by Theresa Bembnister, Associate Curator
While conducting studio visits in preparation for Snack, which runs through September 3 in the Judith Bear Isroff Gallery, conversation inevitably meandered toward the edible. Pizza, milk, tater tots and deviled eggs are just a few of the foodstuffs that came up for discussion. With those exchanges in mind, I invited participating artists to submit recipes for the museum blog. To my delight, Brandon Juhasz and Kristen Cliffel responded with lists of ingredients and instructions for foods with strong conceptual links to their works in the exhibition. Brandon sent along an over-the-top how-to video for what is perhaps best described as a meat mass. (Vegetarians and vegans: consider yourself forewarned.) Kristen, whose experience as a wife and mother inspired her sculpture The Dirty Dozen, shared a recipe for her son’s favorite birthday cake.
Epic Meal Time’s TurBacon “A bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a pig”
Submitted by Brandon Juhasz
Brandon Juhasz, What I Want To Be When I Grow Up, 2011, Inkjet print, 24 x 16 in. Courtesy of the artist.
My work is really a satire on consumption as well as a metaphor for the body and existence—the mortal coil, if you will. I hope that the viewer is both attracted to as well as repulsed by the picture. Often times those two emotions go hand in hand with the experience of desire. The overwhelming control that desire can have is also something that went into the making of this picture.
With that in mind I want to share this video.
I couldn’t find the recipe transcribed but this video has stuck with me since I first saw it 2 years ago.
Chocolate Cake, Frosting and Bourbon Cocktail
Submitted by Kristen Cliffel
Kristen Cliffel, The Dirty Dozen, 2010, Low fire clay, glaze, lustre, wood and Lucite, 32 x 23 x 23 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of the artist in honor of Mitchell D. Kahan 2012.102 a-n.
My son’s favorite birthday cake is the traditional Hershey’s chocolate cake. The recipe is from the back of the cocoa tin. I’ve been using it for years. I modify the frosting to be one that he loves and usually will do something jazzy on top, depending on where his interests are that year.
I always feel like a child’s birthday is also a celebration and a sort of congratulatory event for the parents as well—successfully bringing the child to that moment in life.
The artist’s son with his favorite birthday cake. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Traditional Hershey’s Chocolate Cake: From the Tin of Cocoa
First, get your oven hot. 350 F is what they recommend.
Now cut some parchment circles for your cake pans—very important. I like to use three 8” pans so my cake is nice and high when I layer it up with frosting.
Butter and cocoa the cake pans.
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Sift these ingredients so they are well mixed and the particles are happy together.
Another bowl. Now for the wet stuff:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons good vanilla, like Madagascar (vanilla bean paste is good too)
1 cup boiling water… I know. Boiling water, but it works…
OK, mix all the wet ingredients except for the water… mix them and then add to the dry mix and mix for a couple minutes.
When this is all mixed well, add the boiling water and mix. It will be soupy. Don’t worry.
Pour into your prepared pans and put into your hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes or so … check with a toothpick.
Cool cakes completely. They will pop out nicely because of your diligence with the parchment and cocoa/butter in pans.
Frost when completely cool. This is the fun part!
Chocolate cake by Kristen Cliffel. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Frosting: Malted Belgian Chocolate (From another cake recipe—not mine. I just hijacked it for this cake.)
One pound butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups Ovaltine malted powder
Pinch of salt
8 ounces Belgian chocolate chopped, melted over a double boiler and cooled
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Whip your butter and sugar together for a minute or so…nice and fluffy.
Add the malt, vanilla salt and beat on low for a bit.
Now add the melted and cooled chocolate and beat until smooth … 2 minutes or so.
OK, now add the whipping cream and beat on high for a minute or two.
This is the most lovely frosting for this chocolate cake!!!! Have fun frosting and decorating it. This is really the best part. This frosting is best in winter due to the whipping cream added. If it’s a summer birthday, make sure you have air-conditioning.
Kristen Cliffel, The Dirty Dozen (detail), 2010, Low fire clay, glaze, lustre, wood and Lucite, 32 x 23 x 23 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of the artist in honor of Mitchell D. Kahan 2012.102 a-n.
I like to put some cloves and a cinnamon stick in the bourbon for at least a couple of hours before serving. Strain out the cloves and cinnamon and then mix your cocktail.
1-1/2 jiggers of bourbon. Don’t be cheap. Use something nice like Maker’s Mark.
1/2 jigger of sweet vermouth
2 nice cherries, luxardo or make your own (steep them in ginger and bourbon overnight)
Bitters of your choice. I like orange for this drink.
Orange peel for garnish and rim
Ok, so you put your ice in the glass, get ready… Mix two of these for sure, I hope you are sharing with someone.
Pour your bourbon and your vermouth into a shaker, add bitters. Stir and swirl around the glass gently.
Garnish your ice with the cherries on the toothpick. Rim your glass with the orange peel. Pour the cocktail into the glass, over the cherries.
Place your orange peel inside the glass but sticking up a bit.
Toast to the other person across from you. Enjoy!!!