Monday, August 31, 2009

A TinkerBell cake for my little girl!

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First of all, this is one of the unluckiest cakes I've made, since everything was against me when I started making it.

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I couldn't use the AC, the refrigerator was not working properly, so on top of me-not-having-time to do that at all, I had all these minor irritating problems, that made it what much harder to finish this cake.

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The fondant ( I am using for a last time ready made fondant, I swear!!! SatinIce fondant is the WORST fondant I've ever used and I bought 25 lbs! I just used the last piece and was extremely happy!!!) started melting! Now, for almost 2 years since I make cakes I have only "heard" about this problem, never seen it firsthand. But I guess that cake was meant to be a "first one" of a kind.

I was so pressured in time, that I forget to make the "pages" on the side of the cake and had to finish that 15 min before the guest arrived. It shows of course, but the most important thing was that my little girl was as happy as she can be and she recognized Tinkerbell :-))

You can check out the cake layer recipe here if you are interested.
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I made Mascarpone filling that I improvised at the last minute :-) Here is the recipe if you are interested.

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Mascarpone filling

2 cups mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp clear vanilla extract
3 tbsp lemon zest ( you can add more if you like it)
1/2 cup corn syrup ( if you want, you can use less or more, depending on how sweet you want the filling)

Mix everything together and spread over the cake.

I used strawberries on top ( stored them in sugar overnight, so they can have a little syrup) of the filling. It was heavenly combination tastewise!

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Then I iced the cake with buttercream.
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This was the night before, before the cake was even ready:
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As you can see, Tinkerbell doesn't have eyes yet :-)
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As you can see, part of Tinkerbell is patchwork work that I painted over. Not a good idea if you have a melting fondant.

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TinkerBell has eyes, yay! :-)

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An old recipe with a new flare to it! ( updated recipe)

This is a recipe I've used for Kalin's famous Buzz Lightyear cake, but we liked it so much, that after more than a year, I decided to make it for Ellie's Tinkerbell as well.
The difference is, that this year I shot step-by-step while I was making it, so here it is now with the corrections and changes.

The original recipe for this cake ( Heavenly Devil's food cake) is again from Christopher Kimball's " The dessert bible".

- First make sure that all ingredients are room temperature! It is extremely important!
- Preheat the oven at 350F. The original recipe calls for three 8 inch cake pans but I needed a 9"/11" sheet cake pan( both for Ellie's Tinkerbell and Kalin's Buzz Lightyear cake, so I double the recipe. Cover the bottom of each pan you use with a piece of parchment paper.
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( Note: this is the original recipe, not the doubled one! If you want to use it in a sheet cake pan, double the ingredients! If you are going to use it in three 8 inch cake pans- use it as is!)

1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1. Stir in the boiling water, chocolate and cocoa together and reserve.
If for some reason ( like if your chocolate is to coarsely chopped) you can't melt the chocolate with boiling water, you can use a Bain Marie ( water bath) to do that. Then gradually add the boiling water and cocoa.
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2. Combine the dry ingredients- flour,salt, baking soda and sift together.
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3. Beat the softened butter on medium high for 1 minute.It's supposed to look creamy as on the picture. No lumps allowed!
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4. Add the brown sugar, vanilla and beat until fluffy. You can still see the pieces of sugar, but it's creamy!
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5. Add one egg at a time and beat on high for 30 seconds. Be very careful with the last egg you add, you might want to beat it in less than 30 sec, since sometimes ( depending on the size of the eggs) it can be too much on the butter and you risk to overwork it. Add the sour cream( I prefer it than yogurt and beat until well combined on medium speed. Be sure to scrape the bowl often! ( I apologize for the pictures here, but unfortunately I forgot to turn on the flash :-(

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6. Add half of the chocolate mixture to the cake batter( be sure to stir well before you add it) and half of the dry ingredients. Beat on low or even stir and then add the rest of the chocolate mixture and the rest of the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl and continue to stir by hand ( just folding).

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7. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes( if you make a sheet cake I would double that, but check it around 40 min), as you rotate the pans halfway through. When it is ready, let it cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes. Then release the edges with a knife and turn it over on the cooling rack. Peel off the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely before you start working with it.

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If you are going to sculpt a cake you might want to freeze the layers before shaping.

You can check the recipe for the all purpose lemon cake that I've posted here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My cake for the July 2009 Cake Challenge

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I'm sorry I kept you waiting for so long! :-) But it's finally here!!!
What do you mean who is here??? The pictures of my cake that I made for the July 2009 cake challenge, of course! :-)
As you all already know, the theme was " Ikebana"- Japanese flower arrangement art.

My idea was to make this cake for a very special lady that have been the most wonderful teacher my son can ever get- his speech therapist!

