A quirky little museum in our town held a baking contest this past weekend. Entrants were asked to submit a baked good inspired by an exhibit. This museum is most famous for housing the bloodstained flag that was used to cradle President Abraham Lincoln's head after he was shot.
Some locals were actually in the production of Our American Cousins that fateful evening at the Ford's Theater. One of them ripped down one of the flags adorning the theater and put it under the injured president's head. The flag was kept and passed down in the family from generation to generation until it was donated to the museum.
I took a tour a few weeks ago to find some inspiration and was determined to stay away from the Lincoln's flag theme because it was too obvious. My first ideas were to recreate these theatrical golden boots.
Then I went upstairs and found an exhibit on Father Francis (Frank) Craft and became so lost in his story, I knew I had to make something to represent him.
Frank Craft was a priest, a doctor and was present at Wounded Knee. A renaissance man, he studied in Europe and spoke 4 Indian languages. His first contact with the Sioux Indians was as a missionary. He became so close to them that he was offered a chief position with one of the tribes and he requested an Indian burial even though he was a Catholic priest. The relics of his exhibit contributed by him included this pair of beaded moccasins. When I saw them I knew I had found my baking inspiration.
For the cake itself, I stayed with the Indian theme and used a recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk layer cake I found on Tasty Kitchen. (Yep. Finally got rid of the buttermilk!) My go to vanilla buttercream recipe from Magnolia bakery was the perfect pairing.
The moccasins were fashioned from leftover homemade chocolate marshmallow fondant from the llama cupcakes . I almost went blind arranging the sprinkles to imitate the beading.
So how did I fare?
These were the other entries:
A Rainbow Trout Cake, A Sugar Cookie flavored American Flag Cake with the famous bloodstain on it, Historical Nooses.
Vinyl Records Cookies (Chocolate chip covered oreos), Abraham Lincoln face made out of fudge (my favorite), WWII Bomber Chocolate Cookies.
The entries were judged by the following:
Best Historical Representation
The winners were (in the order above)
American Flag Cake
Chocolate Chip Covered Oreos
My moccasins, even though everyone oohed and ahhed over them, did not win anything. It's ok. I love being part of the community and participating in local events. So I'm already thinking about what I can make for next year's contest.
Also I was mostly pleased about how the cake came out. Dense, moist with a slight brown sugar flavor. It was delicious.