Friday, November 8, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

This cake is easy. And tasty. And moist. But not gummy like pumpkin things can sometimes be. Some of us ate it as breakfast cake. Some of us ate it as dessert cake. Some of us ate it as both. All.

Pretty, too, right?

Take a look at the other side:

Here's what you need to know...Baker's Joy is a superior product to Wilton Cake Release (even when carefully used according to directions). I'll give the Cake Release one more chance (because, frankly, I prefer the idea of brushing pan coating on to spraying it on) to prove itself and if it doesn't play nicely then...never again. No time for cakes not coming out of pans.

TGIP Rating--Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake--KEEPER. I might even try it as muffins. Perfect for breakfast, right?!

Next up: It's Chocolate Adventure Contest time again! This time around it's bars. Time for me to put my thinking/inventing/baking hat on! Ideas are welcome!

Friday, November 1, 2013

I Made a Rose Cake!

So, yeah, I've wanted to learn how to properly decorate cakes forever. I've longingly noticed Wilton class announcements at craft stores and baking supply stores for years, and never had the time to actually take one. And there's been this other thing sort of niggling in the back of my brain--the shortening issue. I know the reason that those lovely decorated cakes look as good as they do is because the decorators have used shortening in their frosting. Pure buttercream tends to melt easily and even in perfect temperature conditions, just doesn't have the stiffness to get away with the things shortening frosting can. So, honestly, that information has held me back from taking a class as well--knowing that any skills I learn would be virtually useless to me because I won't make (or eat) shortening frosting.

And then I came across this cake and tutorial. I figured this was my way in. A lovely, sort of old-fashioned rose look. No stiff frosting required. Of course, the recipe used in the link does contain shortening. So I hunted all over the web and found several examples of successful uses of this technique with pure buttercream. Of course, this was for the birthday of a particular 14-year-old,

so I couldn't risk having my roses droop and fall down the sides of a tall cake. For this first attempt, I decided to make two layers, but keep them separate--two short cakes, each a perfect one-rose height. One colored with autumnal tones,

one in its natural state, beautifully creamy.

I was really happy with the results. Not perfect, by any means. But I think the imperfection of it is sort of lovely.
 A couple of things (for me to remember in the future):

  • It's a lot of frosting. One-layer of cake with that much frosting causes imbalance in the cake/frosting ratio. Don't fret. The roses will work just fine (i.e., won't slide down into a puddle like they do in your imagination) on a two- (or more) layer cake.
  • I tried the saran wrap trick for coloring my frosting. 
I liked the results, but it wasn't as clean and neat as the link makes it look. I like the idea, though. I think next time I just paint the colors right inside a disposable pastry bag (so as not to stain my good pastry bags). Like so.

TGIP Rating--Rose Cake--KEEPER. So pretty and so many ways to vary it with color.

Next up: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. It's Fall, after all!