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Posts Tagged ‘orange’

The type of cake I never thought I’d make… But then I volunteered for the smash cake for a friend’s son’s birthday before knowing the theme, so here comes a sports cake! Wasn’t sure how ‘smashable’ fondant would be, so I made an extra cupcake in buttercream only, but smashed by the little guy that big ball was!

Used Wilton’s ball pan set, with my most favorite wet towel strips wrapped around each pan, resulting in two perfectly leveled, evenly baked half-spheres! (My two previous Wilton ball pan attempts have been disastrous, as without the strips cake bakes to a crisp on the edges while the middle is still wet and mushy.)

Dr. Oetker organic chocolate cake mix with chocolate buttercream (melted Belgian chocolate with 54% cocoa content, organic unsalted butter, Ghirardelli chocolate power, a touch of powder sugar and organic heavy cream) in 8 tortes — birthday boy, I was told, was very fond of chocolate! That fairly small cake took 1lb of butter for filling and frosting…

The baseball had some unintended but very realistic texture… I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to smooth fondant over a sphere, so to prevent overstretching, cracking and tearing,  I rolled the fondant (Choco-pan) on a thin piece of plastic (in retrospect, I don’t think I would have been able to do it otherwise, the shape is very tricky…).  Then, I flopped the fondant, with the plastic, over the sphere and proceeded to smooth it on, still without removing the plastic. It resulted in tiny, little, uniformly shaped, very shallow indents/folds, all around the ball – just like leather! “Stitching” those baseballs was very time consuming as I rolled fondant very thin and cut it in tiny little pieces for each stitch… I’m pretty exited about how the cake ended up, considering I’ve never seen a baseball up-close and personal… Giants logo was free-handed on fondant. My Halloween serving plates ended up the perfect match!

Oh, and The Statement of The Party – according to birthday boy’s mom:
I don’t want that one because it has chemicals in it” – my 4 1/2 year-old precious exclaimed, rightfully refusing a bottle of flavored water! My friend shrugged to the greatly amused crowd: “His parents are vegetarian.” – and understanding nods followed… Should we be afraid of creating a monster or give ourselves a deserved pat on the back for raising such a reasonable offspring?! 🙂 

 

 

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30+1 Plumeria Blossoms Cake

 For the 30-th birthday of a good friend. Inspired by a cake by ‘rittenhouse’. My first attempt at gum paste and painting on edibles, took about 4 hours and several “drafts”… Petals are scored with a wood grain roller for texture. The flowers turned out fine, but they don’t look like plumeria, color ended up too intense and the mini-muffin pan where they dried closed them up too much… 10” chocolate cake in 4 tortes, with 2 baskets of fresh strawberries and whipped chocolate ganache filling and SMBC frosting.

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Cheerful Topsy-Turvy for Mom

 My very own, very first topsy-turvy cake for my mom’s birthday today. She said she wanted nothing wintery, instead something cheerful and bright… Cake is my (her!) staple flourless walnut in 12 tortes for top and 4 for bottom, with rum simple syrup; filling is similar to chocolate SMBC, but with egg yolks instead of whites – is there a name for it?… The perfect cake to decorate – butter holds it solid and it can be carved and handled easily, yet it is super moist when served… Bad lighting, it was 3am…

 Cheerful Topsy-Turvy for Mom Collage

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Wii and controller were unharmed in the making of this cake (unless refrigerating them counts)...

In the peace and quiet of the midnight hours a couple of months ago, I was mindlessly Googling “unique”, “fancy”, “strange”, “elaborate” and the like attributes, placed next to the word “cake”. I was quite determined, too, to steal creative ideas and techniques from anyone’s edible pieces of art, preferably ones without a price tag and “here’s how to order” button.  

