Monday, April 28, 2014

25th Anniversary Cake in Silver and White

Adding additional levels to a cake, no matter what the celebration, always makes the cake extra special. And adding a texture to the fondant gives it an elegant style.

This 25th Wedding Anniversary cake was made with two tiers and included the traditional 25th anniversary colour of silver in the cake through the use of ribbon.  By tiering the cake, it gives the feel that a wedding is being celebrated (even if it was 25 years ago).

I rolled out the fondant extra thick, so it could stand on its own with an extra edge on the cake tiers. Then I used a chocolate imprint sheet* and placed it on top of my rolled fondant (see below for instructions) with a fondant smoother to ensure I had a good imprint. Then I placed the fondant on the cake with the pattern on the outside.

In the past I have added patterns by hand. It was my first time using an imprint sheet, and I found this to be a fast and simple way of adding elegance to my cake.

What's inside?  One of my signature cakes - the 'Chunky Monkey' made of layers of banana bread cake, peanut butter buttercream and chunks of organic and Fair trade Milk Chocolate (Camino 41% couverture chocolate for professionals). 

The banana cake was heavy, which made it stay in place while this cake was transported by car 2.5 hours. The chocolate chunks also kept the layers from squishing out all the buttercream while traveling!

Here is a visual guide on how I did it:

Sprinkle icing sugar on your counter and roll the fondant out in a large, flat circle (ish).
Prepare your imprint sheet by sprinkling icing sugar on it with a sifter to prevent sticking.
Place the imprint sheet on top of the fondant and use a fondant smoother to press the sheet into the fondant.

Remove the imprint sheet.  Voila!  You have fondant with a pattern on it!

Cover your cake with the imprinted fondant.
For this cake, I did long strips 1/4 inch longer than the height of my tiers.  I also made a circle of patterned fondant for the top of each tier.  I glued the fondant together by brushing on water to make the fondant stick together, then I enhanced the hold by putting white royal icing into the cracks.

I also topped my cake with simple fondant and gumpaste roses.

Roll out long strips of fondant or gummpaste (gumpaste is preferable as it will harden and keep its shape)

Then simply roll tightly in the centre and continue rolling for a rose.  Fold every now and then to add some texturing.

Brush any additional icing sugar off the cake with a dry brush.  Add your ribbon though with a wet brush!  Tip: brush the outside of the ribbon with water to completely smooth out the colour.  Satin ribbon tends to look blotchy when it has gotten wet, so you need the entire ribbon to be wet.  Don't worry!  It will dry shortly, but with a consistent colour.

A patterned cake that was easy to make!
 *You can buy chocolate imprint sheets, and cake texturing mats on Golda's Kitchen website:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Calla Lily Wedding Cake

It is a great idea to match your wedding flowers to your cake, as a way to incorporate a flower theme throughout your wedding.

This Calla Lily Wedding Cake matched the Calla Lilies that were on display throughout the wedding ceremony and the reception. The ribbon also incorporated the colour of the bridesmaids' dresses.

How did we do it?

The Calla Lilies were made with gum paste because the flowers would not lose their shape once the gum paste dried.  We used a small white candy stick with a ball of yellow-coloured gum paste on the end, which we dipped in corn meal to get a textured look.  Water was dabbed on the petal section to hold it together, which worked quite well once the water had dried.

The Calla Lilies were stuck in the cake and held in place with stiff royal icing. A few were placed on the base of the cake after it was delivered to add to the 'flow' effect.

What's inside:

Chunky Chocolate Blitz - The bottom tier had chocolate buttercream with chunks of organic milk and semi-sweet organic/Fair Trade chocolate in between layers of moist, all natural chocolate cake.

Raspberry Razzle - The top tiers had five layers of moist, sour cream-based vanilla cake with a rich raspberry buttercream between each layer. Yum!

Also accompanying this cake, was a full dessert display table, which included:

  • A 'Chunky Monkey' layered Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Banana Cake
  • A Vanilla Cheesecake topped with Blueberries
  • A Flourless Raspberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake
  • Mini Chocolate Truffle Tarts (Milk Chocolate & Butterscotch plus Dark Chocolate & Raspberry)
  • Dark, White and Milk Chocolate Truffles made with real cream and organic chocolate
Being invited to this wedding was certainly a 'sweet' deal!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Raspberry and Lemon - The Zesty Flavours of Summer

With Spring and Summer time coming, cake decorating is taking on a fresh look and brighter flavours. Instead of dark chocolate and comfort flavours, like caramel and maple, it is time for fruit flavours to come into play.

Yesterday I made my signature all natural Raspberry Razzle cake, but I added a lemony twist to give the cake more of a Springtime look. It turned out wonderfully and the flavours told the story of the changing season.

The raspberry buttercream, which rests between four layers of very moist vanilla cake, is tart and sweet all at the same time and has the same sort of flavour as raspberry frozen yogurt. The lemon buttercream was used for decoration and has a very strong lemony flavour with just the right amount of sweetness, so it is not sour. In fact, it tastes like sweet, fresh-squeezed lemonade.

I used the Pearl-White Candy Beads by CK Products to add a little sparkle to this cake.

How can you make a similar cake? Use your best vanilla or chocolate cake recipe (see below for a picture of the chocolate-raspberry buttercream version).  Spread just a little of the cake mix over the bottom of two 8" round cake pans and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Repeat two or three more times, depending on how much mix you have.

Make your favourite buttercream icing recipe and beat in 1 cup (depending how dark you want it) thawed frozen raspberries just before icing the cake. If you do not want the seeds, use a sifter over your icing bowl to run your raspberries through first to remove the seeds.

For the lemon buttercream, do the following:

Lemon Buttercream Recipe:

1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer rind of 1 or 2 lemons.  Place the rinds into 500 grams of icing sugar (in a bowl).  Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the icing sugar and stir slowly until all the icing sugar is wet and lump free. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak for 24 hours.

2. Remove the lemon rinds carefully and squeeze off any excess sugar back into the bowl.

3. Beat 1 lb of softened butter in a stand mixer until very soft and nearly fluffy.  Stir regularly to prevent lumps forming.

4. Turn the mixer on low and add the icing sugar. Beat on high until well mixed and fluffy.  For a softer icing, you can add 1/2 cup of canola oil to the mixer after the sugar is incorporated.  Beat on high again for 30 seconds or more, and stop to mix with a spatula every now and then.

5. Place in pastry bag with a tip of your choice (I used Wilton Tip 2D) and decorate your cake!

This is the chocolate version of my
Raspberry Razzle Cake.  Layer raspberry buttercream
between 4 or 5 layers of chocolate cake to get a cake that
looks beautiful when sliced and has just
the right ratio of cake to icing.
Cover the outside edges of your chocolate raspberry
cake with dark chocolate shavings to add flavour and flair!