On the bright side, birthdays = cake! Usually I'm not into cake, and opt for cookies or brownies instead. However, on special occassions like birthdays, I love to whip up a delicious cake from scratch along with some tasty scratch icing. I am slightly new to the scratch cake baking scene. I've only ever made three varieties: Yellow, Strawberry (Scratch, that means no strawberry jello for color and flavor), and Carrot. My favorite by far is Carrot cake with to-die-for cream cheese frosting : ). For Munchkins first birthday I made him a basketball cake
This cake was a combination of a scratch carrot cake and a Duncan Hines carrot cake. I just didn't have the energy to make both from scratch. The bottom part was three layers and the basketball was cake baked in a bowl. I also used canned and homemade cream cheese frosting.
Then for Munchkin's second birthday I made a train cake. This was a combo cake too... I was up until 3am putting it together but I was very happy with the results.
My husband and I decided not to go so big for Little Bears birthday, 1. because I don't have the energy or want to do a big party. 2. He won't remember anyway and will enjoy a bigger party when he is 2. Even though we are not doing a big shindig, I do want to honor his special day with a special cake (and maybe one for smashing). My husbands birthday is the day before and he has been heavily hinting that he doesn't want to get short changed in the cake department. There goes my idea of one cake two names... Hehehe, oh well.
For my husband's cake I want to make something decadent. I haven't decided on a flavor but he's already had carrot and he really likes red velvet so i'll probably go with that (although it's not my favorite). I was thinking of adding a chocolate ganache between the layers just to kick it up a notch. These are some practice cupcakes I made. Strawberry cake with chocolate ganache and strawberry buttercream frosting.
Little bear will most likely get a caramel cake or Italian cream cake. I really want to dec it out so I'm going to try my hand at fondant. I've been researching some techniques and recipes and learned you can make fondant with marshmallows. Yesterday, I ran to Walmart and picked up some supplies. I used a box cake to practice making my first fondant cake. Making the fondant wasn't has hard as I thought. It was more difficult trying to keep the boys occupied while I worked.
If you want to try it, all you need is:
8 ounces mini marshmallows
1 pound confectioners sugar
2 tbsp water
Food coloring or flavored extracts (optional)
First melt your marshmallows with water in a microwave safe bowl.
I only had blue and yellow food coloring left in the house, so I chose to go with a white, blue, and brown look. The brown is just cocoa powder. I added my cocoa powder to the liquid marshmallows then began adding the confectioners sugar. In my research I found it referred to as powdered sugar, pulverized sugar, as well as icing sugar.
Once it gets almost impossible to mix, turn it out onto a heavily powdered work surface and continue adding in the sugar until its not sticky any more. I found that if you greased the surface then dusted with sugar it didn't stick nearly as much. Please note, this is a very messy process.
|Sorry, I couldn't get this picture to rotate.|
Just outside the picture above, Munchkin is standing there repeatedly saying "want taste fonnan". LOL!!!
After I thought I had added enough sugar I kneaded it a bit more on a surface greased with crisco. Then I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until later (basically nap time).
Next I rolled it out on some wax paper. I read that you should use a plastic rolling pin for fondant, but I only have a wooden one. Being the clever gal that I am (wink wink) I covered my rolling pin with wax paper too. It was pretty easy to roll out. Then I picked up the whole thing, fondant and wax paper together and placed it over my cake. Then just peeled off the wax paper. I had already given it a good smooth crumb coat. Trim the extra with a knife or pizza cutter and have fun decorating.
My First Fondant Cake!
I learned a lot making it and if you look closely you can see some little imperfections. I hope to make one more practice cake before Little Bears birthday. I'll try and roll the fondant a bit thinner next time. After dinner I let Munchkin sample the practice cakes. While he was devouring it, he said
"Mommy, dis is de-wi-shus!!"