Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wine Bottle in a Crate Cake

Wine Bottle In A Crate Cake

The label is wet in this photo. it dried out later on.

Step 1 - Make the wine bottle out of gumpaste or fondant at least 3 days ahead:
Use a real wine bottle as a mould and dust with cornflour to keep the fondant from sticking to it...a lot of cornflour. Knead some black fondant with Tylose (helps it dry harder and faster), roll it out to about 1/8" thick, then lay it over the top half of the wine bottle making sure there is plenty of corn starch between the fondant and bottle.  Smooth out the fondant over the bottle and trim off the excess.

I made two bottles just in case one went wrong!!

Tip 1:  Be sure to trim it at the half way mark down the side of the bottle so that you can just slip the fondant off the bottle once dry. You can make 2 halves separately then glue them together with sugar glue if you want a 3D bottle.

Tip 2:  Allow at least 2-3 days for drying time to avoid the fondant losing its shape.

Step 2 - Decorate the bottle:
You can paint the bottle with clear piping gel tinted burgundy (AmeriColor Gel Paste) if you want a shiny glass look but I just left it matte. For the label, I purchased an edible image but you may prefer to paint on the label yourself. Mark the label position before applying and lightly paint the area with water or edible glue.

Tip 3:  Pop the edible image in the freezer for 2 minutes before peeling off the backing paper. 

Step 3 - Make the wood panels for the box at least 2 days ahead:
For the side panels of the box, make 2 shades of fondant, a light brown and beige .  Rolled each color out into a thick snake them twist them together and kneaded it a little bit until it started to marble.  Then rolled it out flat to around 3/16" thick.

Tip 4:  Don't knead too much or else the marble will blend away.  Rolling it out will help it marble more anyways.

Tip 5:  You don't want to roll it out too thin or else you risk the panels breaking apart.

Cut out 4 panels:  2 panels at 14" x 4" and 2 panels at 6" x 4".  Lay them over parchment paper, then over a cookie tray to dry.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes to dry a little then take some tools and score lines down it, poke holes into it, dent it, etc...just stress it out and get it to look like wood.

Tip 6:  Letting the fondant sit for a couple minutes before scoring and marking it, it will help the design stay.  If you start scoring it too early while the fondant is too soft and pliable, the marks will smooth away.
As for the base board, I used a 16" x 8" x 9mm thick MDF covered in decorator's foil, firmly glued down with PVA wood glue. 

Step 4 - Bake the cake 2 days ahead.
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake (from Planet Cake Cookbook)
Ingredients for 10" square cake
330g butter
330g dk choc
35g coffee
240ml water
190g SR
190g plain
75g cocoa
.7tsp bicarb
720g caster
6 eggs
10.5 tsp oil
150ml buttermilk

1800g dark chocolate
900ml pure cream

Dark Chocolate Mud Cake Method 
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin.
  2. Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.
  3. Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours (for 11'5"cake) or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky. Leave the cake in the tin until cold.
Dark Chocolate Ganache Method
  1. Blitz the chocolate in a processor till each piece is the size of a coffee granule and place in a large bowl
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to boiling point. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and mix with a hand whisk until the ganache is smooth. (Do not use an electric whisk, as you will create too many air bubbles in the ganache.)
  3. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight.

Step 5 - Torte, fill, and crumb coat the cake 1 day ahead.
The side panels of the box were cut to make a box 14" L x 6" W x 4" H.  
Cut the 10" square Dark Chocolate Mud Cake to fit.  Torte each layer to 1-1/4" tall and filled with 1/2" of Dark Chocolate Ganache = 3" tall cake.  Place the cake over a 14" x 6" set up board covered in foil.  Use piping gel to help the cake and board stick together.  Cover the cake with ganache using the board that the cake is sitting on as a guide to getting the correct thickness. Leave the cake overnight to harden and make it easier to work with. 

Step 6 - Final Assembly:

Use a very sharp blade to trim each panel to size, if necessary, and gently press up against the side of the cake using edible glue to stick them on. Gently place the bottle in the middle and fill the area around it with white chocolate shavings.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Black & White Tiffany Wedding Cake

I made this cake for a wedding on the Gold Coast yesterday!
The top tier is a 10" Hummingbird Cake filled with Cream Cheese Frosting and some Decorator's Buttercream to go directly under the sugarpaste.
The bottom tier is a 12" Dark Chocolate Jaffa Mud Cake filled and coated with Dark Chocolate Ganache and covered in sugarpaste.

Making and using black sugarpaste can be a nightmare and so for this special cake I purchased 'Satin Ice' Ready Made black sugarpaste. The white sugarpaste is Bakel's.

Quantities of Sugarpaste
5 Kg white sugarpaste
1.3 Kg black sugarpaste
Three of the sketches used in the design stages.
Ingredients for the 12” square dark chocolate Jaffa mud cake 

500g butter

500g dk choc

55g coffee
360ml water (replace some of this with the juice of 2 oranges)
280g SR
280g plain
110g cocoa
1.5 tsp bicarb
1080g caster
9 eggs
Zest of 4 oranges
16 tsp oil
225ml buttermilk

2700g dark chocolate
1350ml pure cream

Method for the dark chocolate Jaffa mud cake 
Preheat the oven to 160C (Fan Forced). Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin. Add baking strips (made from damp cloths wrapped in tin foil) around the outside of the cake tin.

