Sunday, November 25, 2012

 Happy Sunday and to those in America, Happy Thanksgiving! We have had a lovely time celebrating up lots of birthdays in our family and friends circle. This past week was my husbands birthday so I made him a very special cake. 

Our family is definitely a Disney Family. Both of my guys love the Mickey Sorcerer part of Fantasia so I figured it was a pretty safe bet to make this into a cake. I wouldn't say easy, but a safe choice. Here is how I did it.

I started out with two 6x3 inch cakes. I split them and froze them. It's easier to carve a frozen cake and easier to torte, or split, the layers while they are just out of the oven. When I was ready to work on the cake I took them out of the freezer, filled the almond cake with apricot filling and stacked them on top of each other. Normally you want to put a cake board and dowels every 4 inches but, in this case, I knew that most of the top tier would be carved away. 

I used an upside down sugar cone that I stuck into some buttercream I smeared on top. Once it was set I used the cone as a guide and angled the carving out so it gently sloped to the bottom tier which I left whole. I broke off the end of the cone and placed a skewer down inside the cone all the way to the cake board to hold it steady. Once it looked like a cone I crumbcoated it and then let it settle for 3 hours.  I will admit that at this point I was worried that it looked a bit too narrow and pointed at the top but had faith that I could even it out with fondant.

For the next step I rolled out the dark blue fondant till it was a 12x12 square. I then trimmed the corners off the upper part of the square and then gently lifted the triangle up onto the cake. This almost covered the entire cake but I rolled a smaller square, trimmed it, and placed the triangle on the back. I let this set up for an hour so the fondant surface would be a bit more firm for placing the stars and moons on it. 

I used more blue fondant and cut out the stars and moons using cookie cutters. The moons were cut out with circle cutters, one large and then one smaller one to make the half moon shape. I adhered these to the cake with water and let them set up while I rolled out the hat brim. 

To paint the shapes I used a gold luster dust mixed with a bit of vodka (which burns off as the paint dries) and hand painted the shapes on the cake. This takes a steady hand but if they are painted before placement then the paint cracks when you put the shapes on the cake so it works better to paint them after placement. I also used the same paint to write the wording onto the hat brim at this time. It took two coats so I worked on the ears while waiting.

The ears are just two large chocolate chip cookies. I trimmed one side of each to make the flat side that sits on the hat and then I covered them with a thick sheet of black fondant. I put a skewer through the cake where I wanted the ears to be and then stuck toothpicks into the ears and finally put that into the cake once the two coats of gold paint were dry. While placing the ears onto the cake I gently pressed in the toothpicks to see where the ears would set and then trimmed the shapes that fell under where the ears would sit. I used a bit of water to help hold the ears and then sat there holding the ears until they set up solidly onto the cake.

Looking at the cake at this point I was "happy" with it but not thrilled. I finally decided to use a bit of the luster dust to add a dash of sparkle and, just like that, it turned the cake from good into great. It took me awhile to figure out why but I finally decided that it made the cake look like it was ceramic and no longer cake. At that point I was really really happy with it. 

Happy to say my husband was very happy with it too! The great thing is that at his birthday we were able to celebrate two more birthdays at the same time so this special cake was even more special! 

Now this week I didn't make a cake, I made Pumpkin Pies in a Jar! I have made cupcakes in a jar but never a pie in a jar so I went for help...and, of course, found it online!
Here is how you do it! Take your regular crust and roll it out. Now cut that into fourths. You can use the type of crust from the store that comes in sheets and just cut that into fourths. Press and mold that fourth of a sheet into the jar. These are half pint jars. Fill with your normal recipe of pumpkin pie filling. I follow the Libby's recipe on the side of the can and double the spices for mine. Fill to the place where the lip rings begin and then freeze them for 10 minutes. Bake on a cookie sheet or stoneware slab at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes. Set the jars out on a wire rack and let cool for at least an hour before you put the lids on top. While the jars were in the freezer I took the left over crust dough and cut out the little leaves and pumpkins and then let them brown up in the oven. Once the jars were totally cool I placed 3 on top of each one and then put on the lid, the ribbon and the wired fuzzy ribbon. We gave these out to the other guests at the Thanksgiving Dinner we attended. They were a big hit!

Just a small birthday cake for this upcoming week but it will be fun to share it with you all next Sunday!


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