Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Baker Baker, Baking a Cake

This Wednesday night is the Lost Season Finale, and Cranky Fanatic Big-O is having a finale party here is Chicago. In my book, all celebrations need cake. Therefore, I'm attempting my very first fondant cake in an attempt to create something Lost-themed.

The cake itself is a Margarita Cake, basically a white cake that used margarita mix for the liquid. Honestly, I really haven't gotten the whole cake thing down. My mom, although she'll deny it, is a master. Mine are usually too dry or too dense or too bland or too something. I just finished making the cake layers, and the smaller top layer seems okay, but I used a single large round cake pan for the base and I think it was probably too big. Perhaps the reason that smaller, individual layer pans are used for conventional home ovens is that there isn't enough even air circulation for the big pans. I plan to use a strawberry preserve filling and frosting in between layers, though, so that will help if it's dry.

I'm going to decorate the base of the cake with regular shortening-based blue frosting. That should be easy since it's representing waves and doesn't have to be any sort of smooth. I would use buttercream since most people prefer it (I, myself prefer the supersweet stuff) but I can't refrigerate the fondant so this will be more compatible.

The fondant was a spur-of-the moment inspiration. I was listening to the Dharmalars Finale Predictions podcast earlier today and, oddly enough, they were discussing fondant with Jorge Garcia (he's an Ace of Cakes fan). I think that was the catalyst. The top, smaller layer will (in theory) be covered in green fondant to represent the island, and I plan on piping on a simplified version of the hatch map. I have absolutely no experience with fondant (other than eating it) so this is entirely experimental. I followed a recipe on the Wilton site, and it went so well that I'm suspicious. It can't be that easy. It's all wrapped up in an airtight container, and on a double-check seems to be fine, but I'm convinced that I will come home tomorrow to something rock-hard and unusable. Or maybe the hard part is getting it on the cake? We'll see, and I'll let you know how it goes!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I've been looking for people interested in cooking, and I thought you would like to know that The Stew, one of the Chicago Tribune's blogs, is hosting its first live web video chat today! The hosts are looking for questions, so if you have a food/restaurant related question, post it as a comment here:

http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/thestew/2007/05/live_from_tribu.html

Recently, the hosts visited the National Restaurant Association Show - so they also plan on talking about things they found and saw there.

The chat is scheduled for 2 p.m., so make sure you post your questions soon!

Thanks!

Amanda

Kitten said...

Don't worry, I'm sure it will be great!

One tip I have is if you are not an experienced cake decorator, it might be easier to pipe your design using a sealed plastic bag with the corner cut off. It offers a little more control because your hands are physically closer to the cake.

-Cara

Bleu said...

I didn't see this in time but that probably would have helped. I have trouble piping lines (especially in the wee hours of the morning!). My hands were shaky because I was tired.

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