January 26, 2011

My Kitchen Helpers!

Charlotte
 Photobucket
she refused to let me put her down so she helped me bake 11 cakes!!! In one day :)

LilyAnne
Photobucket
She's my taste tester :)

Recent Cakes

I made my son a monster truck cake for his birthday. I used my chocolate cake recipe and butter cream. I added gel coloring to the butter cream to make it what I needed, and piped the decorations. My biggest disappointment and biggest teaching from this is that the wheels should have been made in small round pans rather than cut out of a 9x13 inch pan. The edges were crumby and made everything look messy. Also, I should have had stronger dowels and denser cake, which is why they started to fall off. I used a boxed cake mix for the wheels and it was just too soft. 


Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

This next cake is the one Becky requested for her birthday. I hand cut the hearts from the fondant and also hand cut the skull. I think it came out adorable. It is my favorite cake by far that I've done. It still has much room for improvement though, but I am learning!!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

This next cake I made for a friend's daughter's birthday. She requested a Justin Bieber cake and all I could come up with was a printed photo on the top. She however, loved this cake! 

Photobucket

I also did a baby shower cake. 3 cakes in one weekend! I made the baby shower cake with butter cream.
Photobucket

Lastly, I made my friend a beautiful birthday cake. I have to admit it was box cake and container frosting because I had short notice but I think I pulled it off. I made it special with some white chocolate dipped strawberries! and a hidden layer of strawberry slices! YUMMMMM!!

Photobucket
Photobucket

Peanut Butter Frosting! YUM!

When I was asking Becky what she wanted for her birthday cake she told me peanut butter frosting. This recipe is delish! It also works well under the fondant, the fondant will not stick.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons of milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners sugar

Place butter and peanut butter in a med. bowl and beat with electric mixer. Gradulally mix in sugar and when it starts to get thick add milk one tablespoon at a time until it is all mixed together and frosting is spreadable. Beat for 3 more minutes until its fluffy. YUM!

Fondant

This is incredibly simple, yet rolls so easily and is so easy to work with!


1 cup of mini marshmallows
2 tbsp water
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

place marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl with water and set for 20 seconds. Pour in sugar, mix together, and knead 5-7 minutes. To color use paste coloring, not food coloring, the liquid will water it down.

Photobucket
Now this recipe doesn't make a lot so to cover various size cakes I would double or triple as needed. Its great though! When I roll it I powder the counter and roller generously otherwise it will stick.

Buttercream Icing

I wanted a quick and easy buttercream icing recipe. This one fits the bill. It is rich and delicious. However it doesn't make a lot so to cover a cake you need at least 1 and a half batches. I am looking for a fluffier version now.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) room temp butter
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners suger
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer, beat butter on med-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping bowl down as needed.

Reduce the speed of your mixer and add in the sugar gradually as each time becomes mixed together. Once it is all incorporated increase the speed to med-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at med-high until light and fluffy, aprox. 5 more minutes. Scrape your bowl as needed.

The buttercream can be stored in refrigerator, let set to room temp before using.

Amazing Chocolate Cake

I seriously could not be happier with this cake recipe. When I first tried a "from scratch" recipe for chocolate cake it looked fine and dandy and held up to the task I gave it but dried out so quickly. This one my friends has at least a 4-5 day shelf life. Perhaps longer, but the cake itself didn't last that long :) We gobbled it up!

Ingreidents are:
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter - softened
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
You'll want to start by preheating your oven to 350* and prepping your pans. I use Baker's Joy spray its grease and flour in one spray can, works great! You can also use your oil spray or shortening to grease your pan and line with parchment paper. However you usually prep your pan is fine.

Stir together the cocoa powder and boiling water, set aside to cool. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set those aside as well.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the cocoa mix. Mix only until cobined. Divide evenly between your prepared pans if you're not using just a 9x13 or 12" round cake pan.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


Bake 18-22 minutes for 9 inch pans, a bit longer for larger or deeper pans. Use a toothpick to test the cake and when you can poke the center of the cake and the toothpick removes cleanly it is done! Cool on a wire rack. If you remove your cake from the pan to cool you'll want to set your wire rack on wax paper because the top (soft side) of the cake will stick to the rack/counter. It easily comes off the rack when tipped back over and its fully cool so don't worry about that.

Photobucket

When I made my son's monster truck cake (will post that soon) I used both this recipe and a box mix. I used the box mix to make his truck's wheels, it fell apart. Needless to say, what I was getting at is that the guests would rather have eaten this recipe over the box mix. It is so very moist!