Happy Sunday! This week is all about Baby Showers! The trend for showers in the past 5 years has been "bigger is better". Due to the economy lots of families are using showers and weddings as a replacement for family reunions. So the entire family gets invited, has a great "event" together, usually in an event space with catering, big cake, etc. But not all Mom's-to-be are wanting or needing a huge shower. It may just be a few friends around a coffee table in their mom's house. We don't believe that this means you should have to give up the adorable cake! Just scale it down a bit.
This "Cute as a Button" cake would be the perfect version if you only have 10 people to feed but still want an adorable cake to serve. It is a 6 inch cake which feeds 15 so you would have a few leftovers for later! Lemon chiffon with fresh strawberry preserves filling, covered in vanilla buttercream first and then fresh vanilla marshmallow frosting. So good that everyone will be going "MMMmmmmm" after you serve it!
The "secret" to this cake is the buttons. They are SO easy you are going to wonder why you haven't used this idea before! Just use a small round cutter in the size you want the buttons to be to cut out the colored fondant. Then use a slightly smaller cutter to gently press the inside circle down into the larger circle. Finally use either a fondant tool, which is what I did, or a skewer or a toothpick to make the holes in the buttons. Easy to use royal icing to crisscross them like they are "sewed" to the cake if you want to add that detail. We didn't do that here so you could see the holes clearly. SO easy! Just let them dry for a bit...I think we let them dry for about an hour...then place them on the cake with a bit of water for "glue".
Today's cake was a "teaching cake". I was teaching how to make fresh fondant and how to use it on a real cake. This did double duty for me as it allowed my student to learn a few new fondant techniques but also allowed my client, the next day, to sample one of my cakes at her tasting. Normally I teach on a styrofoam "dummy" cake which gives the student a more sturdy surface to learn upon but since I need the cake for a tasting I figured this was also a good way for the student to learn how to work with real cake as their base.
Normally, for small cakes such as shower cakes, I don't need to do a tasting. Chances are they are clients who have either attended an event and tasted my cake or have heard from clients how good the cake is and thus don't require a tasting. Wedding cake clients always get a tasting! However, this is a new client and she was dubious about the taste of fondant. All she had tasted, up to this point, is the type of fondant that some bakeries get from a tub. Now the problem with that is the tub could have been sitting on a shelf for months before it was purchased by the bakery and then sitting on the bakery shelves for awhile before it was used on your cake. Think about the taste of freshly baked bread compared to bread that you get at the store, sliced and in bags. The sliced bread tastes ok but the fresh baked bread is amazing! Always ask the bakery or the caker, that you use when their fondant was made. If it has been made in the past two weeks then it will still have that fresh taste to it. Any older and you start to lose that wonderful taste and texture of fresh fondant. I make my fondant the same week as the cake is made. So freshly baked cake with freshly made fondant. It makes all the difference in the world!
The other thing I do is use the best ingredients I can. Unless your health requires you to go gluten or sugar or dairy free, then this is not the time for substitutions. Let your weight loss wait a day and go for the treat. However if you DO have an allergic reaction to gluten, sugar or dairy, make sure to tell your baker. We do have ways to make your cake the way you need it and still taste good. As good as our full fat, dairy and gluten included cakes? Well, no, but still very very good. And everyone should be able to have cake!
See you next week! I am working on "piece work" the next two weeks. I have a few cakes that need figures or flowers so as I work on them I'll be taking photos so that you guys can have tutorials! I'll post the first one of these next Sunday!