January
24
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 24-01-2009

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Crusting cream cheese buttercream on a red velvet birthday cake with gumpaste stars and edible decorations Once people find out you make cakes, look out! I recently made this cake for a friend’s daughter who was turning 17. She wanted a red velvet cake and her favourite colour is turquoise. Those were the sum of the instructions I got. I have daughters so it was pretty easy to come up with a design I thought she’d like. Firstly, I had to research just what was this red velvet cake which has lately become a bit of a National obsession and just what flavour is RED? 😉 After scouring books and asking questions it became apparent that red velvet cake and cream cheese icing are quite often a popular and successful pairing. But I wanted the look of fondant and the taste of cream cheese. As luck would have it I found this fabulous recipe for “Crusting Cream Cheese Buttercream” on the RecipeZaar website courtesy of one of their members. THANKS!

Recipe – Crusting Cream Cheese Buttercream

SERVES 1 , 4-5 cups (change servings and units)

Ingredients :

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
3 1/2 lbs sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.   Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese and extracts. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until nice and creamy. If you want whiter icing, try to use butter without dyes available at most health food stores.

2.   This recipe is for a stiff consistency. For a thinner consistency, use 3 pounds of powdered sugar instead.

3.   If you want a very smooth cake, let the cake sit for 15 minutes after icing (longer for a thinner icing). Then using your spatula or fondant smoothing tool (this works best)and smooth it with a plain, non-patterned Viva paper towel. To do this, take your paper towel and lay it on your icing (after it crusts) and lightly rub over the paper towel with your hand, spatula or fondant smoothing tool to get a smooth surface. If the icing sticks to the paper towel, you didn’t let it “crust” long enough. Stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to let it “crust” then try again. If you let it dry too long it will get harder to achieve the smooth look.

4.   This recipe will ice, fill and decorate an 8″ double layer cake with icing left over.


When a buttercream is called “crusting” it means that it dries out and hardens enough to be smoothed with a paper towel and/or your smoothing tool. It doesn’t get as hard as royal icing but hard enough to handle. If your room is warm or the icing starts to get sticky you can pop the cake back in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes until it firms up again. If you like the look of fondant but not the taste this can be smoothed to achieve the same visual appeal. I made the first red velvet cake but it just wasn’t “red” enough. It looked more like chocolate cake that had a red tint to it. So I remade both the 12×12 and the 6×6 cakes again and this time they were RED! They also turned out to be very moist and tasty. I made some gumpaste from a Nicholas Lodge recipe and then proceeded to make various sized stars to which I inserted wires and painted with edible silver and edible turquoise glitter. Then I coloured some gumpaste to a turquoise shade, made a plaque for her name and a few more stars for good measure. I sprinkled the top of the cake with a little more glitter and called it done. My friend Susan was so happy with the cake I made for her daughter she cried. 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MORGAN! Things I learned from this cake adventure… RED velvet cake gets on EVERYTHING and leaves a stain – be warned! Stick wired objects into the cake AFTER you drive across town to deliver it – they wobble a LOT! Happy baking! ~ Colleen 🙂

January
24
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 24-01-2009

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50th birthday cake travels 500 miles to surprise party in Omaha Nebraska.  Chocolate-yellow marble cake with mocha filling and chocolate ganache frosting.My friend Curt turned the big 50 recently. His wife Kristi and family threw him a party in Omaha’s Old Market area. I offered to make the cake and also wanted to surprise him by just showing up at the party.

I made him a four layer chocolate/yellow marble cake with a mild coffee flavoured ganache as filling. I also covered the cake in a ganache frosting and made chocolate tombstones as decoration. The board was also covered in a swirl of different coloured chocolate. My husband and I packed the cake in a heavy duty box surrounded by ice packs to make the long 500 mile journey from Oklahoma City to Omaha Nebraska and set off about 4:30am on the Saturday morning of the party.

The trip was going well until we were about 20 minutes south of Wichita Kansas. It had been raining heavily during the week and we totally disregarded the Turnpike truck with the big arrow on one of the side exit ramps. It wasn’t flashing or out in the middle of the interstate so all must be ok. Not two minutes later the traffic came to a halt.

So we sat on Interstate 35 North for an hour before a nice police officer came to tell us that there was impassable water over the road just ahead of us and we could drive up the inside of the trucks and turn through the 4ft high median where there was a break. Long story short… We arrived in Omaha about two hours late but they all got to enjoy the cake and Curt was really surprised. The restaurant Chef said he and the staff thought it was one of the best cakes they had tasted in a long time! Yay! Happy Birthday Curt xx.

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January
18
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 18-01-2009

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andrea It’s my daughter Andrea’s birthday today and I just wanted to wish her a wonderful day.  She likes carrot cake so I will have to make her one and get it to her soon!  Love you and miss you!!  xxx

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