Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All you need is love

… and a whole lot of cake! Seriously. How could you go wrong with cake right? And chocolate? I baked a chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday and Valentine’s Day. Yeah. AND. His birthday is Valentine’s Day. He’s lover boy… the real deal. What can I say?

Since I’ve been baking quite a bit since Christmas I mustered me some courage and baked me a cake - frosting and all. I did get a whole lot of help from the internet… blogs specifically. Blogs are so much better than some random website that was among the first of millions of an even more random keyword search. You at least know some real person somewhere tried it and failed or succeeded. So without any further ado….. drum rolls please… here’s the cake!!!

It’s a Chocolate cake with butter cream frosting and a marshmallow fondant train cake topper.

The recipe for the Best Chocolate Cake is from I am baker. It really is the Best Chocolate Cake. EVER! Moist and chocolate and with that lovely kick of coffee.

The butter cream frosting is just that. I followed instructions on the back of the Weikfield icing sugar pack from the store. It maybe a little too sweet for some, but it's perfect for this cake.

100 gms/ 1 pack Weikfield icing sugar
50 gms butter
1 – 2 tsps milk
A few drops of vanilla essence

The cake needs to be crumb coated before you put on the icing. I Googled crumb coating and followed some video on You Tube. All videos are pretty much the same. So I guess it must be practice that makes it look so easy. Cause my crumb coating was pretty unimpressive and the entire layer of icing got speckled with chocolate crumbs. See?

The train cake topper was too much fun. The design instructions are from Cake Journal. The tutorial uses gum paste as the core ingredient for the train. But I have no idea what that is or where to buy it. And fondant isn't sold in stores in Chennai  (or stores that I know of) and the ingredients to make fondant aren't available here either. I came across something called Marshmallow Fondant and so I substituted that for the gum paste.

Marshmallow fondant has so many versions, most using corn syrup and cream of tartar… and I don’t know what both those are. So I just opted for a recipe that doesn’t use those ingredients. Here’s the YouTube video I used to make the MM fondant. Crisco I think is vegetable shortening. So I substituted that with vanaspathi.

Microwav-ed melted marshmallows are the stickiest substance on earth. I have no comparison to make. Imagine strong hardware adhesives all together in one big mix… and imagine it 1000 times more gooey. That’s melted marshallows for you. It sticks EVERYWHERE. And all the vanaspathi in the world wouldn’t seem enough when you got that mix on your hands. And it’s just so hard to knead together.

I also couldn’t get liquid food colouring and had to use the powdered version and that made it more difficult to colour the fondant. Want to hear another funny story? I couldn’t get any white marshmallows. I only got pink ones. So all the fondant was a bright pink and I had to use a whole lot of colour to get the shades I wanted. The end product tasted a little weird cause of all the colouring… but it’s totally edible and my husband’s verdict is that it isn’t too bad. Why would I want to argue with that? 

The birthday banner is my own version of what I found on The TomKat Studio. I had some coloured paper lying around. I cut out those little triangles and wrote on the alphabets with silver glitter glue and strung them on some regular twine. The straws are just rolled up colour paper, Scotch taped in place. 

The remaining cake's now sitting in our refrigerator and gets nibbled on each time we open the door. 

And finally, the cake stand and picture frame are from Lifestyle. What picture frame? This one. 

Husband, chocolate cake and the Beatles equals one very happy me! Not necessarily in that order ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love it? Hate it?

A while ago I received a request for a photo frame in which the prominent theme would be a black TATA Safari Dicor. It’s the most difficult frame I’ve attempted to date. After several designs and attempts, I realized that it was futile to try to re-create a model. I just went with a cut out, colour print out version of the car and let it ride on a road with lush green trees on either side.

I couldn't decide if I love it or hate it and ended up making something entirely different as the final product. Nevertheless my husband loves the frame and I’ll be making some changes to it to incorporate a sketch of his Royal Enfield Bullet.

So my question still is… love it or hate it?