Better late than never, right?
This post is dedicated to the cake I made and decorated for our Wedding Anniversary. It was mid March, a little over a week ago. Not too late, surely.
I made a White Chocolate Citrus Mudcake. I used this recipe, and it was my first time making this cake. I’m not really one to leave a recipe alone. I barely made a change. I added some Mandarin rind and then put mandrin sugar syrup between all the layers when it came time to decorate the cake. I’d also frozen the cake having made it some weeks ahead of time. I was a bit skeptical about how easy/difficult it would be to torte given the drama I had with David’s birthday cake, a Chocolate mudcake. It turned out to be reasonably straight forward by comparison.
I used a different Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe. This time I whipped the butter before making the meringue. I was curious whether it would help reduce the yellow colour you will get when using so much butter. I even went as far as to add a dab of Sugarflair Violet to the creamed butter. Did it make any difference? Not to me. I stared so hard but I really couldn’t see a difference. I also added a dab more when it came time to mix the whipped butter into the meringue. Nope, still couldn’t detect any lightening of the frosting.
The SMBC was very nice. It was really light. Since I’ve never made this particular SMBC before I can’t say if the recipe is like that made as instructed, or it became lighter because I whipped the butter prior. I added Cointreau to try and get an orange flavour. I added about 3 tablespoons but couldn’t taste anything. I’m starting to think I’m getting old. Can’t see a change, can’t taste a change. It’s a slippery slope I’m on ;-) Anyway it worried me that adding so much liquid might make the SMBC go sloppy. So I gave up on adding further liquor.
As is normal for white mudcakes I bake, the cake itself looked a little dense and wet after having added the sugar syrup. Maybe I was a bit heavy handed.
I had decided a couple of weeks before our wedding anniversary how I wanted to decorate the cake. I had seen a technique of a Facebook page a I like and I planned to use that technique in a slightly different manner. This link takes you to the photos I’d seen.
I didn’t know how the technique was achieved so I just ploughed on and did what I expected to be the most logical way to go about this. I didn’t even crumb coat the cake. I only realised that after I’d applied the buttercream. I’d sort of crumb coated the cake from the excess filling from between the layers. And I ordered the colours incorrectly. And if I hadn’t said anything the chances of anyone looking thinking it was wrong would be slim (I hope).
After having left the cake overnight in the fridge with the final buttercream layer, the next morning I took the cake out and immediately carved out a cavity for where I would add the different colours. I wanted a sort of blend from blue into purple into pink. It sort of worked.
While I had a really nice smooth finish on the cake prior to carving bits out and then having to smooth the new colours in, with using the scraper to smooth the colours I ended up marking the cake. I’ve become a little less picky. Ok, I pick, I see, it irks me a bit, but it’s just a cake, it’s only for me, it’s mostly an excuse to try new techniques. It’s all practice, and I enjoy the process – most of the time.
I pulled out several pokey type implements I wasn’t sure which would make the best job of carving words.There’s lots wrong here. The sloped Y, not putting the words so they were evenly spaced top and sides. And then the little “extra” message almost hidden, should have started under the main “I love you” wording. This is a little insight into Mr Fussy and my playfulness. We don’t argue. I don’t know if that’s abnormal, but we don’t. What we do, is playfully insist to the other that we love the other “the most”. So for us, saying I love you is not the end of the subject, it’s always followed by “the most”. You may be able to see that, if you squint and cock your head.
With the cake pretty much decorated, I decided I had time to make a fantasy flower. I’m not good with fantasy flowers. And I ended up making the layers too thin. It wasn’t a gumpaste rose, it was meant to be whimsical, and it was hard to get it to ruffle being such large pieces of gumpaste. I’ll know for next time! I put the flower into the hot water cupboard to help it to dry quicker, and it worked nicely. The flower was dry enough to dust within 24 hours. Dusting is not something I do well with. I try to hard I think. And I don’t like blending colours and I like things perfect and not too abstract. So my dusting was really hit and miss on this. I had a pinkish purple and a bluish purple and tried to evenly apply it. I had good intentions. We’ll leave it at that.
Mum had popped around during the morning while I was dusting the flower and then trying to apply the flower. Overnight I had been thinking about whether the flower would stay put given the angle and position I was aiming for. I had thought about using a toothpick, but completely forgot that when I was trying to get it to stay put. Mum suggested the toothpick and I almost slapped myself for not having remembered that from the previous night.
Mum suggested I stick the toothpick into the fondant to get thehole ready and then stick the toothpick into the back of the flower and then just feed it into the pre-made hole. Worked a charm and that flower was no longer slipping on the buttercream.
As far as taste, it was quite lovely. Not at all sweet thanks to the citrus. And as per usual, we had far too much cake. We only wanted to have a slice. The rest of the top layers went with Mr Fussy to work and was dolled out. The bottom section was palmed off to Natalie for her crew to eat. By all accounts everyone enjoyed the cake.
Next cake will be made for Easter. This past weekend I spent time making and decorating cookies. I’ll try to do better this week and get that post up on the blog on Sunday.