Cakes

Cakes!!

Over the past few months I have developed a huge interest in cake decorating. Normally what that means is I spend hundred, even thousands of dollars knitting myself out with every accessory known to man in my ‘field of interest’ over a period of weeks, then I lose my shit when I finally go to start said ‘hobby’ only to find I don’t have one thing I need to make the project I want to..and I chuck the whole idea in the too hard basket and flog off all the crap I just paid top dollar for, for half the price.

Yes, it’s a character flaw. But quite frankly, I can’t be sexy, gorgeous, trend setting, talented, efficient, reliable AND have a high level of commitment. That would just be showing off.

Anyway, I’ve done the required pre-spend, I’ve even gone to the library and got books. Actual. Real. Life. Books. And, I’ve made a cake. Yep, actually made THREE cakes. Decorated cakes too. I mean, I usually make cafe style cakes, these ones though, have fondant. Modelling chocolate. Hard as rock buttercream. And I have had moments where I didn’t have everything I needed. It was tense, but I MADE DO. And you know what, I made fondant. From scratch. And modelling chocolate. FROM SCRATCH.

IVE WATCHED 97 hours of YouTube clips and subscribed to dozens of craftsy classes. This commitment stuff is time consuming AND expensive.

But. BUT. I’ve made three novelty cakes. Most people start with the basics, oh no, not me! I still can’t pipe a single thing, write on cakes or make a basic flower out of royal icing but I can make fondant, pastillage, modelling chocolate, marshmallow fondant, cake pops and carve cakes. And I’m still interested in learning more. It’s a miracle. Anyway, thought I’d like to share some pics of my three cakes. I will get the recipes up for the various cake coverings etc and post some of my projects and upcoming cake orders. Yeah, people are silly enough to order cakes off me… 😛😀😀😀

Modelling chocolate :

My first cake, a butter cream 4 layer vanilla drip cake with fondant decs:

** live and learn, bow miles too big and I trimmed the layers of the cake but not the outside edge of the cake

 

This one I’m really proud of, it was a hat cake for my husband. The brim is made of gum paste, the body of the hat is cake and the whole hat is sitting on a mud cake

 

This was just last week, it’s a rose cake – the idea came from a Facebook video that someone shared with me. the petals are all modelling chocolate, the calyx, leaves and board are fondant. The cake underneath the petals is a chocolate cake and there is a pink buttercream over it.

Puritans Vanilla Cake (Thermomix) by Serena

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Puritans Vanilla Cake (Thermomix) - by Serena

  • Servings: 2 x 20cm round cakes or 12 x cupcakes and 1 x 20cm round cake
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Notes: A moist fluffy vanilla cake sturdy enough to shape for birthday cakes. Stays moist for days.

Ingredients:

  • 150g shortening (see my blog post HERE about where to buy)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 3.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 325g plain flour
  • 400g milk

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (160 if fan forced)

Place your oven rack in the cooler part of the oven, generally the middle

Grease & flour 2 x 20cm round cake pans. *Note – I do this the old fashioned way, with real butter and then lightly flour the pan. You can use liners (but make sure you grease first).. but the crumb is much better the old fashioned way.

For this recipe, I like to pre weigh the ingredients and place in bowls as there are so many steps and I get side tracked easily! You don’t have to do that though and can ignore the Prep section If you don’t get sidetracked like me!!

Prep:

Set out 7 small bowls;

1st bowl – 300g sugar

2nd bowl – crack three large eggs in and 1.5 tsp vanilla – lightly beat with a fork

3rd bowl – 130g plain flour + 3.5 tsp baking powder + 0.5 tsp salt

4th bowl – 200g milk

5th bowl – 130g plain flour

6th bowl – 200g milk (yes, a second lot as you add it at separate times)

7th bowl – 65 g plain flour

Now you can begin the recipe:

Insert butterfly and leave in for entire recipe. MC off for entire recipe

  1. Add 150g room temperature shortening to bowl
  2. Mix 10 sec/ Spd 4
  3. Scrape Down
  4. Mix 10 sec/ Spd 4
  5. Scrape down

