Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Birthday Cake

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but this cake is bubble-looking, smooth, kinda futuristic. It's a cake covered in fondant icing(you know, what Ace of Cakes uses). If you like to bake, like play dough, and you are not a perfectionist, you really, really should give this a try! I have lots of fun making these cakes. Here is the recipe I use.

Tips: When there is more than one layer that you want to cover separately with fondant, you need to put a support in between the two. I use cardboard covered with aluminum foil in the shape of the top layer, cut smaller so it is concealed. Then I use straws cut to just above (almost flush to) the surface of the bottom layer that is already covered in fondant. The top layer sits on the cardboard which is on the straws, but you can not see a gap. When you cover the second layer, I put the cardboard and the cake elevated (sitting on cups or an overturned bowl) so I can tuck the fondant underneath the cake (and cardboard). Then I carefully transfer the cake to the top of the straws.

When you are laying the fondant on top of the cake, and it gathers in the corners, or overlaps, keep gently stretching it so the gathers end up below the cake and you can cut them off. A pizza cutter works great for cutting the ends of the cake. Make sure you leave enough around the edges. Take your time putting the fondant on the cake. I make the most mistakes when hurrying to lay the fondant on top of the cake.

If you look closely at this cake, you can see that it looks wavy or mottled. One reason is because I used store bought cake icing instead of a firmer homemade buttercream icing. I also totally forgot to ice the bottom layer! The top layer didn't have the fondant tucked underneath smoothly because I had to cut it to get it in the hook of the question mark. I cut the fondant into the thin strips and laid them on the bottom of the cake. The strips do not go together perfectly, that is why I say don't do this if you are a perfectionist. It would take too long to get that good in my opinion!

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