Monday, April 22, 2013

Peanut Butter and chocolate birthday cake with a tabby cat topper

What do you think of my little kitty? This 8" chocolate devil's food cake was covered in a peanut butter buttercream. It was an order for a repeat customer who had requested a tabby cat as a topper. I think I'm still pretty new to sugar paste sculpting but I'm happy with how this little guy turned out. Does he look guilty about trying to open that gift?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gluten-free chevron cake

Today's cake is a 6" gluten-free cake I made as a thank-you gift. I'm going to share with you all my pit-falls with this cake as I think it's always useful to learn from someone else's mistakes.

I had bought a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix and mixed up a batch of cake and poured it into two 6" x 2" pans. One pan was a professional Wilton pan and the other was a springform pan I had. I had to bake them longer than was directed but I thought that was normal considering their was no gluten to form structure. The Wilton cake was finished while the springform kept testing unbaked. I mean really unbaked, like wet batter unbaked. I left the cake in the oven for more than an hour and even though my toothpick tester didn't come out clean, I hoped than it would finish baking in the pan. I could feel that the bottom of the cake was getting over-done.

Once the cake cooled I unmolded it and cut off the top. The photo below is what I found. I have never had this happen to me before and I was totally surprised. Now I know.....use the proper metal for the proper cake recipe. Springform pans are for quiches, cheesecake and similar cakes that can't be inverted. 

I had to make up a new batch of cake but I had run out of my AP flour mix. This time I had to create my own mix with tapioca flour, rice flour and potato flakes and hope the it would taste similar to the other gluten free mix. There was a difference in flavour but not hugely. Gluten free AP flour is really expensive so I would like to figure out make my own. Any tips?

from the springform pan

proper cake pan

4 layers crumb-coated in buttercream

Flower made of modelling chocolate

Finished chevron design

 Once I finally had a decent cake crumb-coated, I covered it in marshmallow fondant. The orange stripes are a mix of fondant and modelling chocolate and were added in panels. This is a technique I had never tried before which I had learned through a class on Craftsy taught by Jessica Harris. I highly recommend the courses there.

So what do you think? After all my cake hurdles I was still able to create a pretty elegant looking cake don't you think?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Vegan ruffled rose cake

Today's cake is a ruffled rose vanilla vegan cake. I'm not very experienced in vegan baking but I thought it would be a valuable thing to know how to do if anyone needed a special cake to be completely animal-free.

I took my cake recipe from Chloe's Kitchen which we've found to be a great vegan cookbook so far. I figured if this lady was able to win Cupcake Wars then surely her vegan cake was pretty darn good. While the flavour of the cake was good, I felt that the recipe used way too much oil and it felt greasy. When I make this again I will alter the recipe and make it a lighter version.

For the icing I used Earth Balance shortening mixed with icing sugar vanilla and a bit of rice milk. I felt the icing was pretty tasty but it left a shortening mouth feel similar to the kind you get from a grocery-store cake. Once you try a real Italian buttercream on a homemade cake, it's hard to go back to that kind of icing.
Overall I'm happy with this simple little vegan cake and I look forward to creating another one sometime soon. What about you? Do you have a favourite vegan cake recipe?