Wednesday, June 22, 2011

cake inspiration

My friend Shana could put any baker to shame.  I wish that I could put as much precision into baking, but I just don't seem to have the patience for the heap of ingredients and measurements.  Half of my baking recipes come out good.  The other half?  Well, I never quite know what went wrong. 
I have found a fine balance of boxed mixes that I always use and some good old fashioned recipes that can never be duplicated from a box.  I will always use Betty Crocker's dark chocolate brownie mix because it's a winner everytime!  At the same time, there is nothing like my great grandmother's homemade biscotti cookie recipe or some of the great baking recipes that I've found in my Moosewood Cookbook.  Here is a fine blend of both - a boxed cake mix and some yummy homemade buttercream frosting. 
This is an EASY EASY EASY cake to make!
First of all, this was my inspiration from Prudent Baby:
If you are super precise, the above tutorial for you.  I knew that I wanted to do a crab and I had icing dispenser to make the design.  If you need a little room for error, see below (or just check out the website and create your own masterpiece)!  The adaptations that I made turned this big project into a quick 20 minute icing job once the cakes were done.
  • Bake 2 round 9-inch cakes and let them cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make your icing.  I use this recipe for buttercream frosting from My Baking Addiction, which I used for the Cadbury cupcakes that I posted around Easter time.
  • When cooled, use a knife to cut off the top layer of the cake to make sure that you have 2 completely flat surfaces to work with.  (set risen pieces aside to use for the crab body and claws)
  • Ice the bottom layer - place a filling on top of this layer if you'd like.
  • Place the other layer on top and ice completely.
  • Take the extra cake pieces from the layer that you cut off and cut out a crab shape.  You can use a stencil, but you can just as easily freehand this, which is what I did.
  • Do the same for 2 claws
  • Arrange on top of the cake and ice over it.
  • Whip up your color using food dye
  • Using a star tip on the icing dispenser (whatever those things are called...) go over the design.  You can't really mess up!
  • Add M&M's for the eyes

 And here is the finished product.  I added the other claws directly onto the cake.  It gives better effect for the front 2 big ones to be raised. 

Happy 33rd Birthday Charles!

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