Happy July friends!
Scary that one of the “summer” months is already down!
My weekend has been a combination of crazy, busy, delicious, and relaxing! That’s a lot of different things for one weekend.
Friday - Saturday: Crazy/Busy! And OK, delicious.
My goddaughter Riley had her 3rd birthday party on Saturday and I was flattered when her mom (my good friend) asked if I’d make the cake! See, Riley is allergic to eggs and my friend remembered when I made those yummy eggless Guinness cupcakes for St. Patty’s day this year, so she asked if I could make an eggless birthday cake!
I was especially excited when she told me it was a Tangled themed party. For those of us without kids/not around kids…Tangled is the new Disney version of Rapunzel.
This was my first chance to make a fun, colorful, themed cake!!
I started Googling “Tangled birthday cakes” and found some great ideas! One of my favorite ideas involved making a long yellow (“blonde”) braid out of fondant to wrap around the cake! This seemed like a fairly easy, but cool looking effect!
I had never used fondant before (and was never really a fan of the taste), so I was excited/nervous to try it out. I asked my pastry chef aunt what kind she recommended to buy. She directed me to the “Duff” brand. Yeah, the guy from Ace of Cakes! He has a whole line of colored fondants and other cake decorating supplies at Michaels stores.
I bought a container of the yellow, and a small container of hot pink that I figured I could use for other decorations on the cake.
After scanning through some recipes on line I decided to use this recipe for the cake: Chocolate Layer Cake from Eggless Cooking, except I used the equivalent of 2 flax eggs instead of the applesauce.
- 1 bag frozen raspberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 packet gelatin
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
I heated the raspberries and sugar until the raspberries were breaking down, then added the gelatin, stirred and brought to a boil, lowered heat and kept stirring until it was all dissolved (next time I might dissolve gelatin first in some hot water). This mixture needs to cool. Then whip cream to soft peaks, and fold berry mixture in.
Friday night I baked the cakes. I did 1.5 times the recipe and made a 10” round, 8” round, and 6 cupcakes which I was planning to use as the “tower” on my cake.
I also made the mousse Friday night and chilled overnight.
Luckily I couldn’t sleep well that night and decided just to wake up at 5:30am Saturday morning (instead of the 7:30am I had set my alarm to).
This was a good thing considering I was working on that cake up until we left the house at 11:15am!!
First order of business was to slice the cakes to layer them. I was NERVOUS! Eggless cakes don’t hold together as well, and these layers were going to be thin!
I then SLOWLY transferred the top layer back into the pan now lined with plastic wrap.
This went well for both cakes…I thought I was good to go!
Filled with the raspberry mousse:
All that was left was to put the other layer on top…that’s when THIS happened:
Luckily the 8” cake went better, then both went back in the fridge to set.
Meanwhile I got to work on my fondant braids :)
I rolled out long pieces of fondant (p.s. this stuff IS good, tastes like candy corn/circus peanuts).
I started to braid, but seeing as those strips ended up being almost 4ft long, it was NOT easy. So I opted to break them and make 2 shorter braids.
The cupcakes for the tower were not staying together, so I used 4 cake cones, “glued” together with frosting.
In the back is some rolled out pink fondant, I used cookie cutters to make flowers, and also rolled out more to wrap around this cake cone tower.
Note: I used simple butter cream for this: butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, cream. Simple yet delicious, it’s my FAVORITE kind of frosting.
Kitchen was a MESS at this point!
I began assembling and frosting the cakes. I first did a crumb coat, which is a very thin layer of frosting which you let harden before applying the rest of it. This is to prevent crumbs from mixing with your frosting (it’s okay if they mix with the crumb coat).
The mousse layer, even though it had chilled a couple hours, was bulging out the sides a little and in turn mixing with my frosting! Even with the crumb coat! I was having ISSUES.
This is where the fondant saved the day. Now I get why this stuff is so popular for cake decorating! It makes it SO easy to make a smooth clean finish…and/or cover up a crappy icing job ;)
I made a “stripe” out of the remaining pink fondant and wrapped it around the bottom layer. The fondant braid covered a lot too…it was awesome.
I used two long “lollipop” sticks as dowels to hold the tower into the cake, and the top of the tower was a sugar cone covered in icing.
Ok, so it looked like a pastel Christmas tree to me, but give me a break…I’m learning.
I really wanted a “window” for the hair to be coming out of, but I just did NOT have the time or patience at that moment.
I still have a LONG way to go in the cake decorating department but I was pretty pleased with how it came out!
And regardless of how it came out, I thought it tasted awesome! That was a really nice cake recipe…very moist and chocolaty! I’d probably use less filling next time too…or make double the cakes so the cake layers would be thicker.
Now I’m itching to try another, but next time I’ll give myself MUCH more time the day before.
Have you gotten into cake decorating? Played with fondant?? That Duff brand was awesome…very forgiving. It’s pretty much like edible play dough…screw up and just roll it back up and start over.