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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Angel Food Cake

This week’s recipe of the week is an angel food cake. My dad taught me how to make this cake a few weeks ago, and since it’s way better then a boxed mix I just had to share. As this cake is extremely easy to mess up, I highly recommend you read through this entire post before attempting to make it yourself. This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

To make this cake you will need the following ingredients:

1 1/2 cups egg whites. About 10-12 large eggs.

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar.

1 cup sifted cake flour. (All- purpose flour works, but not quite as well.)

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup granulated sugar.

1.) In a large mixing bowl, allow the egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2.) Sift powdered sugar and flour together 3 times. The more you sift them together the lighter the cake will be in the end.

3.) Add cream of tartar and vanilla to egg whites, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed, until soft peaks form. Soft peaks will curl under when you remove the mixer from the egg whites.

4.) Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites, a few tablespoons at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks will stand straight up when the mixer is removed from the egg whites.

5.) Sift the powdered sugar/ flour combination over the egg whites, about 1/4 of the mixture at a time, and using a rubber spatula gently fold the mixture into the egg whites.

6.) Pour the batter into an UNGREASED 10-inch tube pan. Using a metal spatula or a knife gently cut through the batter to remove all air pockets.

7.) Bake on the lowest rack in a 350 degree oven 40-45 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched and the cracks are no longer sticky.  Immediately invert cake and allow to cool thoroughly in the pan. The best way to invert the cake is to get a stand:

However if you don’t have a stand such as this you can always us a tall glass bottle, and fill the bottom with some kind of weight, such as sugar, or marbles:

 

So here it is inverted on the stand:

 

While the cake is cooling you can prepare some yummy toppings for your cake. We are using strawberries and whipped cream. To prepare your strawberries just slice into quarters and sprinkle with some sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just let set in the refrigerator until they get nice and juicy.

Once the cake is cool, run a metal spatula around the outside edge of the pan to loosen, then just carefully tip upside down, and set right side up on a plate.

And here are the final results:

Some tips for a great angel food cake:

  • Separate the eggs very carefully, the yolks can deflate the whites even if there is only a tiny bit in them.
  • Make sure everything you use in clean and completely grease free. Any oils or grease on the pan, beaters, spatulas, can disrupt the volume of the egg whites.
  • If you wait too long to add the granulated sugar to the egg whites, they will take longer to form the stiff peaks.
  • Try not to over beat the egg whites after the sugar is added, the mixture should flow slightly when you tilt your bowl.

Until next time. Happy baking!

Printable version: angel food cake

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Recipe of the week

 

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The Amazing……

Spiderman! Who doesn’t know and love spidey? After all what isn’t there to love about a grown man who can climb walls, and make webs like a spider. Well even though kids don’t see him that  way, he’s still pretty awesome. So when I was challenged to make a Spiderman cake for my nephew’s 7th birthday, who was I to say no?

The big challenge? Making sure there was enough cake for 20+ people. So of course that meant 2 cakes. Not a problem. So once I hunted down and ordered the right pan, the challenge became how to make this one cake look even cooler with a second one.

 

 

 

 

So I had the idea to make it look like Spiderman was sitting on a web. Unfortunately as luck would have it, Spidey was heavy, and he would have not only covered the majority of the second cake, he would have crushed it too. In the end the actual design of the second cake turned into a pretty cool looking web with writing in it as well:

The spider web is actually made out of Twizzlers- the pull and peel kind. And then just carefully arranged to look like the web. All in all I had one very happy birthday boy on my hands.

 

 

 

 

Here’s what both cakes looked like when together. Although it wasn’t what was originally planned, it still came out looking great and everyone was satisfied.

 

 

 

 

Until next time. Happy baking!

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Cakes

 

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Cake Balls!

So for the first recipe of the week, I decided to write on a dessert that I am constantly being asked to make: Cake Balls! This week though I also played with a technique to make the cake itself a different color.

So to start you need to bake your cake. In this instance we have a basic white cake, that has been dyed with some green gel food coloring.

Next just bake in a 9×13 pan and let cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Then mix your frosting, in this case we are using a vanilla buttercream that has been dyed green as well.

In a large mixing bowl crumble up your cake, and mix until it is just little crumbs. Leave out the crusts so your cake balls aren’t hard in the middle.

Then stir in 1 1/2 cups of frosting and stir till well blended. Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate for 3o minutes to 1 hour. You don’t want your frosting to be too soft when you start rolling.

