Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Relaxing Day (kind of) :)

Today was sort of a breather, lol.  I only had to bake two cakes and some cupcakes, and decorate them for tomorrow.

I started by getting up late, lol, and having breakfast.  I first mixed up one of the chocolate cake mixes for the cake (two layer, 11" hexagon), got that in the pan and into the oven.  Then I mixed up a box of yellow cake for the cupcakes.  I filled the cupcake papers/pans and ended up with 22 cupcakes.  I am going caroling with my friend's family tomorrow (that's what the cake is for) and on our route, we sing at a Senior Center.  The cupcakes are for the senior center, and 22 did not look like enough for everyone at the center.  So, I mixed up another box of yellow cake, and filled more cupcake papers.  I ended up with 44 cupcakes total - that seemed MUCH better!  Once the first cake came out of the oven, and it's pan, I washed it and mixed up the other chocolate cake mix and poured it in.

While everything was baking and cooling, I figured I'd make the frosting for all of this.  I have been using a non-crusting buttercream recipe lately, I find it tastes better and no 'crunchy' icing!  My plan was to cover the hexagon cake with fondant, and there's no way the non-crusting b/c would stand up under the fondant.  So I made a batch of regular crusting b/c.  When I tasted it, it was SWEET!!!!  So, I mixed up a batch of non-crusting and then mixed them together, lol.  Much better!

For the cupcakes I wanted to use the non-crusting b/c, so made a batch of that.  I had a lot of leftover white chocolate buttercream in the fridge, so took that out and added about a third of it to the b/c.  It tasted awesome!  It didn't look like enough b/c, so I made up a second batch of it, adding another third of the white chocolate b/c to it.  I thought I'd add some raspberry jam to the leftover and use it to fill the hexagon with.  I started decorating the cupcakes, and it quickly became apparent that there would not be leftover icing, lol.  I bought a new cupcake tip and it uses A LOT of icing!  So, I got the cupcakes decorated, and sprinkled red and green non-pareils on them.

I had used just about all the white chocolate non-crusting b/c, so I made two batches of non-crusting, mixed the rest of the leftover white chocolate b/c in, and then mixed in raspberry jam until it was the color and taste I wanted for a cake filling.  Can you say YUMMMMMMMMM :)

Next, I started on the cake.  The original plan was to use Wilton's medium petal pan and cover it in fondant, then put fondant trees on the side.  Well....I couldn't find the petal pan (big surprise!) so I used the hexagon pans.  I leveled and torted the cakes.  I stacked them, using the crusting buttercream for an icing dam, and filling with the raspberry white chocolate b/c.  Four cake and three filling layers later I had a stacked cake!  I started to frost the hexagon cake with the remaining crusting b/c and it quickly became apparent that there was barely enough icing for the sides, and not enough for the top.  I also decided about this time that I was in no mood to deal with fondant, so I was gonna leave the cake b/c covered.

I decided to pipe the sides of the cake with a star tip (I used 19).  The only problem was, all of the icing was basically on the sides of the cake (some was falling off though, lol).  I took my bench scraper and very carefully scraped off ALL of the icing that I could, with minimal crumbs.  It was pretty successful, only a few crumbs.  I then loaded up a bag with my star tip and my icing.  I started piping the sides of the cake, up and down, kind of like big zigzags.  I actually managed to pipe all six sides, lol!  When I was done, there was not enough white icing to finish the top of the cake however.  So, I looked over at the pink raspberry icing and figured, what the hell, I'll use that.  I piped a shell border around the top of the cake to finish off the sides (the bottom didn't need one).

I decided to alternate pink and white stripes around the outline of the hexagon, on the top of the cake.  I ended up doing two stripes of pink, one white, one pink, one white, then started over again with two pink.  I used a zig zag motion with a tip 13 star.  It came out looking really cute, almost like a rug, or a sweater.  It occurred to me, while piping the stripes on the cake, that the pink I ended up with is the same shade of pink that my friend's recently deceased grandmother loved.  She always came to the carol sing every year.  The cake looked nice, but I didn't want it to be only a reminder of Grandma, so racked my brain with how to Christmas-fy it.

I looked through my stash of Christmas candy decorations and found a small green candycane Christmas tree I got last year on clearance (it's candy, it doesn't go bad, lol).  I wanted to see how it looked on the cake, but without messing up the icing on the cake.  So I cut a straw long enough to go into the cake and hold the tree an inch or so above, and put it together.  It looked really nice, but now the sides needed something on them.  I decided to take mini candy canes and put them on the sides.  So I cut open twelve of them, piped the back of them so they'd stick, and stuck them on.  It came out really nice looking!

Here are some of the cakes and cupcakes I've done in past years for the Carol Sing:

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