Moist Chocolate Cake- Easy Recipe

Last Blog I was talking about the difference between “Natural” and “Dutch Processed” cocoa. If you missed that post, I would suggest you read it because it can make a difference in the outcome of your chocolate cakes. In this Blog I will be talking about one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes.

When I first opened my website I had a Stout Chocolate recipe posted in there. I love that cake recipe. It’s a strong cake and almost tastes like a brownie. But not everyone wants to add beer to their cake and I can understand that. The alcohol in the recipe is baked away so there’s really no alcohol left in the cake but some people just don’t care to deal with it. Knowing this I have been meaning to post other chocolate recipes I love but between moving the website a couple of times and all the work I had, I just didn’t have enough time to sit and do a tutorial as I wanted. I can say that I finally took the time to do the tutorial and post it in the website. YAY!

This is a very old recipe but it has a few changes from the original recipe that in my opinion makes it taste even better. It makes a very moist cake and it’s super easy. The batter is a bit liquid and I am sure most people are not used to batters like that, but it works great. I use unflavored coconut oil for the recipe to make it healthier but you can use canola oil or vegetable oil instead if you prefer.

The recipe has never failed me but you can always decrease the baking soda by half a teaspoon if your cake sinks slightly in the center. Also keep in mind that depending on the cocoa you use the finished product could be different . I talked about this in my previous Blog.

I tried the recipe using Hershey’s Natural and Hershey’s Super Dark and I will say that I didn’t love the one with the Hershey’s Natural, but the one I made with Hershey’s Special Dark was really good. So if you are not in the mood to order high end cocoa for your cake, feel free to test it with the Hershey’s Special Dark. If you use your regular cocoa and it doesn’t turn out moist or with a a good crumb, make sure to try again but change your choice of cocoa this time. I assure you the cake is worth the try. I have used this recipe for many years with success.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipw

You can pair this chocolate cake recipe with my Chocolate Buttercream if you want a “death by chocolate” type of cake. I don’t use Hershey’s Special Dark for the buttercream because then it makes the chocolate flavor super strong so I tend to use a lighter flavor. I love Valhrona but you can use Ghirardelli or even Hershey’s Natural if you want to go with a super basic cocoa that you can find in any supermarket. I also love Droste but it’s harder to find. If you want higher end cocoa powders for your cakes, you might have to go to specialty stores or check in the internet for them. I will add that once you taste higher end cocoa powder it’s a bit difficult to go back to the supermarket because some of them are so good! lol

I will be working next on a tutorial for cookies and cream cake. So if you are an Oreo lover then you will love the next cake recipe post. But for now, click here for the link to the Chocolate Cake Recipe and Click here for the Chocolate Buttercream Recipe.

I hope you enjoy this Blog, until next one.. Ta ta!

Edna

 

 

 

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Stabilized Whipped Cream Tutorial

Whipped cream is a great addition to any dessert and even though I am allergic to dairy, once in a blue moon I choose to suffer the consequences just to be able to eat some. I figure the swollen eyes and headache are just temporary and since I don’t eat it all the time I can handle the temporary pain. Lol

One of the problems you will find with whipped cream is that it’s not stable. You can use it at the time you make it but it won’t stay fluffy for long. It starts melting. With Stabilized Whipped Cream you can cover a cake and use for piping on the cake or desserts.

There are a few ways to stabilize it. Some people use cornstarch for a quick fix. I am not a big fan of the taste but the others options used also run along the cornstarch idea. These other options include Powder Milk and Powder Pudding Mix. All of these contain cornstarch. Even if you use just confectioners sugar, you will find that there is cornstarch in it. For me the most stable one is the gelatin recipe, but as you know, I am all about giving you guys all the info.

Making whipped cream is not really difficult, but I do hear people that encounter problems like lumps, whipped cream that’s too runny and other issues. I’ll try to offer some tips that might help, but if you have a fail, just keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day. My advice is to try again. Maybe you used the wrong ingredient, took a wrong step, or missed something. Try again! This is not a new recipe and it works for many, so don’t give up, and try to figure out what went wrong for you.

