Thursday, March 8, 2012

Skate Cake

As tradition goes I made my daughter a special "fancy" cake for her birthday.  Originally she asked for a flower cake with a number 6 on it.  As time drew closer to making the cake she changed her mind and said she wanted an ice skating cake and she wanted it to be blue.  So . . . let the cake making begin.  

This year, as I blog about this event I decided to "write down" all the recipes I used so I didn't have to search and search next time for them.  (Now, I will just have to search for this post)  For the look of the cake I searched and looked at many pictures but pulled most of my ideas from these two cakes.

Ok, so lets talk cake . . . . I'm not really sure my daughter even likes cake so when it comes to flavor she didn't really care.  When I suggested chocolate and peanut butter she totally went for it (our family are huge Reese's PB Cup fans!).  I found this recipe for the cake and used this recipe  for the filling and then I had a brilliant idea to cut up peanut butter cups and put that in the filling.  
When carving and decorating cakes it's a good idea to have a crumb coat and then put a second layer of your frosting.  The crumb coat will seal any crumbs from the cake so they don't show through the decorating layer.  This is especially important when you are decorating with frosting, giving a nice clean look.  I saw that this was very important when I made my daughter's Rocket cake.  This year I did a crumb coat because . . . I have always done a crumb coat.  (Not really a good reason to do something.)  I decided that doing a crumb coast is not only not necessary when decorating with fondant but detracts from the cake's flavor.  Because I was making a peanut butter frosting the crumb coat, a simple powder sugar frosting, detracted from the flavor. - Lesson Learned (hopefully) - Ok, so back to what I did with this cake.  When decorating with fondant it's a good idea to use butter cream frosting as it makes a good glue to help fondant stick to the cake.  I used this peanut butter butter cream recipe.  I also made my own fondant, I made two batches one using this recipe and added blue food coloring and almond flavor into it before I added the powder sugar.  The second batch I used this recipe which is basically the same as the first.
Covering the cake with fondant did not go as smoothly as last year . . . still learning!  First mistake was rolling more than we needed and letting it sit too long after rolling it out.  Our first attempted we failed and had to try again.  The second attempt I think we used too much crisco making it too soft and "melty".
I learned from my new friend some very helpful things about modeling with fondant.  You can use a lot more crisco on the fondant than I thought, it can make it too wet though, but, then you just have to add more powder sugar to it and it's back to normal.  I think I found that when adding so much food coloring to the fondant can cause it to dry and crack. But when making shapes you can just rub and work with the fondant and smooth out cracks and seems.  We tried to make the ice skate out of complete fondant but it didn't work,  The fondant wasn't firm enough and kept falling down and not holding it's shape.  (I would like to try adding Tylose Powder to the fondant to make it into gum paste, which is more firm and stiff.)  We ended up using a cut out shape from card board for the ice skate and a hanger shaped into the number 6.  I didn't have silver food color so I bought pearl dust and painted with it.  I also bought white and blue pearl dust and used that to give the cake a sparkle to it.  We put snow flake "sprinkles" on top as well to give a snow look (not shown well in the picture).

The taste of the cake was very good!  As I cut it the smell of peanut butter brought me to a happy place.  The filling was by far the best part!  I thought the chocolate cake was a bit dry but the frosting was very moist and so the dryness of the cake really balanced that out.  Just about everybody loved the fondant and ate almost all of it. 

Overall I was very pleased with the cake, it wasn't too hard (I was going for simple) and my daughter said it was the best part of her birthday!  I'm still learning and hope to make even more improvements next year. 

1 comment:

Jeremy Carman said...

You forgot to mention who photoshopped the letters of Anna's name to use as a stencil... :)

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