October 14, 2010

Spyro The Dragon

Thank you to my friend Kelly who thought of my cakes as her daughter Madyson's birthday neared.  Kelly requested a cake with Spyro the dragon.  Yikes!   I had never done a dragon before, but as usually as was up to the challenge.  Hmmmmm..... but how was I going to get the image of Spyro on Mady's cake?  I'll get back to that in a bit.

So Kelly wanted a marble cake to serve over 20 people.  We decided on a 10" two layered, that would end up being almost 5" high.

So here are the ingredients I used for my Marble Cake recipe:
- 2 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 egg whites 1 1/2 0Z. (1 1/2 sq.) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
(found on ifood.tv)

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Cream the butter with extract; gradually add sugar, creaming until fluffy.
Beating only until smooth after each addition, alternately add dry ingredients in fourths and milk in thirds to the creamed mixture.
Beat egg whites until stiff, not dry, peaks are formed.
Fold beaten egg whites gently into batter until thoroughly blended.
Turn one half of the batter into a prepared 8x8x2-inch baking pan.
Lightly, but quickly, stir a mixture of the remaining ingredients into batter in bowl.
Spoon chocolate batter into pan. Gently lift white batter through chocolate until marbled effect is produced.
Spread batter evenly to edges of pan.
Bake at 350°F 40 to 45 minutes, or until cake tests done.

And now let's bring on Spyro the Dragon!
I went online and found a black and white drawing of Spyro.  I taped it to the base of a 9" square pan, and then taped parchment paper on top. 
On top of the parchment paper, I traced Spyro with a mixture of black buttercream icing and piping gel.  I used a #2 tip.  This gave me a nice thin line, but I still applied the lines a little thick.
I then applied the colours needed to make Spyro come alive.  I filled in colours in layers using a round tip. Make sure to use medium consistency frosting.  Using a knife dipped in hot water (and re-dipping as needed) I gently smooth frosting from the back to push down into crevices.  
I Filled in around pictures with my green background colour.  I chose the same colour I was using for the cake. 
I filled in the rest of the top and smoothed the icing out. I measured mine to a slightly smaller size than the diameter of the cake to place it on top of my already decorated cake.  I covered this with wax paper and lightly smoothed it with my handshands.  I then placed it in the freezer for overnight.

I removed the wax paper from the back of FBCT and placed it on top of the cake that had been completely frosted.  I peeled the wax paper from the front of FBCT, added boarders and wording.
And here we are!

October 11, 2010

Jamaican Wedding Cake

Thank you to my friend Vanessa who connected me to someone who wanted her Jamaican fruit cake to decorated with royal icing.  The cake to be would be travelling from here in Toronto, Ontario to Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  Cakes are not usually covered with royal icing, however since it would be on display in extremely hot weather this choice of icing would be perfect.

I received 4 cakes:  6", 8", 10" and 12".

Royal icing forms to a very hard texture, and will stand up to hot weather and humidity.

Royal Icing Recipe
-3 egg whites, room temperature
-1 lb. confectioners' sugar
-1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
-Combine ingredients, beat at high speed for 7-10 minutes. Yields less volume than royal icing made with meringue powder.
Royal icing is a hard drying icing. Please keep covered with a damp cloth. Humidity will greatly effect this icing.  Be sure to wash all utensils with a good dish soap.

Here are some photos behind the design of the cake.
And the final product: