Thursday, April 14, 2011
Rice Krispy Treats are a classic, and for good reason-- who can resist the ooey gooey sweet chewy and crunchy taste of this confection? As a vegetarian, though, I struggle with these, because the traditional recipe contains marshmallows, which contain gelatin which contains... well, I won't say it here, but let's just say I don't find it very appetizing. So as an alternative, I tried making these with marshmallow fluff, because it does not contain gelatin.
All in all, the taste was awesome-- my only qualm is with the texture-- the darn things want to fall apart when they get warm. I let them set in the freezer, and they were perfectly firm, but after they'd been on the counter for a half hour or so, they started to sort of fall apart. Not very practical for a bakery. I think I'll try reducing the amount of butter next time to see if that helps.
To my utter delight, Hudson did, indeed, smash the cake all through his cute little fingers. And he picked up the letter blocks and clapped them together, getting frosting EVERYWHERE. Mommy and Daddy had to bathe him in the sink because he was covered head to toe! Oh what a proud auntie I am!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Aaaannnd it's done!
I have to say this was quite an adventure and I absolutely have newfound respect for cake decorators- this stuff isn't easy!
The cake didn't turn out precisely as I'd planned, but I still think it was a good first attempt at cake decorating. And as I've mentioned before, the purpose of this cake is for it to be smashed between Hudson's fingers, not admired for its form and beauty. So in light of that, I'm trying not to hold myself to too high a standard, however difficult that may be for someone who tends to have "unrelenting standards", or so I've been told!
The cake itself turned out nicely... the second time around. After a killer 16-hour workday, I decided to bake the cake last night. I realized (too late) that normal common sense eludes me after a certain number of hours working my crazy job. So, of course, when I got home at 11pm, I thought... "let's bake that cake!" Two words: bad.idea. I made the full recipe (see below) which was for two 9" round pans and poured the entire recipe into two 6" round pans. The result? The pans runneth over with batter, the oven was an unspeakable disaster, and I narrowly averted setting off the fire alarm during this middle of the night baking adventure. I crawled into bed at 2am with a smoke-filled house and an oven that looked like a war zone, just thankful the house was still standing. This morning I surveyed the damage, cleaned the oven, and started over. This time, I halved the original recipe and voila... it's amazing how things can work out when you consider the basic laws of chemistry and physics while baking.
The 3D "1" didn't happen, but I think that the letters turned out quite nicely. I made a fluffy white frosting that doesn't contain any fat (and should, theoretically, be easier to clean up off the birthday boy than greasy buttercream).
So it's all done and I can't wait for Hudson to smoosh his cute little fingers into it!
Recipes for cake and frosting below:
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Other (probably more fitting) titles for this blog post include...
- Watching Cake Boss episodes on Netflix does not MAKE me a Cake Boss
- Why People Pay Professional Bakers Hundreds of Dollars to Make Cakes
- Thank Goodness This is a Smash Cake and Not the Real Cake
- Let's Just Pretend This Cake was Made Not Only for a 1 Year Old, but also BY a One Year Old
- and finally.... Eff You, Fondant (pardon the implied profanity)
So yes, tonight I worked on the fondant letters for Hudson's smash cake. It was hard. I'm starting to understand why people take classes for cake decorating. Let's just say I'm um... humbled... by my efforts tonight and I'll be signing up for a cake decorating/fondant class soon.
But the letter blocks are done! They aren't perfect by any stretch, but they are done, and they do look like blocks with letters on them, which is what I was going for. I learned that you have to work very quickly with fondant or it dries out and cracks. I'm not sure if there's any way to smooth fondant out that has cracked, but if there is, I didn't discover it tonight.
My efforts at a 3D "1" made of rice crispy treats and covered in fondant were pretty frustrating... the results were scary. The fondant wouldn't smoothly cover the surface and began cracking and falling off. I should have taken a picture, but I tossed it in the trash in a fit of rage... just kidding...sort of.
The good news is, the letters are done and I've picked out the cake and icing recipes I'm going to use, so all that's left is the easy stuff- the baking! I'm still going to try to figure out if I can somehow get a 3D "1" of some sort on the cake.
I'm planning to finish up the cake on Friday night and I'll post a final update and pictures afterwards.