Well, I'm back. Good lord... February was a crazy month for me. Kathryn and I stayed very busy this entire month... hence the feelings of abandonment you might have been having. I am glad to be back and glad to get back into a routine.... and back in the kitchen. It was so crazy around here this month I didn't even get to participate in Good Things. Bleh. But like I said, I am back so get ready for a dessert filled March!
One thing that kept me pretty busy all month was the planning of my baby girl's 2nd birthday party. Yes, I am one of THOSE moms that goes WAY overboard and gets crazy. My sister said " Can't Kathryn just have a normal party?" Uhhhhh.... no. I was pent up in a cubicle for TOO long and had WAY TOO MUCH creative energy to burn... so no normalcy here. Sorry.
My big contribution was of course the cake(s). Yes, plural. I know.... Why couldn't I have just made one simple little cake and left it at that? I told myself it was because I am trying to learn the "craft" and that I needed to make 3 cakes to practice. Okay, sure. That sounded good a week or so before the party.... but at 1 am on the night before I was cursing the damn things and wishing I could just run to Costco and pick up a sheet cake with some cute blue roses and her name spelled out in icing.
But I couldn't... and I would have been REALLY upset with myself if I had given up. The baking and covering the cakes was the easy part... and as you can see I didn't do any sort of elaborate decorating of the cakes .. the hard part was trying to figure out how to get them stacked in a crooked kind of way. I was trying to emulate this cake by Confetti Cakes... but I failed miserably. I was confident until I realized that I had already "glued" each cake to it's corresponding board just like Colette told me to... but then how was I going to get a support dowel thru the cake and the board? I know, it the solution sounds simple enough now, but when it's 10am the morning of the party(that starts at 1pm) rational problem solving is not something that comes swift. So I said screw it... we will have this one big present cake.. and we will have two smaller cakes that Kathryn can have with her candles on it.... Sounded good.
As you may be able to tell the theme of the party was candy. My dad said "Who's Candy? Is that a new cartoon or something?" "Yeah dad... It's a new cartoon about strippers. The main character is Candy and her side kick is a rabbit named... well, Bunny. Strippers by day and crime fighting heroes by night. Kathryn just loves it....."
Ahem..So... candy was the theme. And boy did I have fun with that! It was like a candy shop exploded in there... It was fabulous. All the kids were walking around with these huge lollipops.. it was so sweet. We had candy and cupcakes and homemade marshmallows and soda pop and cake and cake and cake and some boring grown up food and a moonbounce! Holy crap we had a good time! After the kids got all hopped up on sugar they jumped unitl their little legs just wouldn't jump anymore! Then the adults got in and jumped until their little lungs just wouldn't breath anymore! It was great.....
Each layer of the cake was a different flavor. The bottom was Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese filling. The middle layer (or bottom layer of the smaller cakes) was lemon butter cake with raspberry and lemon curd buttercream filling. And the top layer was good ol' Chocolate with chocolate rum filling. And before you get your panties in a wad... I used imitation rum flavoring.. not real rum. So just calm down. The lemon butter cake was outstanding. I was so excited it came out. I mixed raspberry preservatives with vanilla buttercream for the filling in one layer and mixed lemon curd with vanilla buttercream for the other layer. It was soooooooooo good. Too good... as I get up in the middle of the night and sneak bites of the few leftover pieces. I only had a small bite of the chocolate cake but my mom and husband really loved it. And this is the same husband who does not like chocolate. I was stunned. So that recipe will absolutely become a staple in this house. I pulled the recipe off the Hershey's website and was surprised at how easy it was to work with. It carved very nice and stayed nice and moist. This is a great cake....I highly recommend!
Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
So y'all, that's my third attempt at rolled fondant. Here are the problems I had with this cake..... Please help me out!!
- Building a tiered cake. Crooked.
- Getting dried fondant to stick to dried fondant.
- Working with thinned royal icing..... I think I added too much water.
The cake was supposed to have fondant "tissue" like the Confetti Cake but I couldn't get the dried pieces to stick the dried cake. I had made over 100 pieces of fondant tissue that I had to just throw away because I couldn't get it to work.... should I be using gum paste for things like that? What is the difference in fondant and gum paste?? Any help will be much appreciated!