Set timer for 2 min/ Spd 3 and turn on

  1. Add your bowl of 300g sugar steadily over the first 1 minute 30 then leave to blend for final 30 sec.
  2. Scrape down

Add the bowl of 3 lightly beaten eggs and 1.5tsp vanilla

  1. Mix for 1 min/ Spd 3
  2. Scrape down
  3. Mix 30 sec/ Spd 3
  4. Scrape down

Add the bowl of 130g flour, 3.5tsp baking powder and 0.5 tsp salt

  1. Mix 30 sec/ Spd 2
  2. Scrape down really well
  3. Add 200g milk
  4. Mix 30 sec/ Spd 2
  5. Scrape down really well

Add your second bowl of 130g flour

  1. Mix 30 sec/ Spd 2
  2. Scrape down really well
  3. Add 200g milk
  4. Scrape down really well
  5. Add final bowl of 65g flour
  6. Mix 15 sec/ Spd 2

Turn off machine. Remove bowl and scrape down well with spatula and give a final couple of mixes by hand to ensure all flour is incorporated.

Pour/scrape batter which is very thick into your two 20cm pans. I always weigh my pans to ensure the batter is evenly divided. Bake for approx. 35 minutes. Set your times for 30 minutes and check every 5-8 minutes. The cake should be golden in colour and begin to pull away from the sides. If you touch the top it should spring back. To be absolutely sure, insert a toothpick or skewer in the top right down to the bottom and withdraw. It should have no batter stuck to it.

Some notes*

The batter is very thick and may appear to be slightly separated or curdled. That is from the shortening mixing with the milk/butter. Do not be tempted to mix the cake further to correct, it will bake just fine.

Butter can be substituted for the shortening but it will make the cake heavier and IMO is not nearly as nice. The shortening in this cakes keeps it moist and light. Do not be concerned about using up your shortening, you can substitute it in pretty much any cake and it should be a staple in your house for pastry and baking

Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes in the pan before attempting to remove it. If you rush this the cake will break on you.

Baking is very fickle, be careful before you change ingredients or alter amounts, unlike savoury cooking there is very little margin for error in baking.

If you like this recipe, let me know in the comments. If you have tweaked it and it’s been a success – let us know. If you have tweaked it and it’s failed miserably, you are welcome to keep that to yourself. 🙂

In the pictures below, the pink cake has a white chocolate sorbet icing. I used white chocolate sorbet powder – 3 tbsps. added with the icing sugar in my White Chocolate Mr Whippy Icing. If you would like to purchase the powder, click HERE (Please note I am a consultant for YIAH – Your Inspiration at Home and I would love to help you use your powders/ spice blends etc – feel free to pm me for ideas)

The yellow cake has white chocolate lemon myrtle icing – the white chocolate lemon myrtle powder is one of my favourites – I add it to mayonnaise for my chicken burgers – to buy it, click HERE follow the menus to access all the great YIAH products on offer – you will be amazed!

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A Penis Cake. Yes, you heard right.

So I get an email from my friend on Wednesday…

Hey.  Any chance you could make a nice cake (not chocolate) for Eddies birthday and drop it to the central on Sunday?

Normally no problem, but I have a really busy weekend planned culminating with a thermomix demo being hosted at my place on Sunday, so…

What time does it have to be at the central? I have the thermomix demo on Sunday and won’ t be done that until 3pm by the time I clean up etc. Plus I suck at decorating hahahah

Turns out it doesn’t have to be at the Central until late, so I can do it – problem is, I still suck at decorating cakes. Other problem – Eddie doesn’t actually really like cake or sweets that much, so just doing a nice yummy cake isn’t something he is going to be excited about.

Eddie is a great guy, he’s super funny and I love him to bits, he reminds me a lot of my brother. So this is a problem, because I want to do something he will be excited about ie. find funny. That means a novelty cake. God. Damn. I’ve never actually done a novelty cake.

