A place for all things cake...recipes, ideas and pictures...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Frozen Buttercream Transfers

This particular cake was an experiment, of sorts, since I was intent on trying out a new technique, not to mention that I didn't have the time or patience to carve a dumptruck. A FBCT is just what it sounds like, frozen buttercream image that you transfer onto the cake.

It can be a very tedious process. I don't recommend it, unless you have a couple of days to work on it. It basically works like a painting, except that you start with the details and work backwards. Have your picture under a piece of wax paper so it comes off easily after your done.

For this particular picture, we started with the black outlines, wheels, lifting mechanism, and any other black details.

Freeze for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is better.

Next we did the darker yellow detailing on the back of the truck, plus the white details.

Freeze again.

Then we filled in all the yellow on the truck.

Freeze again, and this time at least an hour.

The last step was to cover the entire picture with green buttercream that matched the fondant that the cake was covered in. Make sure to use a generous amount since this fills in any holes between the other parts. Also, be sure to smooth out the top so that it's smooth when it becomes the back of the transfer.

Freeze again, overnight if possible.

When you're ready to put it on the cake, flip it over onto the cake so that the top becomes the back and peel the wax paper off of it. At this point, you will want to trim the edges with some type of border. We chose M&M's for ours, but you can use a shell or bead border too.

Cake details:

The cake is a 9x13x6 chocolate cake with chocolate chip buttercream. It's covered in green MMF. The "dirt" on top is crushed chocolate teddy grahams.
Emily and I had a lot of fun making this cake, and the birthday boy enjoyed it too. He especially loved the M&M's.

A word about Buttercream Roses

I learned a very helpful hint from my Wilton instructor about making these roses. She told my class to use the Wilton premade white icing in the small can. It's the perfect stiff consistency to make flowers. Once I tried it, I never looked back. I could never get my buttercream smooth enough to make flowers. My roses always tore. Now I try to keep some of it around, just in case I need to make flowers for something. It colors really well so it's not a problem to use.

I recommend this stuff to anyone who wants to make handmade buttercream flowers for a cake.

The 5 hour cake

The boss man decided to come tell me last Monday (3/29) that he was leaving early that day to go get married. WHAT!!!!!! Yep, I heard him right. He was leaving early to go get married that afternoon, and he never mentioned it to anyone. Being that I am the secretary in my department, it fell on me to scramble together flowers and a cake for him for the next day. Ordered the flowers that afternoon (with special instructions for no pink flowers), and then started planning the cake. My mind was in overdrive already because I had such a short time to throw something together.

Fortunately, I had some green MMF already made so I decided to start with that and build the rest of the cake from there. He's not a big sweets eater so I made a simple french vanilla cake with chocolate chip buttercream filling. I rolled the MMF on an impression mat to give it some texture. While the cake was baking, I made 8 buttercream roses in 2 different sizes. Fortunately, the roses decided to cooperate with me that day. Anyone who makes buttercream roses knows that there are days when they just don't want to behave. I wrote "Congratulations" across the cake and put the roses around it, and I put a simple bead border around the bottom. Not my best cake ever, but definitely not bad for only 5 hours worth of work.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow fondant

I tried working with chocolate marshmallow fondant yesterday, and it was a disaster. It got rock hard, and nothing I did would soften it up. I finally gave up and threw the entire batch in the trash can. This bring me to an interesting point. There are some things that you can do to MMF to soften it up if it gets hard.

1. Microwave the fondant for around 15 to 20 seconds. This heats it up and makes it manageable. This is also good if the fondant is cold and you don't have time to let it come to room temp on its own.

2. Knead some shortening into it. This helps if the fondant is dry. It's messy, but usually works.

In my case, neither of these worked on my chocolate fondant. I will definitely have to ask someone, who is smarter than I am, why this didn't work. Rest assured that I will post an answer if I get one.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Before I go any further...