First for the gelatin, you will need unflavored gelatin. Knox Brand is the most easily found in supermarkets. Great Lakes has another one that is Kosher. A bit more difficult to find but you can always try Amazon. As an added bonus, gelatin is a good source of collagen. Great for skin, nails and hair. If you can’t eat gelatin, you can try Agar-Agar as a thickening agent. For Agar-Agar you really don’t need water. Just dissolve it in milk and make sure that it’s mixed well and then strained to avoid lumps.

Usually you want to sprinkle the gelatin evenly over water.  I don’t know about you guys, but somedays I am just not in the mood to take it slow and I just drop it too fast on the water. Unfortunately, if done improperly, it won’t soak evenly and you will get some lumps. These days I just take a fork and lightly move it to make sure it’s fully mixed. Once the gelatin blooms, it looks like hard jelly. If you want to be safe and properly melt the gelatin without burning it, you can cook it in a double boiler. Some people do it straight in a pan, but if you do this, you will need to cook it on low. You really don’t want to burn it. My favorite and fastest option is the microwave. I cook mine for 30 seconds. Just make sure that the gelatin is clear and fully melted. If you need to cook yours for a longer period, make sure to do it in 10 seconds increments. Once again you don’t want to burn the gelatin. Did I mention that enough? Lol

One of the biggest problems people encounter is adding the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream. This is where you have to watch yourself. For making whipped cream, you need for your heavy cream to be as cold as you can. Usually it’s even preferred to chill the bowl as well as the whisk attachment. I usually don’t bother too much with that, but maybe in a hot environment it might be a good idea. When working with sugar it’s best to work in areas with air conditioner to avoid issues. If you add the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream, guess what will happen??? It’ll start getting hard, because that’s what gelatin does when it gets cold; it hardens up. So you can’t let the gelatin cool down all the way because it will start solidifying and you can’t add it when is too hot to the heavy cream because it can get lumpy.

How do I solve this and make sure I don’t have a whipped cream full of lumps? I take some of the heavy cream and leave it at room temperature. Usually around a 1/4 cup will do.

Once I get the gelatin out of the microwave, I leave the gelatin alone and start whipping my cream. This will give the gelatin a few minutes to cool down some. Then once I get the whipped cream to the right consistency, I add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream I left at room temperature to the gelatin and combine that well. This is sure to bring the gelatin down enough so that when you add it to the cold cream, it won’t create lumps.

Another thing I do is to pass the gelatin/ heavy cream mixture through a sifter to ensure I don’t have any lumps in that mix. If you are using a stand mixer, you can slowly pour the gelatin on top of the whipped cream without stopping the mixer. If you have a hand held mixer, just make sure to sift the gelatin before you pour it because it’ll be more difficult to do, since we only have two arms. No matter what, if you watch the tutorial, you will see that I poured the gelatin/heavy cream mixture all at once. I was expecting this might create some lumps since I always use a stand mixer. I can honestly say that it didn’t have one tiny lump. All of it was super smooth. Still, I will advise to slowly pour the gelatin as you mix.

I want to clear up for those who are new to whipped cream, is that you should use a cream that has at least 35% fat in order to get the best results, especially if you want to use it for cakes. It’s confusing when you go to the stores and see all these bottles of cream and not be sure which one to use.

Here are some of the most basic ones but there are others I am not mentioning:

*Half-and-half= 15% fat. In the USA this means that it usually contains 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 cream. It’s not meant for it to be whipped, so save it for your coffee.

*Single Cream= 20% fat. This one has a low fat content. You can use in sweet and savory dishes but it won’t thicken when beaten.

*Light Cream= 18% to 30% fat. It can be used just as half and half and in the higher number of fat content it can be whipped lightly but is not stable. Some people also call this one Single Cream. The fat content will determine its uses, but it won’t ever work for cake.

*Whipping Cream= 30% to 35% Fat. This is where you have to watch for the fat. If it contains less than 30% fat, it will whip up lighter, fluffier and more airy. Great to use over pies and desserts, but the higher content of fat will mean stiffer peaks that are best for piping and covering a cake. So if you get whipping cream, make sure it’s at least 35% fat. Most whipping creams these days are pasteurized in order to extend their shelf life.

*Heavy Whipping Cream= 35% Fat I am adding this one on the list because it’s the one I use. I figure it’s a middle ground between whipping cream and heavy cream. The one I use has exactly 35% fat and works great! With that said, heavy cream is even better when it comes to stiff peaks.

