Category Archives: Fun!

Diddy Dum Diddy Do


Nothing here but these boring cakes.

Supa dupa boring. I mean, simple white buttercream. Unadorned. Undecorated. Ungarnished.

Dull. Plain.

Yep. Bor-RAINBOW.
You saw it! A rainbow cake! This feller took forever to create, but it was so much fun to play with as well.

The batter was simple and delicious, very moist. However, I don’t know if it was just me, but I followed the recipe to a “T” but despite the toothpick coming out clean, the tops of the cakes felt almost unbaked, so I baked them five minutes longer than the recipe recommended. This didn’t dry the cakes out or cause them to be darkened on the edges, but the tops remained the same. Not sticky, but they left a divot. I just leveled them off and was fine and good, I just thought it was odd. I blame the butter.

Wait, what am I saying? Don’t blame the butter! The butter did nothing wrong!

In order to maintain even layers, I took the batter and weighed it in a separate bowl. This made more dishes, so I would weigh the mixing bowl first, write that weight down, then make the batter and weigh it, then take off the weight of the bowl. The batter, for me, weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces, so when that was divided into six portions, each would be 9.6667 ounces, or 9.7 ounces.

I don’t like math, but I do it for you all. You can thank me later.

Then I have to make this

    exponentially

important statement. I bolded it, but if you could do me a favor and imagine some flashing lights around it, that would be greatly appreciated.

DO NOT USE LIQUID FOOD COLORS ONLY USE GEL FOOD COLORS!

If you use liquid food colors, it would offset the delicate balance of liquid to dry ingredients in the batter, thereby messing with the baked product. In other words, it might make it too liquidy in the end with the amount of food color you might use.

Oh, gel food colors are probably about 5 or 6 times more concentrated than liquid food colors, so you will need a lot less. That’s important too. You can find them for cheap at your local craft store in the baking isle, or I get mine at a bakery supply store. You’ll find that they are super easy to use.

I’m telling ya, man, if you don’t use gel food colors, your layers will not be as blinding as these.

All in all, its a pretty normal sized cake once the layers are all stacked up, equalling to about the size of a tall double layer cake. Its not like you baked the amount of batter for three cakes, its basically the amount of a normal cake batter. Where is all this verbage and analyzing coming from? These colors are messing with my brain. Just think, if you make two of these cakes…

That would probably be my reaction too.

Even though the cake wasn’t that tall, it did require a lot of frosting, so I applied a relatively thin amount in between each layer. I do have to admit, I really don’t like massive amounts of frosting, so this amount was adequate, and I sliced really small slices. The one in the picture is an exception. Or was it? Don’t judge.

Now listen. Once your layers have been assembled, don’t dump on a massive amount of frosting and cover the cake right away. You might get crumbs to cover your cake, and we want to deceive! Any indication of color might make your cake followers curious! They may question! To prevent that, spread on a small amount of frosting all over the cake. Like in the picture, you will still see the cake layers pretty well. Now stick your cake in the freezer for about five or ten minutes.

Trust in Clara, you must.

It’s called a ‘crumb coat’, basically, the frosting will catch and hold onto the straying cake crumbs and hold them onto the cake when you frost. By sticking it in the freezer, the crumb coat becomes hard because of the butter, and so the crumbs are cemented to the thin layer of frosting, and they will not invade your lovely white buttercream which you will spread on the outside. The result? Boring, inconspicuous cake. Perfect method of deceit.

Bright and shiny. Ultra colorful. This cake is about as delicious as it is saturated in color. It will make a great birthday cake! Or if you get that sudden urge to make something wacky.

Rainbow Cake via Whisk Kid

White Cake (but not really)
Ingredients
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Method
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

American Buttercream (you may want to double this)
Ingredients
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
4 C. Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1 T. Vanilla Extract
2 T. Milk, plus more if needed

Method
1. In a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until fluffy, about one minute.
2. Add in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until thoroughly combined.
3. Add in vanilla extract and milk. If the frosting is too thick, add in more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting achieves your desired consistency.
4. Frost!

