Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Birthday Cake

 This is my fall design for a Birthday cake or whatever.  I made it for my brother-in-law's birthday.  I wanted to do something for the season and I like the fall colors.  The cake is a white cake with blackberry and buttercream filling.  I made my own fondant and used that to for the leaves and covering the cake along with the trim at the bottom. 
 For the butterflies I used a Wilton cake/cookie cutter and gum paste.  Gum paste dries faster than fondant and holds it's shape better.  I think it is sturdier that fondant too.  I put the antennae on with buttercream frosting and small circle tip in my pastry bag.
 For the leaves I used leave shaped cookie cutters on rolled out fondant.  Then I hand painted the edges and the veins with a liner paintbruse and food coloring.  I didn't water down the food coloring. I used Wilton's food coloring and a damp brush.  It worked beautifully. I attached the leaves by painting water on the back of the leaf and then pressing it on to the cake.  It held great.  That process didn't work so well with the butterflies though. 
 To get the butterflies to stick to the fondant cake I used royal icing.  That dried quickly and held great.  I used Alton Browns royal icing recipe from the foodnetwork.com.  But I added a bit more powedered sugar because I wanted it to be stiffer than how the recipe makes it. I used sugar pearls for eyes and large round candy sprinkles for the dots on the wings.  Both are Wilton products. The fondant recipe I found at http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm
The white cake recipe is from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Simple-White-Cake/Detail.aspx.  I did have to adjust it for altitude.  Baking at 7600 feet makes things dry out faster.  So I brushed on each layer simple syrup to make the cake moist. I cut each layer in half making four layers total.  I used two cups of sugar to 4 cups of water and brought it to a boil.  When the sugar was disolved I removed it from the heat and let it cool a bit and then brushed it on.  Worked like a charm. I also used blackberry preserves between the top and bottom layer and buttercream icing between the middle layer.  I used this site for the buttercream frosting recipe: http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/ButtercreamIcing.htm. Once the cake is made and assembled I crumb coated the cake with the buttercream frosting and put it in the fridge overnight. A cold cake makes it easier to wrap in fondant.

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