*Heavy Cream= 36-38% Fat. You can also use this higher fat heavy cream for stabilized whipped cream. Higher content of fat will make the mix double in size and tends to hold stiff peaks strongly. This one is great to use for ice creams but it works great for soups and sauces as well without the risk of curdling.

Unpasteurized cream whips much easier than pasteurized. But these days you will find more of the ultra-pasteurized cream because it has a longer shelf life of 60 days before it’s opened.

Pasteurization is a process where they bring the cream to a fast heat of 167 degrees for 15 seconds then cool it down really fast. The ultra-pasteurization process brings the milk to a 280 degree heat and even though it kills bad bacteria, it can take away some of the creaminess in the flavor of the cream. Because of the ultra-pasteurized being heated to 280 degrees, there’s a cooked taste to it and less flavor in comparison to the pasteurized. Also the pasteurized holds better peaks than the ultra but that’s where flavorings and stabilizers help if you find only ultra-pasteurized.When you start working, make sure that the cream is cold as you start and as you mix. If it’s not cold enough, it doesn’t “whip,” it “churns” and we’re not making butter. I suggest to put the bowl and the whisk in the fridge so they’re cold as you mix. If you are in a hot environment, you can place a bowl of ice below your mixing bowl to keep everything chilled. And again remember that if you over mix your whipped cream, you will end up with butter, so keep an eye on it.

 

This is all basic information that is always helpful, especially for those of you who aren’t used to working with these ingredients. Another important piece of information concerns the sugar. You need to use confectioners’ sugar for this recipe. If you use granulated sugar it will give you a grainy whipped cream. I tested the recipe using Swerve Confectioners for a sugar free whipped cream and it worked really well. So for those of you who are on a keto diet or need to be on sugar-free diet, you can have your whipped cream guilt free! For those of you who don’t know what Swerve is, it’s a sugar replacement that doesn’t raise insulin levels. Usually you would use the same amount as you use for regular sugar. And if you want it sweeter, you can always add more sugar to the mix, no matter if you are using regular sugar or Swerve.

Finally you have to decide on the flavoring. You can use any extract you want for this. I prefer the Clear Vanilla Extract to avoid getting the brown color on the whipped cream, but you can use your regular Vanilla if you prefer. You can also make it chocolatey by adding cocoa or melted chocolate. The sky is the limit with this recipe but the downside to it is that it needs to be kept in the fridge. So if you don’t like cold cake you will need to wait till my next tutorial so I can talk about other options for dairy free whipped cream substitutes.

But for now I think this is plenty of information for you guys. So click here for the full recipe and video tutorial on how to make Stabilized Whipped Cream.

Click here to go watch Tutorial and see full recipe.

I hope you guys enjoy the information. I know is a lot of it but is worth the knowledge.

Until next Blog, Ta ta!
Edna

 

Goop-Cake Release Recipe

What is Goop? Goop is a cake release mix used for pans so that the cake doesn’t stick to it. I am not sure who created this Goop Recipe but I know is old. I remember years ago working at a custom cake place. The baker had this concoction in a cake pan. She would apply it to the pan and never added flour on top like I used to do when I started baking. That was the way I was taught. You first apply a layer of butter or vegetable shortening and then add a thin layer of flour.

I never liked adding the flour because when the cake was done, I had always some of the powder on the cake and I didn’t like how it tasted. Probably I was adding more than I needed back then but we all learn as we go. I decided eventually to ask what they applied to the pan. That’s the first time I heard about Goop.

Goop has only 3 ingredients and it’s super easy to make. I get lazy sometimes and use spray on my pans but when I am making a lot of cakes, Goop is the only way to go. I always have the ingredients accessible and I can make as much or as little as I need too.

Goop will stay good in a sealed container for around 2 months. I live in a hot and humid area but I always have air conditioner on so if your house is hot, make sure to keep it in a colder area. Oil does get  rancid so keep an eye on that. If you smell something funky just throw it and make a fresh batch. If you prefer, you can save it in the fridge. You can use a pastry brush if you have one but if you don’t, use a piece of kitchen paper to spread it around the pan and it should work just fine.

Click here to watch the tutorial for Goop and to get the recipe.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Until next Blog.. Ta ta!

Edna

Tylose, Gum Tragacanth, Gum Tex- What are the differences?