I like to think I am creative. So a while back I thought I might like to get into fondant icing work as it looked kinda cool and might be a relaxing sort of hobby for me. As per usual I spent about 3 or 4 hundred dollars buying all the crap and accessories to do it and then when it came time to ACTUALLY do it, I realised 3 things:

1) It was a lot harder than it looked. I looked up a tutorial on the cutest little fondant lion you have ever seen. 3 hours later I had a rather alarming shade of orange blob with marshmallow legs and a rictus grin you would normally see on a corpse. Absolutely fucking nailed the yellow hair on top though. #ownedit

2) No matter how many accessories you have, its not enough. I could literally spend tens of thousands of dollars on this little “relaxing” hobby and still need a plunger that popped out mini boobs for that one cake.

3) I get bored really easily. Packed all that shit away and filed it in the too hard basket ages ago.

Anyway, nothing I like more than a challenge, and pressure. I work really well under pressure. So, lets do a novelty cake. Only two things blokes find funny, dicks and farts. Not gonna get a fart on a cake, so a penis cake it is. I google penis cake. Wow, that is an eye opener.

Anyway, I find one that looks like something I could  do out of fondant and I set about making this cake, using this pic as my guide, last night.

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At 1am this morning – 7 hours after I started this goddamn cake, I finished! I am actually proud of it as I don’t think its that bad for a first attempt! And Last. lol. I really hope Eddie likes it. 🙂

penis1  penis3

P.s – if you are on this blog and you know Eddie… shhhhhh 😉

Recipe testing…

Vanilla cake!!

A real basic but get I asked for it often.

People want something super moist but also firm enough to hold when cutting into shapes for birthday novelty cakes.

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I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. It still needs to be tested further though, as its an amalgamation of a few of my recipes. I will also need some recipe testing volunteers – please leave a comment if you are interested in testing recipes for me.

P.S If you like the look of my blog and plan on doing some of my recipe – Get shortening! It features in lots of my recipes. (see where to get it here)

Chocolate Ganache Everything You Need To Know About It (Traditional)

ganache

How To Make Chocolate Ganache

What You Need:

Ingredients
Dark chocolate – I use Plaistowe Dark Block (the 70% cocoa one is quite bitter so normal dark one for me!)
Heavy cream – I use whatever I can get, usually just a thickened cream

Chocolate Ganache Proportions

These proportions are based on weight. For example, a 1:1 ratio means 100g chocolate to 100g cream.

  • Layer cake filling and thick glaze: 1:1, equal parts chocolate and cream.
  • Chocolate truffles: 2:1, two parts chocolate to one part cream.
  • Soft icing and pourable glaze: 1:2, one part chocolate to two parts cream.

Equipment
Kitchen scale
Heavy bottomed sauce pan
Spatula or wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. Weigh the chocolate: Weigh out the amount of chocolate called for in your recipe. If you aren’t following a recipe, start with a small amount and make more as needed.
  2. Measure the cream: Based on the ratio chart above and how you’re intending to use the ganache, weigh the amount of cream needed for the ganache in a separate bowl.
  3. Heat the cream: Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place it over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the cream — it’s not necessary to boil or simmer it. It just needs to get hot. The cream is ready when you can place a finger in the cream and keep it there for 3 to 4 seconds. Turn off the flame and remove the cream from the stove.
  4. Chop the chocolate: While the cream is heating, chop the chocolate into fine pieces.
  5. Add the chocolate: Scoop the chocolate into the cream. Stir gently to distribute the chocolate through the cream and then let it sit for a few minutes to give the chocolate time to soften and melt.
  6. Stir the mixture: With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the ganache. At first it might look spotty and broken but keep stirring until it comes together in a creamy mass.
  7. Cool the ganache: Cool the ganache as specified in your recipe, or as described here:
  • If you plan on pouring the ganache over a cake, pie, or pastry, it will need to be loose enough to flow but thickened enough to stay on the pastry.
  • To whip the ganache for frosting or for layer cake filling, cool the ganache until it is thick, but still soft, and then beat in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer, until the ganache is fluffy and has lightened in color, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  • To use the ganache make truffles, you may need to set the pan in the refrigerator so the ganache cools. Remove the pan every 5 minutes or so and stir so that the ganache cools evenly. As the chocolate begins to stiffen, stir it more frequently — it will go from soft to very hard quite suddenly. (If this happens, soften the ganache over gently simmering water, stirring until you’ve reached the right consistency again.)
  • The easiest way to work with ratios is to measure both the cream and the chocolate by weight.

ganache cupcakes