Monday, November 9, 2009

Wizard of Oz Cake

My mother's birthday is tomorrow, and I promised her a cake. She LOVES The Wizard of Oz, so I decided to go with that. Back to working with fondant and modeling chocolate, I felt much more at home than when I was working with buttercream.

Wizard of Oz Cake

I did not use any new recipes for this cake. I did make a few changes to some of the recipes, but those will be listed below. It is a banana cake with vanilla cream filling, white chocolate fondant, and white modeling chocolate details (shoes and poppies). I put sliced bananas and strawberries between the layers.

I also used luster dust from Wilton to make the shoes and Emerald City sparkle. I think it added a nice touch.


Banana Cake
Vanilla Cream Filling - I added 1/2 cup of butter, softened, to thicken the filling.
White Chocolate Fondant - I used imitation banana extract instead of vanilla extract to give it a slight banana taste.
White Modeling Chocolate

Apple Cake: Last Course 1 Wilton Cake

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I did not particularly enjoy my first cake class because my teacher was a bit of a pill. She didn't really follow the rules the way I wanted her to, and I just didn't get along with her overall. Disappointing, but whatever.

I learned that I'm not a huge fan of working with buttercream and that I hate working with someone looking over my shoulder. I also realized that I do not work well when I only have two hours to do something. My final cake looks okay, I suppose...I wouldn't sell it, and I am sure I could do better. It doesn't really matter, though, right? It just got turned into cake bites for Walter's office.

This is the cake in all its amateur goodness. I was the only one who didn't bring pink/red for the roses. I got scolded for this.

Here are some of my better roses. They're still not great, but apparently the teacher was telling me to hold my piping bag incorrectly. Thanks, Teach.

Here is a rosebud. They were easy to make. I guess I made mine wrong, though. I got scolded because apparently you HAVE to have an odd number of buds on the cake. YOU HAVE TO. I don't know. I just added another bud and shut my mouth.

Here is the fluting done on the borders. My border was a little more white than my cake because I iced my cake with cream cheese frosting. I got scolded for that, too.

On another note, did you know that if you bake a cake, you can still eat it if you're diabetic because all of the sugar bakes out of it?! Yeah, neither did I. My teacher is full of knowledge.


Apple Cake

I made an this Apple Cake recipe from Foodie Two Shoes (I love that blog name, btw). I used the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting from her blog as well, and it was all to die for. The cake tasted like apple crisp, and the frosting was heavenly. It was fantastic.

-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
(For these two ingredients, I used 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice)
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-2 cups packed light-brown sugar
-2 large eggs
-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, two coarsely grated and two diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 by 13 inch sheet cake pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs until well combined. Fold in grated and diced apples. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a pick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for twenty minutes in pans, then invert onto wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

As I said before, this frosting was heavenly. It was the perfect compliment for this cake.

-2 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
-1 stick unsalted butter, softened
-1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Combine cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar until mixture is desired thickness. Stir in vanilla extract.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bananas Foster Cake Bites

Some friends of ours (the ones who ordered the Half-Life Cake back in June) had a fake Halloween wedding. They wanted lots and lots of cake bites. In fact, they ordered 200: 100 chocolate with chocolate buttercream, 50 red velvet with cream cheese frosting, and 50 bananas foster with almond buttercream. And so, last week I went to work. I was sick the beginning of the week and missed the third Wilton cake class, but I only really missed making the ugly little clowns, so not a big loss. Besides, I am not impressed with the teacher.

Anyway, Katie wanted the cake bites to be pretty, not Halloweeny, so I made them normal looking. Then, I sent the extras to work with Walter, and THOSE were full of Halloween goodness. Pumpkins and eyeballs galore.

By the way, I was a cupcake for Halloween. Walter was Charlie Brown in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" In addition to the ghost costume with extra eye-holes, he had a Charlie Brown shirt on underneath:

Bananas Foster Cake

This cake was sooo good. I found the recipe here at Erin's Food Files. I loved her video on the flambeeing, but I hoped my experience would be more fun.

It wasn't. It was disappointing. Very few flames and no fun. Tasty, though, which I suppose is really what matters...

This was also my first time buying alcohol. I turned 21 last month. I am such a grown up. :P

For the Bananas Foster
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-2 ripe, but still firm bananas quartered (halved crosswise, then lengthwise)
-2 tablespoons dark rum
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I did use some whole wheat flour)
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-3 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon dark rum
-Prepared bananas foster
-3/4 cup sour cream

For the Bananas Foster:
1. In a saute pan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook until butter melts and sugar is dissolved (4 to 5 minutes). Add the banana slices and cook until tender, turning once for 1 to 2 minutes per side.
2. Stir together rum and vanilla. Turn off the burner and add the rum mixture to the pan.
3. Using a long match, light the alcohol by placing the flame just in the outer edge of the pan. Stand as far back as possible. The flame should extingish in a few seconds. There will not be nearly as many flames as you expect. Gently shake the pan from side to side to coat the bananas with the sauce. Spoon the bananas into a bowl and set aside.

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add eggs, vanilla, rum and banana to butter mixture. Mix well.
5. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Blend thoroughly but do not overmix.
6. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Almond Buttercream

This was a very smooth buttercream, and the almond went so well with the bananas foster. I found it here at Bake Space.

-1/2 cup butter, softened
-4 1/2 cups confectioners' Sugar
-3/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon Almond extract
-6-7 Tablespoons Milk

1. Cream butter until fluffy. Add other ingredients gradually, mixing until desired consistency.