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How to make a cake like mine.

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

So I got this request to share how I make my cakes. I had no idea how to put this post together so as chaotic as it is, I hope it does help you somewhat.

Well in the first place there is the cake, then the filling and then the fondant. Before I started making cakes I have been looking at many tutorials, video tutorials and picture of all kinds of cake and cupcake baking and decorating. Checking on the tools and techniques and materials they used. Then when I finally got enough courage to get started, I decided what kind of cake I wanted to make and what I wanted it to look like. Again I looked at tutorials searched recipes and how-to’s, just this time more specific  with the wishes I had. I went looking at online stores where I could buy materials, checked prices, looked at ebay for the tools and search the stores in the mall to find what I needed for reasonable prices.

Most of my tools I bought off ebay because I don’t have a lot of money to spend and I did not mind waiting a little longer till I had everything I needed at first, I bought from international sellers. Most times my items came from hongkong.  The search terms I used where: ” fondant cakes decorating”. On the left side of the search results u can select a number of things you want to define your search a little more with. I checked: “world wide” and “free shipping” , because I want to be sure that when I bid on something that they actually deliver it to me across the globe and I don’t want to pay a lot on unexpected delivery costs and I dont want to spend /waste time asking the seller how much shipping to me would cost. From the drop down menu at the top right I select: ” price plus shipping lowest first”.

So, THIS would be the results and from there I start looking at everything  and bid on the things I need and want.

When I first started to make cakes I decided to make a heart shaped cake with pretty little roses on it because I loved how pretty, romantic and fragile they look and wanted to learn how to make them.

The images below here shows you all the ingredients  I had and used when I made that first cake.

 

You see from left to right, top row first: biscuit mix, eggs, butter, powder sugar (confectioners sugar), water, vanilla extract, bakers cream mix (custard cream), fresh strawberries, read made roll fondant, oil based food coloring and baking spray to keep your cake from sticking to the pan.

 

And here in these pictures you see the tools I used, they seem to be a lot of tools but most of those tools you probably already have:

 

Again from left to right and top to bottom: Piping bag, A mixer, 3 mixing bowls, a large  butcher knife, A bread knife, wooden rolling pin, toothpicks, cutting set for the roses, cutting set for the leafs, foam (just leftover packaging), an oven,  a coaster for pans to let the cake cool off on.

And the second set of tools I used:

 

 And once again from left to right top to bottom: Fondant smoother, transparent document folder, baking paper, plastic box, silicone heart shaped baking pan, scale, brush, zipper bags and a modelling tool set.

To make the mix I simply followed the recipe on the package. I bought a kilo pack of mix but that’s plenty for several cakes, depending of course on the size. I bought it in a cooking shop where they sell a lot of fun cooking things. I made enough for the size of my cake and bake the cake following the directions on the pack.

When the cake is done (usually about 30 -45 minutes  in the oven) You take her out of the baking pan and turn her carefully upside down on top of a rack where it can cool off. I used a coaster to put hot pans on because that would come the closest to a real cool off rack for cakes. Yeah they do exist but I did not spend money on one yet since it goes perfectly well with the coasters for my pans. Every ten minutes I turned the cake a few degrees so the metal of the racks would not get too deep into the cake bottom. IF the shape of the rack gets into the cake bottom it does not matter so much because keep in mind that the Top of the cake becomes the bottom so that’s why you have to turn it around to cool off upside down so you don’t get the pattern of the cooling rack into your cake top.

While the cake is cooling down you can make the butter cream, you can buy a mix  but its pretty easy and quick to make so you can save yourself that money and make it from scratch in the same time. This butter cream is meant to spread in between the layers and make a small protection wall so your filling doesn’t touch the fondant. Its also used to spread on the outside of the cake to make your fondant stick to the cake and make the cake perfectly smooth before you add the fondant cover. I added a tiny bit of vanilla extract to give it a nicer taste. If you use a different color then white to cover your cake then you might want to add a color to your butter creme, but do this at the end of the mixing when you are almost done and add very small doses , mix and if the colors is not the way you like then add some more.