Happy Baking!
Clara

Cherry Pie Expo Part Doux (or however its spelled)

Final day of our fun learning experience! I have a new recipe for tomorrow that is nice and luscious. Ice cream. Pistachio ice cream. At least, I think so, I made it with pistachios, its green, and its nummy. However, I haven’t exactly had pistachio ice cream anymore (don’t. judge. me.). It’s a light version and its very delicious. So I look forward to posting that for tomorrow.

Okay, here is the perfect pie crust.

I actually had room temperature shortening, but the butter was cold, and so that was okay! Anyway, I have always found that using a pastry cutter was essential and easy. Probably because I don’t trust a food processor, I always end up pulsing a bit too much, and thus ending up with a thick, glutenous mass that ends with a…hockey puck. Ahem. Anyway, work with that until you get a crumbly mixture, kind of like cornmeal.
I like to add the water in small increments, until it looks like it is enough. I always end up using less water than called for. Just enough until the mixture comes together in a ball. Not easily, mind you, it will look a bit crackly when you roll it out, it will be a little bit sticky. What’s important is that you just don’t work it very much. Gather it into a ball, put it on a rolling mat (or whatever you use to roll out, dust with a little bit of flour, too), roll it out, press into pie pan. That’s all the work it needs. After this, I like to stick it in the fridge while I make the top crust.
As for the top crust, I just made half of the recipe for the pie crust, so just half everything and roll it out. To make the lattice strips, cut it in about 3/4″ wide strips all the way down. Pour your filling into the prepared crust, and then:

Lay one direction all down the pie, like this. Then.

Pull back every other strip GENTLY (they can break easily). I found it easier to lay the rolling pin behind the pie and lay the strips on it.

Lay down one strip as far back as you can get it, press it to the edges. Pull down the strips that you had up, then pull all of the strips that you haven’t pulled up yet gently and lay them on the rolling pin.

Lay another strip down and press into the edges. Repeat this process until you have run out of strips and you have a pretty basketweave look.

At this point, you can make an egg wash with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 egg yolk, but I was out of eggs (whaaaaaaaat?), so I made a simple syrup by microwaving 1 tablespoon sugar with 1 tablespoon of water until the sugar was dissolved. I brushed this on top, then sprinkled a little more sugar over that. I baked promptly.

See? Purty!

Cherry Pie With Lattice Top Makes 1 9″ pie
Ingredients
FILLING
1 Recipe Cherry Pie Filling

FOR CRUST:
1 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 scant tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Granulated Sugar
6 T. Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/4 C. Vegetable Shortening, cut into chunks
3 T. Water

1 Egg Yolk
2 T. Water

Sugar, for sanding

(to make LATTICE crust, prepare another half of the crust recipe)

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. Prepare cherry pie filling (recipe above) and set aside.
2. Prepare crust: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, whisk together to combine. Add in butter and shortening, and blend using a pastry cutter until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add in water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough clumps together. Combine into a ball and allow to sit for about five minutes, wrap with plastic wrap first.
3. Roll out into a 10″ round, and gently transfer and press into a 9″ pie pan.
4. Pour cherry pie filling in and prepare half of the pie crust recipe for the lattice topping. Roll out to the same thickness as the previous crust.
5. Cut crust into 3/4″ wide strips and lay five or six strips down onto the pie, going the same direction. Gently bring back every other strip on the pie, laying them onto a rolling pin behind the pie pan for support. Lay down a strip over the strips that aren’t pulled back, as far back as possible. Gently bring the strips on the rolling pin down, repeat with the strips that have not been pulled back yet, being sure to space yourself adequately. Repeat this process with every other strip until the lattice is finished.
6. Brush pie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Place pie on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 23 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and bake for 12-13 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden on top.
8. Remove and cool on a rack. Enjoy!

Happy Baking!
Clara

One more day!

