Sunday, May 8, 2011

Disney Themed Mother's Day Cake

Happy Mother's Day USA! Hope you all found a fun way to celebrate...even if it was just finding "me" time and a way to relax. We had a huge family party with a very special theme to celebrate and the cake pictured above is the cake I made for the occasion.

My mom has a "big" birthday this year and for the past few years she's been talking about going back to Disneyland. So we, as a family, decided to take her for her big birthday to Disneyland, as a family vacation. So we gathered up as much of the family as we could, some live out of state, some couldn't attend, and invited them all for Mother's Day Dinner. Mom had no idea that the second reason was to surprise her with the birthday gift/vacation. It was a wonderful surprise, we took her breath away, and at the end of the dinner were able to enjoy the cake!

Now with the cake it was a bit hard to come up with a design since it was a "big" birthday cake, a Mother's Day cake as well as a Disney themed cake. I settled on making her favorite type of cake, lemon coconut creme, and using her favorite color, yellow and topped the cake off with a fondant flower "Mickey" ears topper. Since not everyone likes coconut I made the second tier a mexican hot chocolate cake with buttercream filling. It was delicious! Now you are probably wondering what the bottom tier's a dummy tier! It's sole purpose was just to make the cake design look grand!

And this is where this week's secret comes in to play. When ordering a special occasion cake, or if you are a caker yourself, when designing a cake like this one, you can use a cake dummy to boost your design rather than getting more cake than your party can actually eat. So you don't waste food and you end up with a more impressive centerpiece. Quickly, a word of caution here: using a dummy tier is not going to save you much money with your baker. This type of tier is usually priced at 80% of what a real cake would be priced since most of the work is still done on the outside of the cake dummy...the same work that is done on the rest of the cake. The only advantages to using a cake dummy is to get a grander looking cake and not wasting food. Obviously, for this design, those were two big factors on why I used it.

Now here is a second secret, if you are a caker. I use crisco all over the dummy tier if I'm covering it with fondant. This makes it easier to remove the fondant when the event is over. I don't bother with this for buttercream since it will easily wash off with hot soap and water. However, you can extend the life of your dummy if you cover it in plastic wrap first before putting on your buttercream layer.

I hope you enjoyed the cake this week as well as the story behind it. Surprising my mom and being surrounded by most of my family, including all my kids and grandkids, made this the best Mother's Day celebration ever for me.

I'll be out the next two Sundays but then returning on the 28th! I'm vacationing with my mom for two weeks in Bavaria! Yup, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Leichtenstein...a castle tour! I'm so excited to be going and seeing and doing this with my mom! When I get back I will post what I'm working on as well as a photo or two of the best of what I see on my vacation! Hope to see you back here then!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chocolate Decadence Cake

Happy Sunday! These week brings a little bit of indulgence that you can enjoy! This Chocolate Decadence cake is a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake filled with fresh buttercream then covered with a layer of buttercream, then ganache and finally whipped ganache and white buttercream!

Now here is how you can make a version of this cake. There are tons of ganache recipes online. Find one and make it. It's really really easy, it just looks hard! It's really just shaved up chocolate, or even chocolate chips, and hot cream. You simply pour the hot cream onto the chocolate, give it a few seconds to melt then stir! Let that cool down a bit then pour over your cake. Yup, that easy. Now let me give you a few tips for this. Use a glass bowl if you can, the cream gets hot and the glass will conduct the heat into the chips of chocolate better. Stir the mixture till very smooth and shiny. Let this set up till it thickens a bit before pouring. Now fill your cake and put it onto a wire cooling rack. Set up foil, with the edges curved up, under that to catch the drippings of ganache and so you don't waste it. Once your ganache is thickened use a big spoon and begin pouring the gananche from the center of the cake and watch as it spreads out beautifully over the cake. Now I covered this cake with buttercream first to add a layer of flavor but you can just pour the ganache right over the bare cake. Once your cake is covered let it set up for a few minutes so you can see any spots you missed. Use the drippings you collected in the foil as well as any left over in the bowl to recoat the cake. Remember to put down new foil before doing this. Then let your cake set up about a half hour before you try to move it to your cake plate or serving platter.

If you want whipped ganache to decorate your cake with then you will need to let the leftovers set up in the refridgerator for at least 12 hours. When totally stiff you will want to whip it with a mixer till light and fluffy. At this point you can spread or pipe it on like you would regular buttercream icing. You can just use the same tip you bought for the rose cupcakes! It will instantly look like a fancy bakery treat!

Hope you get a chance to make this up...I'm sure any Mom in your life would love it!

And speaking of Mother's Day! Next Sunday is Mother's Day here in the US so I will be posting Saturday instead. I have a very special cake planned for our dinner on Saturday night and can NOT wait to share it with all of you!