Monday, July 20, 2009
Cake Slice: Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake
"It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to..."
No wait, scratch that.
Let's try that again. Ahem. "Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me..."
Yepper, I turned 44 last week. I'm OK with it, you know, they say 44 is the new 34 (Yea, I'd roll my eyes if I were you too). Anyhoo... what better way to celebrate than to join in with the rest of the Cake Slice Bakers and whip up a Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake, from the book "Sky High" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.
(The cake was delicious with a capital "D", by the way.)
I've tried many cake techniques since my cake decorating days, but one I've never tried is a funny-angled wonky cake, or topsy-turvy cake.
I figured, why not give it a try, even if it's only on a small scale and only one tier. If you want to follow along, here is what I did... I halved the recipe and baked it in two six-inch pans and one five-inch pan. I figured carving it upside down would be easier, so I layered them with the small one on top (which will eventually be the bottom).
I thought I'd be conservative with the angle, so I used the five inch cake as my guide. I carved from the edge of the top 5-inch cake in a straight line to the bottom of the lowest 6-inch cake. Like this...
Next, I had to make up for the fact that I didn't use an icing dam to keep my blueberry filling from leaking into the icing (duh, I keep forgetting that part). I used "cake spackle", a technique by cake-decorator extraordinaire Toba Garrett. I took all of the scraps that I carved from the cake and mixed them with enough icing to make a sort of edible spackling.
I covered the cake with a layer of spackle (somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick) and smoothed it, then refrigerated until firm.
OK, here's where I messed up. I went ahead and iced the sides with the cake still upside-down.
I placed my serving plate on top and then...
... flipped it over, so that now the cake is right side up.
OK, here's how I messed up... in addition to having slanted sides, these wonky cakes also have an angled top. However, by icing the sides ahead of time, I made it impossible to carve the angle on top. Any attempt to carve the top would have resulted in cake crumbs marring the icing on the sides. D'oh!
So, I left the top of the cake flat and proceeded to gob the remaining icing on top. (You can see my cake spackle layer below.)
I spread the icing over top, making sure to go all the way to the edge with icing.
Then I smoothed the icing as best I could. Here's a secret... I'm not really that great at smoothing icing with a spatula.
For the spatula-impaired like me, a stint in the refrigerator firms up the meringue buttercream so the icing can then be smoothed and the edges trimmed as needed.
Then the fun begins! Time to decorate! I used fondant for wavy stripes and dots on the side, then used a "grass tip" to pipe the top border and a plain tip for the bottom. I finished it off with a fondant "J" and then all that's left was the singing.
OK folks, that's that! If you want to know the *right* way to make one of these cakes, my friend Sharon does first-rate cake decorating how-to DVDs and her latest DVD is on this very thing. Check it out ---> here.
Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake
- from the book "Sky High" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.
(Note: I halved the cake recipe but forgot to halve the blueberry preserves, so I got double the filling.)
The recipe is ---> here.