In my last post, I mentioned my friend Emily. I'm going to take a moment to mention that she's my best friend, and partner in "cake" crime. :-) She and I have known each other since junior high, were roommates in college, and now work on cakes together. She decided that after her son was born (he's 3 now), that she wanted to be the "cool" mom who made all of his birthday cakes and always had something unique on the birthdays. Even though I'd been to culinary school, she'd never decorated a cake before. We attempted a couple of cakes, and then decided to take the Wilton classes together at our local Michael's store. She is very artsy so this is right up her alley. Word is starting to spread about the cakes that we do so we're getting more requests for them. We also make cake balls, cheesecake bites, brownie bites, cupcakes, and decorated cookies.
As I get to the cakes that we did together, I will mention her many contributions. There are a couple that have beautiful details on them which I can take absolutely no credit for.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Diva cake part 2

I forgot to add something funny that was said while I was working on this cake. Emily's husband is an engineer and had the nerve to tell me that the diamond on the top tier were crooked. He asked if he should go get his laser level to help. He doesn't even realize how badly I wanted to make him eat that laser level by that point. :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The "Diva" cake

This was made the a coworker's cousin. When I initially talked to her, she wanted a topsy turvy cake. I have never made one of those before, was honest with her about that. She changed her mind to one that was flat on the top and carved in on the sides. I hadn't done one of those either, but it was a little easier to think about than the topsy turvy cake.

The top tier of the cake is strawberry margarita cake, and the bottom tier is chocolate fudge. Both tiers of the cake are covered with marshmallow fondant from the recipe that I posted earlier. I highly recommend the marshmallow fondant for those who like working with fondant. You would probably never know it from the pictures, but I had a problem with the top tier falling apart. I had to be extra careful with it because it wanted to give way once the fondant was added.
I'm glad it turned out as cute as it did, because I really had my doubts. I'm not a pink person and wasn't convinced that all this pink and black would be cute together on a cake. I was a little disappointed that the birthday girl wasn't there when I arrived to set it up, because I like to leave knowing that the client likes the cake. I heard from her the next day saying that she loved it.
All of the pink stones on the ribbon were placed individually. She wanted sparkle on the ribbon and I couldn't find a ribbon with sparkle on it, so I had to make my own. The same stones were hand placed on the top tier around the diamonds. All of those diamonds are hand cut, as are the zebra stripes. It was a lot of work and I actually have blisters on my hands from working with the fondant so much.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Marshmallow Fondant

Last night, Emily and I made our very first batch of marshmallow fondant. We're working on a birthday cake for tomorrow, and decided to give it a try. It was so easy to make, and it colors so well. For those that work with fondant on a regular basis, you know how important it is for a fondant to color well. It also tastes so good.

Here's the recipe that we used. I pulled this off of Cake Central so I'm in no way taking credit for this recipe.

Crisco for coating bowl
16 oz mini marshmallows
1 tsp clear vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
2 Tbsp water
2lb bag powdered sugar

1. Grease inside of microwave safe bowl with Crisco
2. Put marshmallows, flavorings, and water into the bowl
3. Microwave on High for 60 seconds. If not completely melted, stir and microwave at 30 sec intervals.
4. Put powdered sugar into large mixer bowl. (fit stand mixer with dough hook)
5. Mix until well incorporated.
6. Prepare work surface with sifted powdered sugar.
7. Turn fondant out onto work surface. Knead fondant into a loaf. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap for at least 1 hour before using.
8. To store fondant: Wrap in plastic wrap, and then put into resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Fondant will keep in the fridge for weeks.

If you try this recipe out, let me know how you like it.

First One

Probably the most interesting thing that I do in my spare time is make cakes. It's a passion of mine, but I have sworn that I would never work in the restaurant business again. I had the job from hell, and will never work for someone else in a restaurant.

One thing that I've come to realize is that there are some funny stories behind some of the cakes that I do. I don't always get to tell those stories when I post my pictures on Facebook or on Cake Central. I thought this would be a good place to tell those stories.

As I find all of my pictures, I'll post them along with any stories about making them. Hope everyone enjoys reading them.