Using a cookie scoop to make uniform sizes, scoop out your cake/ frosting mixture onto waxed paper, and then roll into little balls.

In a microwave safe bowl melt your chocolate, in whatever color/ or flavor you would like.

Then just dip your cake balls into chocolate, and transfer over to a sheet of waxed paper.

Let harden, and then you can remove them from the paper and transfer to a closed container or plastic bag.

Here’s what they look like once they are dipped and have cooled again. These are so versatile you can use just about any combination of cake and frosting that you’d like.

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So the next time you are craving something sweet, try something that the whole family will love. Try some cake balls.

Until next time,

Happy baking!

Printable recipe version: Cake Balls

 
 

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Wedding Cake Memories

As I sit here putting off doing the laundry that needs done before we leave for my cousin’s wedding this weekend, I am reminded of one of the big reasons why I really wanted to get into cake baking and decorating. When I first really got into the decorating aspect, I kept thinking how cool it would be if I was lucky enough to make wedding cakes. After all every good baker knows that business starts with weddings. First the wedding, then the baby shower, then birthday’s and anniversaries, etc.

So when the opportunity arose for me to make my brother-in-laws wedding cake, who was I to say no? After all it was a great opportunity to give them a beautiful cake, and to do something that I love all at the same time. So we sat down so they could let me know what they wanted and I swear the conversation went like this:

Flavor? Chocolate Pecan. No problem

Shape? Square. No problem

Look? Ivory colored buttercream frosting, with chocolate drizzles, chocolate shavings, and of course chocolate covered strawberries. No problem.

After a while I was starting to think that I was never going to pull this cake off. After all the picture  they originally showed me was beautiful.  Nevertheless when the time came, I spent all day in the kitchen baking a fantastic chocolate pecan cake for them, made a beautiful shade of ivory buttercream, and was starting to feel really good when the chocolate drizzles started to look like this:

A few chocolate shavings, and covered strawberries later I had all the pieces to what promised to be a great cake.

Then of course I still had to get it to the restaurant where they wanted to cut it….. So I loaded it all up in to boxes and carefully drove the 25 minutes to the restaurant, handed all the pieces over to the wait staff and begged them to please don’t drop my cake.

After the wedding, I rushed back to the restaurant and began assembling it before the bride and groom arrived. And the end product was even more lovely than I had imagined it to be:

One happy couple later, and it was easy to call this endeavor into wedding cakes a success.

Until next time happy baking!

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Cakes

 

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Spring

Glorious spring, with the warming weather, the grass growing (great we have to mow), and of course all the colors. Spring brings Easter, flowers, and butterflies. So this morning, which always starts early, I thought I’d share some of my spring inspired cakes.

This was the cake that got other people interested in my decorating, they just couldn’t believe that I could achieve something that looks so bright from scratch.

These two were for my daughters 7th birthday. She really wanted butterflies, and since we have such a large family, we needed two. So I borrowed a pan from my dad, and went to work. In the end she got two different cakes that were almost the same since they used the same colors.

Butterflies have to be my all time favorite cakes to do, what with their vibrant colors, and yet the simplicity of the design. They can look any way you want, and therefor it gives you a different cake every time.

While not actually having been done for spring, this still has a beautiful spring feel to it. The tulips are made from marshmallows, buttercream frosting, and fondant. The whole thing is a flower box, in which the tulips were to grow. The dirt was made from crushed up teddy bear crackers. I know I killed the poor innocent teddy bears. 🙂 All in all it was a neat cake, for something I hadn’t attempted before. This was my first attempt at fondant flowers.

Till next time, happy baking!

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Cakes

 

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Ode to Spongebob

They say write what you know, and write about what you love. Well I know cakes, and what better way to start my blog then with a favorite theme among my friends, family, kids, and even my co-workers: Spongebob Squarepants. As funny as it may sound, everyone knows Spongebob, and I have done a few variations over the years to help keep everyone happy. So I thought I’d share these first.

Ah the classic Spongebob. It all started with you. This was one of the very first cakes that I made when I started all those years ago. And now this one design has spawned a few variations including the o so handsome:

Date night Spongebob.

But you can’t have Spongebob without him working for good ole Mr Krab making those Krabby Patties. So that brings us to:

My personal favorite Burger Time Spongebob.

While Spongebob may remain a favorite of kids for a long time, I’m sure the variations will continue to come. You can bet that I’ll be asked to make another and I will be sure to share with all Spongebob lovers, so keep watching.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Cakes

 

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