Basic cake recipes:

Recipe butter creme:

Ingredients:

250 grams butter at room temperature
250 grams powder sugar (confectioners sugar)
Vanilla extract (optional)
food color (optional)

Materials/tools:

Mixer
Bowl
sieve (for the sugar)

Instructions:

Put the butter in a bowl and mix it till its completely smooth.
Put the powder sugar (confectioners sugar) through the sieve in the bowl.
Mix it for at least ten minutes. 
Add vanilla little by little while you try the taste till you are satisfied.
If you want to add a color you do this last. Mix really small portions  into the butter creme till you reach the requested result.

DON’T put your bowl with butter creme into the refrigerator because this will make your butter creme hard again and we want to keep it smooth. Just set it aside till you are ready to use it.

After you filled and covered your cake with the butter cream put it in the refrigerator for a little bit. Take it out and you can smoothen the butter better around the cake. Then you can add the basic layer of fondant on the cake.

Custard Cream filling

 The custard cream I used comes from a ready mixed package as well and I simply follow the instructions on the package. I have however looked on the web and found a few recipes that sound good to me to be used instead of the one I used.

Custard cream recipes

The strawberries

Well that’s the easiest part. Wash them and let them dry and cut them in slices. After you added the butter cream wall and put the custard filling onto the cake layer, you can put the strawberry slices on top of your custard filling. I basically covered the whole custard because I think you should taste the fillings with every bite. Then the layer of cake that goes on top of the strawberries  you spread in with butter cream first so the cake does not get soaked from the strawberry juice.

The fondant

I have used fondant because I don’t like the taste of marzipan and fondant is whiter then Marzipan. I think its just a matter of trying and taste whichever you prefer. When you color the fondant with food color then make sure its oil based food color and not water based. When adding the color to the fondant always do small parts and use a tooth pick to add the color to the fondant because a tiny bit already gives a big result. If you want hard colors like red and black and dark blue I suggest you buy them already colored because that’s like impossible to make using coloring gels at home.  just have to try  with the fondant and make the decorations a few days ahead if possible so they can harden up. DON’T leave them drying in the light too long for they will lose the color you gave to it if you leave it too long.

I have used the packing foam to stick the roses on with toothpicks so they would stay straight up. To give the  rose leafs some shape I used aluminium foil that I crumbled a little bit so I could let the leafs dry without them laying flat and straight.

Here are some tutorials that can help you making the roses and getting the fondant smoothly onto the cake. I have just watched a lot of tutorials and learned a lot from them. Tutorials might not be exactly what you need or are looking for but they often contain little tricks that you can use at one point.

Fondant tutorials:

 

To make a 3d puzzle with fondant like the cake I made for my oldest daughter, you have to find a design first. Make sure its do-able. You can basically pick any design from a logo to a coloring book drawing or even draw your own design. You have to have several copies of this image .
3D puzzle tutorials:
There, with all this info I hope you can get started though I suggest to take in all the info before you rush into it and start with modelling some decorations first to get the feel of it start easy and if you have a big project you want to do then don’t starts with that but try on a more simple cake first so again you get the feel and find out whats hard and whats easy and you find out what is difficult for you so you can read up on it and find info on the internet on how to make this easier on you. Before I made my first cake I have been planning and buying the things I needed and watching tutorials and gathering ideas and recipes for about  2 months on and off whenever I felt like it. In this time however I also made the roses for my first cake. If you have questions please ask. It was hard for me to put this post together on how I make my cake because I did not knew really where to start or to finish there is so much little details that I probably most forgot to mention.  My best advice is still to look at as many tutorials as you can. There are sites where you can order all your cake making stuff  but you will most likely pay more. However these sites usually have tutorial parts as well and forums where you also can find a lot of information.
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Chow Mein

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Today, we are eating chow mein, I have spend the whole day at the dentist and my teeth are good as new LOL so I didn’t feel like cooking anything that’s a lot of work. Antonio didn’t wanted to cook neither so I went to the store and bought a quick and easy meal Chow mein 🙂 I bought a ready package from the brand kokki dawa , all I needed to add was some porkmeat, and a bag of mixed wok veggies. You can also of course make it with chicken or beef. If you want the recipe how to make it and don’t care spending the extra time… you can find it here along with a lot of other yummie things!

