose any either."
—Uncle Iroh, "A New Spiritual Age"(TLoK S.2, Ep.10)
In lieu of out of body experiences, I'll just have to enjoy this cake the old fashioned way. I love that the "Korra" writers included the ability to eat food while in the spirit world, because food really is more than just fodder for your physical form. It's like the fact that sex is not just for procreation. Yes, I just said that. Meaning there are things we do physically that also affect our spirits. Korra's lesson, from both the meal and Uncle Iroh, is that she doesn't need to be afraid. There may be scary moments, but there are also happy ones, and life, and light, and delightful tastes, and that she is in control of how she reacts to these, and thus, how she experiences them, for good or for ill.
the teapot that belonged to the first Avatar, Avatar Wan. For a time, Wan carried Raava, the spirit of light, in this tea pot before they merged to fight Vaatu 10,000 years ago. That is one old pot! But Raava's light and being was so brilliant that, as Uncle Iroh tells Korra, "you can still taste a little light in each cup [of tea]."
|My illustration for "Raava's Spirit Tea" available here!|
"That's right. This was your's long, long ago. When you were Avatar Wan you used it to carry the light spirit Raava around, until the two of you became one. You know, when you make tea in it, you can still taste a little light in each cup."
I couldn't resist coming up with a tea blend inspired by this scene. I imagine a tea that you can take a deep breath of and sigh and sip on and feel relaxed but also clear minded. So, on Adagio Teas, I concocted "Raava's Spirit Tea" , a crisp and bright blend made with lemon, fruit accents, and a hint of ginger. Please check it out here! Now on to the cake.
Note: In Asia, a typical celebration cake is a sponge cake with whipped frosting and fresh fruit. I assume this is why a similar looking cake appears in this episode of "Korra" for May-Jim's wedding meal. So putting Asia's love of sponge cake, whipped cream, & fruit together with the somewhat unique cake depicted in "A New Spiritual Age", I came up with the cake you see here. Now you don't have to travel to the Spirit World to eat it!
Spirit World Celebration Cake
|Sponge Cake (Makes two 8" rounds)
(recipe for cake [only] from Woodland Bakery)
4 Lrg Eggs, room temperature
2 Cups White Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Cake Flour, sifted
(All-Purpose Flour is okay too)
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup (8 Tbsp) Butter (salted or unsalted)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup Water
1/3 Cup White Granulated Sugar
2 tsp. Rum Flavoring
3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
5 Tbsp. Granulated White Sugar
1 Tsp. Clear Vanilla Extract
2 (.35 oz.) pkgs Whip it Stabilizer
(OR whip in 3 large, melted marshmallows)
2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (give or take)
Glaze & Fruit
1/4 Cup Apricot Preserves
1 Tbsp. Water
5-6 Fresh Strawberries, leaves removed & cut in 1/2
2 Fresh Kiwi Fruits, peeled & circle cut
1/4 Cup Fresh Blueberries
|2 Round 8" Baking Pans |
|1 Round Chopstick (optional)|
Frosting Piping Bag
Large Star Frosting Tip
2. Making the syrup: At this time (or while the cakes are still baking), place the large mixing bowl you'll be using to make the whipped frosting into the freezer (for about 30 mins). In a small pot heat the water & sugar until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil & continue to cook for a minute or two. Remove from heat & stir in the rum flavoring. Remove the cake layers from the fridge, unwrap them, & lay them out on the wire racks. Using a pastry brush, brush the rum syrup onto the tops of the cakes (if there is a brown layer on the cakes, gently scrape it off with a butter knife & eat it. It's like, risen sugar or something & tastes awesome. And this way the syrup will sink into the cakes). Cover the cakes in plastic wrap again so they don't dry out.
5. Piping the border: The next step is to pipe the whipped border around the top edge (shown above). Spoon the leftover whip into a piping bag with a large star tip & carefully pipe a scallop design around the top edge of the cake, angling it slightly so it also becomes a top ring for the sides of the cake & covers any rough spots where the whip & crumbs meet.
I obviously went a little crazy with the whip on top. Thiick! But good.