Fun with sweet dessert bentos
This is a guest post by Smalerie, who blogs about bento making and her other hobbies in her blog Boston Bento. Here she shows us how to make fun sweet dessert bentos to share with friends...or, well, I guess you could reserve one for yourself for a super-indulgent occasion too ^_^; -(maki)
When a friend of mine went on a business trip to Japan, he promised not to return without a brand new bento for me. Days went by as I dreamed about all the kinds of bentos he might return to the states with. Maybe he would get me a bento of one of my favorite animes, maybe a sleek patterned one that I could coordinate with my new shoes…or even better, maybe he could find a bento with Chuck Norris on it. Then for sure my new bento box with beat all other boxes into submission with its awesomeness.
He returned a few days later with my box. It was perfect, it was gorgeous, but there was a small problem. I had never told him that I wanted a lunch bento. Instead he returned with a large one (about 7 inches / 18cm square) that I could only guess was suitable for picnics and potlucks. After scratching my head for a bit, I got down to business and decided to expand my bento making to something I could share with a larger group of my friends.
The solution was pretty obvious; I could use the bento as a display (and protector) for one of my favorite things: dessert.
Contents: 2 chocolate mini cakes, coconut jelly, and milk tea jelly stars.
The mini-cakes are a great alternative to cup cakes in a bento because they can be cut down to the size you need and leftover cake stores well in the freezer.
Here are a few tips for making your own:
- Use a biscuit or cookie cutter to cut your cakes out. You can always use a knife (serrated works best for me) for any additional trimming.
- Remember that the frosting can take up a lot of room, so when choosing the size of your cakes, make sure there is going to be lots of space on all sides of your cake.
- Use cardboard covered in foil to make a little base for your cake to stand on. Make sure that the base fits snuggly into your bento so that it won't slide around. A little dab of frosting under the cake should also help keep everything in place.
- When working this small, use pastry tips that do the work for you (ie. a star tip to make flowers) and relax. Since everything is so tiny, mistakes aren't nearly as noticeable (at least that's what I like to tell myself).
- Refrigerate your cake between rounds of frosting. The cold will harder the frosting a bit on the cake and make it easier for you to add accents. Also, the harder frosting comes in a bit handy in case you slip a little when lowering your cake into the bento. -Often it can be easier to decorate the top of the cake once it is already in the bento. This way you don't have to worry about ruining any boarders placing the cake in the bento. -You can slice your cake in half and add a little surprise in the middle. I used a layer of boysenberry jam.
Oh, and because I was having such a good time with the cakes and jelly, I whipped up an extra something:
Contents: Marshmallow crispy onigiri, chocolate and peanut butter chips, candy eggs
I like to consider this a shout out to Maki and her onigiri faces. They were made my pushing the warm marshmallow and crispy rice cereal right into my onigiri and sushi molds. If you decide to try this at home make sure you use a little non-stick cooking spray on both your molds and your hands.
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