Im sorry, I won’t be able to post tomorrow (as with my new every-other day pattern), I am currently out of town for an arts festival that the art department of my school attends every year. I made cookies for the busride, but unfortunately forgot to upload the pictures, I will post those on Saturday.

Until then, enjoy this video:

Happy Baking!
Clara

Where Have YOU Been, Little Lady??

THIS. IS. WHERE!

Its my BIRTHDAY-ON-SATURDAY-BUT-TODAY-IS-MY-“BIRTHDAY”! This cake preoccupied my week, and I’m glad it did. I started it two days ago by making the Marshmallow Fondant (recipe below) and preparing a 4″ cake pan’s worth of cake and a 7″ cake pan’s worth (both the red velvet that I made earlier this week) frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting (Staple Recipes). Surprisingly, I didn’t have to make two batches of the cake, it was the perfect size, I simply adjusted the time. Oh, the fondant was SO. GOOD. First, I started with the fondant two days ago:

Melt your marshmallows in a heat-proof bowl (I have a silicone bowl that I LOVE) with some water. Then, color the mixture BEFORE you add in the sugar, this makes the color uniform.

Then, mix in your powdered sugar until you can’t really mix it anymore with the spatula. Then turn out the mixture onto your sugar’d counter (and spread some shortening on it periodically to prevent sticking/drying out) and knead in the powdered sugar until all is absorbed and there is none left on the counter. This took a long time and was hard, but I told myself that I was getting an ab workout out of it, and so I felt good about myself. Spread the ball with shortening, wrap with plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature for a day. Then the next day (or whenever you need it), you roll it out to 1/8″ thick.

Now for the cake.

Prepare your cake as usual (I used different cake pans and watched it CLOSELY. Look how close that came to overflowing! But it didn’t, this made me feel accomplished), cool it in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely. I went to school for the rest of the day, so that was a good way of ‘cooling completely’. Am I right? Huh? Huh? No..

I’m sorry…

Anyway..

Level and ice your cakes. Though the cooked frosting was super good, nothing quite beats the taste of cream cheese frosting. It makes my life complete. I refrigerated them (this includes the fondant, EEK. No harm done though!) because I’m finicky about cream cheese frosting and letting it sit out. All was fine and good though. Just like me. Fine and good.

I’ll shut up again…

Chill them for a bit to let the icing firm up. I should have done this, but I was impatient and didn’t, the corners might have been sharper if I did, but it’s fine. Roll out the fondant and get the larger tier of the cake.

Then gently lay it over and smooth all of the wrinkles out. This was easier with the bottom tier rather than the upper tier, I had to redo that one…

Cut it with a pizza wheel…

And set aside! Repeat with the upper tier, then forget to take a picture of you taking that completed upper tier, picking it up with a cakelift/large dough cutter, then GENTLY setting it on top of the upper tier. Then ALSO forget to take pictures of you rolling out some chocolate fondant (purchased this, it was really good!), cutting it into strips and circles, brushing the backs with a little water, and adhering them to the cake.

Not bad for someone who hasn’t worked with fondant before, and their only knowledge is watching too many episodes of Ace of Cakes!


(Did you know I like pink and brown? I wasn’t sure if you noticed. It’s not an obvious fact.)

You could say it went well! Dress it up with some sparkly, tall, and DRAMATIC candles.

Or, if you aren’t me, don’t. But I’m me, and so I did. Ha. I’m amazing.

You would think that after all of that effort, I would be dreading cutting into the cake…It hurt a little bit.

But then I ate it in the dim lighting of the restaurant with my friends. It made it all better. The fondant is SO GOOD!!

This has been a good pseudo-birthday…

I love life. Expect posting to be back to normal tomorrow. I’m going to roll into bed now. So full…

Marshmallow Fondant
Ingredients
1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
2-5 tablespoons water
2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Method
To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

Place 3/4 of the confectioners’ sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners’ sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn’t stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

It’s best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.

Happy Baking!
Clara