Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rock Cake

My aspiring culinary artist, sister-in-law, Mariah, had a birthday and she asked me to make a cake for her. She said that her favorite color was blue so I wanted to have a blue theme for the cake.  My wonderful husband Adam and I love books, so naturally we like book stores, we stop by Barnes and Noble fairly regularly, and I go straight to the cook books and he goes to nature/religion/hiking books. As I was looking last time I found this cake decorating book that had some cool ideas. One I really liked was a cake that had rock candy all over it. I thought it looked very cool. So I took that idea and ran with it all the way to ABC Cake decorating store in Phoenix. I found some rock candy and was ready to roll. Here is the finished product:

I made Italian butter cream and I split it into 3 different colors, all different shades of blue. I swirled them altogether on the cake, then added the rock candy. Good news: She loved it. I think it turned out pretty cool.

Desert cake = delicious cake!

A few weeks ago we had the assignment to make a dessert cake. The purpose of a dessert cake is to taste amazing. So it is more of a focus on flavor and less of a focus on decoration. We were in pairs  for this project, so my partner and I decided on a marble cake as our base. So we baked our marble cake (white and chocolate swirled together) then we torted it and filled it with this soft creamy cream cheese mousse intermingled with fresh raspberries, then put on the top layer of cake, and covered it in a chocolate Italian butter cream. Now Italian butter cream is a very deceptive frosting. Its texture and taste is very light, and could make you think that it is almost healthy, but I assure you it most definitely is not. The base of Italian butter cream is a meringue (egg whites whipped with sugar) then you slowly add in sugar that has been cooked to 240 degrees with some water, then you add butter, and some more butter, and some more butter. It is delicious, and with the addition of chocolate it is even more amazing!
So with our further adieu, I would like to present to you, THE DESSERT CAKE!

 It is not much to look at, but what it is lacking in fanciness it makes up for in utter scrumptiousness.  I only got one picture and it was with my phone on my camera, ( not our fancy camera we bought ourselves after christmas) but it turned out okay.

Kissing Cake

My next assignment for class was a children's cake. Now for this cake we had to use marzipan to mold little characters for the cake. Marzipan is made of almond paste, so it tastes like almond extract and it is the consistency of play dough. For my cake I did not want to try to make a character that every one would recognize, so I made my own. I wanted to do something a bit whimsical and fun. I had this idea of a it being "woodsy" themed... so I made the cake itself look like a cut of tree, with my little kissing couple on top. Here are some pictures of the final product:

The cute couple on top, the mushrooms, and red flowers are all molded out of marzipan, all the rest is just American butter cream. American butter cream is just butter or shortening or both whipped with powdered sugar and a little milk, it is probably the easiest butter cream to work with, because it is very stable with the addition of the shortening.

Another element of the cake that we worked on was a two toned cake, the sides are a different color from the top, it was the first time I had ever done this. It gave it a cool affect.

Class Cakes: Birthday Cake

During the last month in my cake decorating class we have been doing  different cakes, focusing on different techniques. On this cake we focused on piping, we practiced chocolate writing, drop flowers, and cornelli lace (the squiggly pattern). I had to incorporate all of these techniques into one cake.  Here is a picture of my cake:

 There is a piece cut out of it because my teacher checked every ones layer to make sure the cake and filling was even.  When you are building a cake you bake layers, after they are done you have to level off the round top, then tort (cut the layer in half or thirds, depending on the eight of the layer) the cake. For this cake we baked one layer and torted it once, then filled it with butter cream. I think this cake turned out pretty good, my teacher really liked it. Here are some more pictures: