Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pirate Cake

Here is the bottom layer of the cake. I didn't pull out my camera soon enough to capture every step of the cake making process. The bottom while plate is a rotating turn table. then the pink and black layers are from IKEA. They are just think plastic sheets that I added under the cake for some color and decoration. The cake is a Chocolate Crazy Cake. Here is the recipe:

{{Crazy Cake}}
3 cups flour
6 tablespoons Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Whisk and combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then make three holes in the flour for the liquid ingredients.
2/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 cups water
Pour oil, vanilla and vinegar each into a separate hole. Then pour the water over and beat together until almost smooth. Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until tested done.

Then I made a Basic Buttercream frosting (below) to coat the cakes and tinted it pink using Wilton Pink Icing...

and then covered the frosted cakes with a homemade Marshmallow Fondant (below).
Basic Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk Makes: About 3 cups of icing.
(Medium Consistency): In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
Marshmallow Fondant
16 ounces mini marshmallows (buy the best quality and brand you can find if fondant will be eaten, if used just for decorating, a cheaper marshmallow can be used)
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted (important to sift because it will remove the lumps that won’t go away during mixing)
4 tablespoons water (if making the fondant to be eaten, replace 1-2 tablespoons of the water with vanilla)
shortening for greasing everything, bowl, spatula, mixing bowl, dough hook, countertop, etc.
1.Put the marshmallows and water in a large microwave-safe bowl that has been greased with shortening. Microwave on high for about 1 minute, until the marshmallows are all melted. The mixture will expand. Stir to incorporate. (After mixing the marshmallows smooth, this is a good time to add coloring if you want to have colored fondant.)
2.Grease the dough hook and bowl of your mixer really well with shortening.
3.Put about 3/4 of the powdered sugar to the mixer bowl and add all of the melted marshmallows.
4.Mix on low speed for a few minutes then check the consistency of the fondant. It will probably still be a little sticky at this point. If it is, add some of the remaining powdered sugar and mix again for a minute or so. Repeat this step until the fondant is firm and neither dry or sticky.
5.Turn out on to a clean, firm work surface that has been slightly greased by shortening and knead by hand just for a minute until there are no flecks of dry powdered sugar remaining. Wrap in cling wrap and let the fondant rest for at least an hour before using.
We rolled fondant balls in both pink and black to add to the base of the cakes. I had made a full batch of white marshmallow fondant and then dyed a small portion pink and an even smaller amount black. The balls are all supposed to be shaped irregularly, and then left the rest of the fondant white.
We rolled out and cut the fondant. Here is the pink fondant that we are cutting into strips using a pizza cutter.

First we cut 3/4 to 1 inch strips...
Then smaller 1/4 inch strips in between.
Here's the second layer, frosted with pink buttercream and then covered with white fondant. Then we used pre-made black frosting from a tube to write the number 9 and the trails for the "treasure map" portion of the cake. Pink fondant are the "X" marks the spot.

Finally we cut a circle of black fondant for the cake topper. I was going to make a skull out of fondant and then I had a new idea. I had a Stampin' Up rubber stamp set (Just Jawing) that I had been using for her invitations, party favors and other such things, I pressed the stamp image into the top of the cake and it left an impression. Stamps aren't just for making cards anymore!
I followed the impression with frosting and essentially drew the skull on top with cute heart eyes. Now it matched everything else at the party! YAY!
To finish it off we added one simple rose to the top of the skull. It is of course a girl skull for a GIRLS pirate party! I thought it was perfect. I wrote her name at the top and Happy Birthday on the bottom.

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