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Carrot Soup

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

With Christmas when my mom was here I had asked her to make some carrotsoup like she used to make  as long as I remember. I just love that soup and we had bought our selfs a new refridgerator with a freezer with 3 drawers so I wanted to  put some in the freezer too.  And ofcourse my mom made a load of soup and it was delicious as always. We froze in a few liter soup that she had made extra. But all that soup.. well… its all gone.. we ate it all in January and February allrdy and  a few weeks ago it started itching again.. I wanted to have carrotsoup.. Now our normal grocerystore where we always go was doing a redecorating that would last till half april so I was going to wait till then… And this week it was reopened.

So I bought  all the Ingredients I needed and today I made that famous carrotsoup myself.. for the first time.. And it was delicious, just like my mom makes it. Good job eh? Thank goodness I made a lot of extra so next time when I want  some carrotsoup again, all I need to do is open my fridge n get myself a pack of frozen carrotsoup out. Since that soup turned out so well when I tried to make it by myself, I wanted to share the recipe here. So you guys can try it for yourself :). I am using European/Dutch measurements so you might want to google up to converse to your own country.

Carrotsoup  (+/- 8 portions)

  • 500 gram Wintercarrots (those are like the biggest carrots u can find XD) fresh ofcourse.
  • 1 onion
  • 2 toes of garlic (I used garlic paste thats rdy to use)
  • 4 beef bouillon blocks (make sure its for 2 liter bouillon)
  • 40 grams margarine (butter)
  • 40 grams flour (all purpose)
  • 2 liter water
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 150 gram grounded beef)
  • 1 thin leek
  • parsley hacked in small pieces for finishing touch.
  • salt and pepper

Clean the carrots and cut them in  big slices. Peel the onion and cut it in tiny pieces. peel the garlic and  use a garlic press to make 2  toes into paste.

Use a BIG soup pan thats large enough for  all ingredients to fit when the soup is finished.  Put in the pan: 2 liter water, the carrot slices, the cut onion, the pressed garlic and the bouillon blocks. Bring it to boiling and let it boil for 15 minutes.

Take a large bowl (or 2) and a sieve and pour the soup  thru the sieve into the bowl(s) so u have a clear bouillon left over. The carrot and onion and garlic that u catched in the sieve you going to have to mash completely (I used my kitchen machine with blades for this) U can put all the bouillon back together in the big pan and keep the mashed carrotmix seperated for now.

In another pan you melt the butter and stir the flour through it when its melted. Then little by little you add some bouillon as you keep stirring till you have a lightly bound soup.  Add this lightly bound soup back with the rest of the bouillon int the large pan and add the mashed carrotmix aswell. Now its time to test the taste of your soup first time. add a lil bit of the currypowder and try again.. then add  a little more if neccesary and some salt and pepper just the way you like it.

From the ground beef you gonna have to make tiny lil balls. Bring your soup back to boiling and add the lil meatballs. let that boil for about 10 minutes. In  that time  you can cut the leek into  small/thin slices (rings) and let those boil aswell for 5 minutes in the soup. (If you want to freeze in the soup then seperate what you going to use right away and add the leek to that so the part you going to freeze dont have the leek. You will have to add that when you going to use the soup.) Last but not least, when serving the soup sprinkle a little bit of the  hacked parsley after pouring the soup into bowls/plates.

Make sure the soup has cooled down before you freeze it. enjoy 🙂

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