Saturday, July 11, 2009
Nick's Construction Cake
This cake for a friend's baby's brithday at the Houston Children's Museum. She had a construction theme and was planning to have about 50 people there.
I decided to to use 2 - 12 inch rounds for the bottom layer and then 2 - 6 inch rounds for the top so that we could remove it and nick could have his own smash cake. I made the cake using Ina Garten's recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/birthday-cake-with-hot-pink-butter-icing-recipe/index.html). I've found it to be similar to a pound cake with sour cream, so it is very stable and very moist. I put apricot filling between the layers and them used a chocolate buttercream recipe from Rose's book (http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/RBeranbaum/html/neoclassic_r_beranbaum.shtml). OVerall, the cake tasted great ; )
- Using Central Market Organics Apricot Jam makes for a great filling. I just put it between the layers directly and it adds great flavor without being ridiculously sweet. I realize it is a huge shortcut, but it's tasty and super stable - no slipping layers!!
- For some unknown reason, this was the first time I realized that I could just separate out some buttercream ahead of time, to color it, BEFORE adding the chocolate...yeah, I know - common sense. I also doubled the original recipe and it still worked like a dream - phew
- It was my husband's idea to carve the cake so that the ramp came in the from the side and didn't go straight up the cake. It allowed us to have an intact 6 inch cake as a smash cake and also add a great visual effect. We used the remnants of the cake - from trimming the cakes so they'd be flat and from cutting into the bottom layer, to create the ramps to the top. We just used more apricot jam as the glue and it worked out perfectly.
- I used royal icing on Wasa crackers to make the signs. I made them ahead of time and probably should have made them closer to the date so that they wouldn't dry out so much - the black looked a little gray
- We separated Oroes and food processed the cookie parts to make the dirt...yummy, huh?
The beautiful thing about this cake was that it was great not having to use fondant and it was OK if it looked a little messy ; )
- I used a 6 inch round of plastic cake board to separate the top tier from the bottom. In order to stabilize it, I used plastic straws. They worked perfectly well and were MUCH easier than wooden dowels!!