Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fluffy Mock Cream on Vanilla Birthday Cake

This is not the best tasting icing, not bad, just not something you have a moment with once it hits your taste buds. It is however the only one out of three, that stood up to the tropics. Nothing is quite so frustrating as creating beautiful, fluffy butter creams, only to watch them collapse 15 minutes later due to the heat. On the plus side, this is an amazing icing for decorating. It holds colour brilliantly, spreads well, and doesn’t move once you’ve got it on. I highly recommend it, for any occasion when your cake is going to be out and about. This cake is for a little boy's first birthday, with a jungle theme.

Fluffy Mock Cream

2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup water
1cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon if gelatine
2 tablespoons water
250g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(If you’re using colouring add with the extract)

Mix gelatine with 2 tablespoons of water, until smooth, set aside.

Combine milk, water and sugar in a small saucepan stir over a low heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Take off heat and add gelatine. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl beat butter and extract until fluffy and white. Slowly pour in cold syrup, while beating. Beat until all syrup is incorporated, and mixture is light and fluffy.

I used this cake recipe, from SmittenKitchen with a few adaptations as I don’t have a stand mixer. I found it to be a very dense cake. It holds it shape very well and is great for this sort of thing.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and 1 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix on low speed briefly to blend; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition. There will be 9 cups of batter; our 3 cups batter into each pan.
4. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Turn the layers out onto wire racks by placing a rack on top of a pan, inverting it, and lifting off the pan. Peel off the paper liners and let cool completely. When the layers have cooled, place a cardboard cake board on top of a layer, invert again, and lift off the rack. To make the layers easier to handle, wrap them on their boards completely in plastic, so they don’t dry out, and refrigerate them.

I’ve recently been taught about crumb coats. May seem obvious, but I’ve managed to be completely oblivious to how people got those excellent icing results. It all comes down to the ‘crumb coat’. It’s a very thin layer of icing of syrup that you coat the cakes with. You then let them sit in the fridge for 20 minutes, before you ice. This means that when you start you have a smooth surface. It also helps the colour stay untainted. Be Informed!

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