Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun with Fondant (and CAKE!)- Round #2

Last weekend I decided to do another test cake to prepare for M's 1st birthday fiesta. I wanted to try to make a cake recipe from scratch, practice putting the fondant on the cake again, and try attaching some cut-outs to make sure they would adhere nicely to the cake.  I had leftover fondant from my first attempt that I had stored in the refrigerator by coating it in Crisco and then wrapping it in saran wrap and placing in a ziplock freezer bag.

I first made a Butter Cake using a recipe I found on Wilton's website.  The recipe called for both almond and vanilla extract, but I found the almond extract overpowered the cake and I will eliminate it when I make M's party cake and double the vanilla extract instead.  This cake is pretty heavy and should be good for stacking.  It was also quite moist.  I think it'll be delicious without the overpowering almond flavoring.  I didn't test the filling (I'm just going to wing it), but I'll be making a Strawberry Cream Filling to go in the layers of her cake.  She's already had pureed and whole strawberries, so I'm not worried about allergies with her.  I was going to make a raspberry filling, but I think it'll be easier and less time consuming to just double the strawberry filling recipe and make only that.
Once the cake had cooled, I leveled with a serrated knife (the cake slicer I bought, SUCKED!) and frosted it with buttercream frosting.  I took the fondant out of the fridge in the morning and didn't work with it until evening so it had time to warm to room temperature.  It was so much easier to work with coming out of the refrigerator rather than straight from being mixed.  The first time I placed fondant on the cake it took me 5 attempts.  This time I did it on the first try!  I used some star cookie cutters to make some fondant cutouts and practiced applying them to the cake.  I just dabbed my finger in some water and applied it to the cutout and then stuck it to the side of the cake and they held fast. One thing I have to remember to do before I decorate the cake is to wipe it down with a teeny bit of water to get the confectioners sugar used while rolling it out off the cake as it leaves a powdery look to the fondant.

I have a cake decorating kit from Pampered Chef that I dug out and practiced writing with.  The writing tip is a little wide so the lettes are pretty thick, but I think it'll still work.  I plan on just writing Mariela's name on the cake board as more of a decoration instead of writing directly on the cake.  I feel much more confident now that I'll be successful making her cake now that I've practiced twice.  I had a bad dream a couple weeks ago that it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" to her and I realized I forgot to make the cake!  Perhaps, I was worried about it subconsciously?!  Stay tuned because the next post will be the finished product and I also made a 2nd smaller 6" cake (see below) that I let M smash for an impromptu photo shoot which turned out adorable. :)


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