And then, the most bizzare cake-related image materialized in front of my eyes, after following a link on page 7 or 17, not sure anymore… a Martha Stewart Wii Cake!!! On the cover of Wired magazine, mind you! I had to have it! It would be full of elaborate directions, an impossible-to-duplicate recipe (without spending 72 straight hours in a kitchen with five ovens, an industrial sized prep island and a team of a dozen bakers) and most of all – it would make me a hero in the geek community of my husband’s friends when I made him a Wii cake for his birthday.  

18 hours later, when hubby brought the magazine home from the office collection of a co-worker with no use for it, I was wondering if I got a defective copy with missing cake pages. After skipping though it forwards and back – twice – I still hadn’t found the five pages a cover story deserves… Eventually, after having diligently read through two-thirds of the magazine, I saw the tiny, useless blurb. Oh well. Nonetheless, the cover was still there – quite enough for inspiration, I suppose. I kept joking with my husband that I was going to make him a Wii cake. I had some other ideas brewing at the time, and in fact a plan for another Halloween/Birthday cake was already set in motion… 

Anyway, hubby’s Halloween birthday party came and went on the 27-th. The primary BloodRayne 2 chocolate raspberry cake fortress was an absolute hit. The secondary pumpkin-shaped, pumpkin-tasting cake also received compliments – in fact, people didn’t realize it was a cake until I sliced throught it! – they thought it was a decoration, yeah! But then, there was cake number three… Can you tell I go overboard in the number of cakes I make for a party?… I must have easily spent $150 just in supplies for those cakes, let alone the sleepless nights to bake and decorate them… Crazy? Maybe.

The fact is, for me it is a form of meditation and self expression… I get to forget about my mile-long, never tamed to-do list at work, I get to listen to the midnight silence, empty of the shrilling chatter and royal demands of our two adorable little guys, and remind myself that occasionally, the “I” in me still exists…  Like an artist watching a painting emerge with each brush stroke, seeing how a shapeless fluid brown mass turns into an evenly baked smooth and fluffy cake layer, which in turn absorbs the fresh, tangy raspberry flavor, to come to full harmony with the layers of smooth melted chocolate and cream — oups, that’s the wrong cake, sorry, check BloodRayne’s castle in the above flavour :-)… That’s a cake right?! And then the really fun part begins, when fondant, just like clay, can be colored and shaped in all things imaginable…

So there was cake number three – flourless walnut cake with meringue cocoa buttercream… Uncut. The other two cakes were so big that even after more than a dozen families left the party with to-go boxes of both cakes, number three was uncut.  

Then, it hit me. Cake number three had been waiting to become a Wii! It was its destiny all along! The night after the party I thought about it… The day after the party I looked at it, peacefully lying in the fridge, nicely cured but completely naked in its buttercream crumb coat.  I also happened to see this great attempt at making a Wii cake before the Wired cover… And I knew what I was doing that night…  

But a white Wii with gray base was already made, nothing original about that… There was still a day left before Halloween, and I did have some fondant left from an orange pumpkin and a black fortress… While my husband’s Wii and controller spent a few hours next to sugar and sharp tools, they were completely unharmed in the making of the cake (unless refrigerating them counts… just joking).

About this cake:

It is called Walnut Cake – it is flourless — and is made from a recipe in a cookbook dated 1962, with yellowish pages and orange fraying linen hard cover that my aunt bestowed upon me back in the days I didn’t know what a cookbook is used for but I vaguely suspected I had to have a “real” one. I could list the recipe in detail, thought I find it more curious to summarize that I made three batches for this 5-layer 9”x13” sheet cake, and among a couple of secret ingredients I used 33 eggs (you read it correctly, thirty-three eggs), 7.5 cups of powdered sugar, 3 cups of white sugar, 2 cups of cocoa powder, 7.5 cups of finely chopped walnuts, 3 cups of ground almonds, 1.5 cups semolina, 2lb of butter, rind of 2 lemons and 2 cups of rum. Yes! – 2 cups of rum! Enjoy.

 

It’s just a boring cake… until you flip it to its side…

 

 

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