Put the butter, chocolate, coffee, water and fresh orange juice in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.

Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, orange zest, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky. 

Once removed from the oven, use a pastry brush (or similar) to brush the top of the cake with boiled water to keep it moist and save it from cracking and forming crusty bits on top. Then cover with a clean tea cloth to reduce evaporation. Repeat the brushing with boiled water step two or three times at half hour intervals as the cake cools. 

Remove the baking strips once they can be handled or use oven gloves to remove them.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack before taking the cake out of the tin.
Wrap the cake well in cling film (do not squash cake) and put in fridge till morning.  

Method for dark chocolate ganache

  1. Find out how to make ganache and fill / cover your cake with it Click Here

Ingredients for 10" square Hummingbird Cake 
A 250ml measuring cup was used for this recipes.
440g can crushed pineapple in juice or syrup [or 62ml (1/4 cup) pineapple juice/syrup and 110g (1/2 cup) well-drained crushed pineapple]
300g (2 cup) self-raising flour

150g (1 cup) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 large eggs (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
250ml (1 cup) oil (we use peanut oil, but any mild-flavored oil could be used)
780g (3 cup) mashed very ripe banana
450g (2 cups, firmly packed) brown sugar
170g (1 1/3 cup) pecan nuts, broken or chopped into pieces

Cream Cheese Frosting (to fill the cake)
245g (1 3/4 cups) icing sugar
40g butter
80g cream cheese
2 1/2 teaspoons (12.5ml) lemon juice

Decorator's Buttercream (a nice firm buttercream to spread on the sides and top of cake)
(Very stable in very hot weather which we get in the summer here on the Gold Coast, Australia. Probably the best buttercream for covering the outside of cakes as it firms up nicely and forms a crust)
250g Lurpak butter
250g copha or solite
1 tbsp lemon juice
around 750g Pure icing sugar (just keep adding till you are happy with the consistency)
one and a half tablespoons of 'Pavlova Magic'.
1/4 cup of water (don’t freak out if the icing seems to curdle, it comes together fine.)

Method for Hummingbird Cake
If using a can of crushed pineapple, empty the contents into a strainer over a medium bowl. Set aside to drain.

Grease a deep 10” square cake pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced). If you are not using a fan-forced oven, adjust the oven rack to the lower half of the oven so the centre of the cake will be in the centre of the oven.

Stir or whisk self-raising flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon together in a large bowl until combined.

Measure 62ml (1/4 cup) pineapple juice/syrup and 110g (1/2 cup) pineapple flesh. 

Place eggs, oil, banana, brown sugar, pecan nuts, crushed pineapple and pineapple juice in a large bowl. Stir the ingredients together until well combined.

Add banana mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Bake cake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until a thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out without any batter attached.

Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan.

When cool cut in half and fill with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
 Place icing sugar in a mixer and mix on high speed for a few seconds to remove any lumps. Add butter, cream cheese and lemon juice to the food processor. Process on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl. Process for a further 15 seconds, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Make a dam of Decorator's Buttercream around the edge of the cake and fill in the middle with the frosting.

Decorator's Buttercream

Melt/soften the copha (make sure soft all the way through, or just melt) (Solite is already soft, so just add straight to the bowl).

Add copha/solite and softened butter to mixer, start mixing, add lemon juice.
Add the icing sugar a cup at a time, once combined add pav magic, and water. Leave to mix for about 10 minutes.
Smooth over the sides and top of the cake and leave till firm.

Covering the cake with sugarpaste
Knead some white icing to a pliable dough and roll it out to 3 mm (1/8 in) thick, using a large rolling pin.

Cover both cakes with white sugarpaste.

Making the strips
Cut out 3.5 cm wide strips of black and white sugarpaste the height of the cake. You will need 20 black strips and 16 white strips plus 4 white corner strips which you can custom cut to fit once all the other strips are in place. Start off each side by marking the midpoint and sticking the first black strip right in the middle. 

Making the lids
Let the cakes sit for a couple of hours to allow the icing to dry before you make the lids. Brush the top of the cakes with a little water (or syrup) and run the brush around the top inch of the side of the cakes. Knead 700g of the white icing for the top box lid and 900g for the the bottom box lid.Once the dough is pliable, roll out each piece till they are at least 8 in larger than the width of each box. Roll the icing over your rolling pin, lift it up and roll it over the cake. Smooth the top and sides with a flexi-scraper. Use a ruler to mark the edge of the lid on all 4 sides. Trim the lid with a sharp knife.

Making the ribbon
Knead 500g of the black sugarpaste to a pliable dough and roll out. Measure length of ribbon needed. Cut out 4 strips of the required length by  3.5 cm wide. Trim one end of each ribbon into a point to help fit the ribbons together on top of the cake. Stick to the cake with water or edible glue and trim excess ends with a knife.

To make the bow simply watch this video
Making the bow
Follow the video above to make the bow or this other video.
Once the bow is completely dry use edible glue to stick it to your cake.

I hope you enjoy making the cake as much as I did.
Sweet Thing