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So, I started with the idea of having a cake with dragon painted pot ( something I wanted to try in a long time, and the challenge is all about trying new things), some Moth Orchids ( a variety that I just love!!!) and some red wood "branches".
I have painted the dragon with light gray color, then I've used darker color and some red and gold paint.
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I had had my troubles with the orchids, it was my first time making flowers like this and second time making wired flowers at all.
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Now I can understand and appreciate better the work of the masters in sugar flowers making. It takes time, patience and a lot of practice! I am nowhere near where I want to be as a skill level, but I'll keep trying. That's how you get better, isn't it?
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I loved the idea of the branches being natural "wood" at first, then " shiny" dark red!
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I have had my doubts about the color of the background, black is very bold. But I couldn't imagine this cake being any other kind of color. It just didn't seem right, no matter what kind of color I tried.
This is the first set up the day before I gave the cake as a gift:
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The cake inside was with fresh strawberries and walnut chocolate ganache, although I didn't try it, because it was a gift, the people who did, said it was delicious.
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If you want to see more pictures, try here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The 4th Cake Challenge is here!!!

Raya_usa's Cake July 2009
I can't believe this is Challenge #4 already!
It's like it was yesterday I came up with the idea to organize one!
Eli_c's cake

So, my baby is not a baby anymore, it's like a small person, growing big and having it's own life, expectations, demands, needing a lots of attention and independence at the same time. Sometimes it's happy and relaxed, sometimes is cranky and even angry, but I love it with all my hearth, because no matter how old, it's going to be my baby!
( Sniff, sniff)
Anyway, welcome to the July 2009 Cake Challenge organized at " BG-Mamma Forums"!
It's been pleasure to work with so many creative and talented people, to share their energy, to admire their inspiration and to nurture their will.
Eli_c's 2nd Cake- July 2009, Rien's cake - July 2009, Shemet_neveroiaten's Cake- July 2009

Because of the growing interest towards the challenge, I have decided to change some of the rules and to add new ones. Our challenge has a birthday present too- I've finally got a separate Flickr account for it and I will move all the pictures from the previous challenges there as well. If you want to see them now, here is the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Challenge.

Panadila's cake July 2009

So, the July 2009 cake Challenge was all about "Ikebana", Japanese flower arrangement art, but also about celebrating flowers in general.
Bicho Malo's Cake - July 2009

Although I'm really want to tell you all about the change in the format, I want to say a couple of words about the amazing work all the people participating showed me this year!

Stasi76's Cake- July 2009

You cannot but admire Blueeye's idea and her so true to the original leaf, the effort Marulka_s put into recreating this amazing piece of art even though she was pregnant at the time, the unbelievable chocolate roses Pina showed us, the realistic bamboo Antoan2006 made, and I really commend Bicho-malo for her debuit at the challenge with such a difficult flower to make, the grand design Rien made for her friend's wedding, Stasi76's fancy bouquet, Nandelche's original pot, Kari's bold design, the piece of art Bubolinkata showed us, the not-from-this-world flowers of Eli_c that took mu breath away, Krasi.mira's amazing pot, ALbena, who I am so proud of for stepping out of her comfort zone and really taking a stand, Shemet_neverojaten's Lily of the Valley that I just couldn't but fall in love with, Barcela, whom I wouldn't believe the bamboo is not real ( seriously,it's not!!!),Antoan2006's second cake that was totally worth the wait, Shemet_neverojaten's second cake flowers that I simply can't comprehend how she made,
Raya_usa's impressively royal design, Van444eto, who in spite of all the problems she had didn't break her promise to us, although she did "break a cake" in the process,Dimitrina73's delicate bouquet, Eli_c's second cake pot, that simply made my eyes pop out of their sockets, Panadila's gentle relaxing interpretation to the theme, and last, but not least Sisi7510's cake, that came out of the blue, but with a bang!
Sisi7510's cake- July 2009 Kari's cake - July 2009

4Dimitrina73's Cake- July 2009, Nandelche's Cake- July 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you my talented and creative friends for sharing your knowledge, expertise and inspiration!
Hats off to the cake ladies!!!

Antoan2006's cake July 2009 -gotova, Pina's Cake- July 2009

If you want to see more of them:
Raya_usa's site
Shemet_neveroiaten's site
Blueeye's site

Come back on Friday to check out my cake ;-)

Ta-ta for now!
P.S: Don't forget I am giving away a prize this month!!! Learn how you can win here! I'm waiting or your comments!

*** The pictures in this post have been graciously provided by the ladies participating in the
challenge! Thank you!

Blueeye's cake - July 2009
Bubolinkata's Cake- July 2009

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