This Blog is all about information on those gum products we hear so much about and use in cake decorating. I personally love Tylose. It’s less expensive, easier to find and great quality. But here is the info so you can choose the one you like the most. All of them are gums but as anything in life they will have some differences in outcome so your job is to find the one you prefer. I just did a tutorial to show you guys how Tylose helps change the texture of fondant and how to fix it to the consistency you need. Click to watch here.

Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC), is a thickener, binder and stabilizer in a variety of foods. Cellulose is the carbohydrate that makes up the woody parts and cell walls of plants. CMC is a thickening agent made by reacting cellulose (wood pulp, cotton lint) with a derivative of acetic acid. It is not absorbed or digested and is sometimes included in the “dietary fiber” on food labels. Commonly used in food preparation. It’s poorly absorbed by the body but if consumed in large amounts it can create flatulence. Something I would not worry with cake since we really use small amounts of it. The number for this gum is E466

Tylose is a namebrand for CMC. It’s the name I use mostly because it’s the brand I use the most. Tylose is found easier than other gums and the price for it tends to be lower. I have a preference on a specific brand of Tylose because I used others that I found were not of the same quality when I worked with the product. But like everything in life, we all have our preferences so test a few to find the one you like. But keep in mind that purified CMC is a white to buff-coloured, odourless and tasteless, free flowing powder. Less purified low assay types can be off-white to a light brown. I did try one time another brand and the color was less white and the quality of my gumpaste felt different. It was the last time I switch brands. Maybe I am just used to the one I use but I felt a big difference in quality,

Usually it’s often recommended to add 1 to tablespoons of Tylose to 1 pound of fondant. I will say that even though I add Tylose to fondant to create details, the consistency is not the same as if you do a Tylose gumpaste from scratch. It just doesn’t give the same texture or elasticity but some people get used to using it even for flowers. It’s just not my preference and if you are getting started making flowers I would not suggest it either. I think it’s more difficult. Even though you can make flowers from it, elasticity and feel is just not the same. But with that said, it works great for making decorations that need a stronger consistency or even if you need something to dry faster. Tylose works well in areas where there is a lot of humidity.

Gum Tragacanth is another gum. If you are looking for something natural this will be your choice. A bit more difficult to find and can be more expensive. Tragacanth is a natural gum obtained from the dried sap of several species of Middle Eastern legumes of the genus Astragalus. To harden fondant some people will say it takes up to 30 minutes to feel the change in texture. It’s advised to leave it to dry overnight for the best results. It’s recommended around a teaspoon of Gum Tragacanth per 1 pound of Fondant. Something you have to keep in mind is that it will give a yellowish tone to white pieces. This is one of the reasons I prefer using Tylose/CMC. The number for this gum is E413.

Gum-Tex is the name for the gumpaste powder sold by Wilton. Recently I saw that they added the name Tylose to the bottle. I have been giving the numbers for each gum I posted so you can see that all products are not the same. Wilton used to call their product just Gum-Tex but now they added the Tylose name to it. But Gum Tex is not made with CMC. Gum-tex is made with Karaya Gum. The number for this E416. It’s made from the dried sap from the trunk of the Stercuila trees which are native to India. Yes it’s a gum, yes it works to make gumpaste but here is my opinion. The gumpaste tends to feel grainy and dry. It’s not my favorite one.

All of these are gums and most of them have recipes that work the best with each of them or people have created their own recipes to use them. Some of them can be interchangeable but you might feel the difference in the outcome of the recipe. I have a recipe for Tylose gumpaste in my website that works wonderful with Tylose gumpaste.
I did made a mistake in the video on the amount of teaspoons ( I wrote tablespoons instead of teaspoons in the video  😦 ), so do make sure to read the tips and recipe in my website before you make it. This recipe was posted by the company that I buy the Tylose from and I was told it was created by a lady call Jill Maythan. It’s my favorite recipe and I used it for more than 21 years and will keep using it.

All this gums are food safe and used in many food items in the market. So you can use them in your fondant. Most of them are Kosher but do check the product you use to make sure they do.

In the video tutorial I show how adding Tylose changes the texture of the fondant as I work with it. It’s pretty neat to see. I know I am using a bigger amount of the powder for a small piece but even though you can just wait and let the fondant rest so it hardens, you can see that it would be ok if you add just a bit more and you don’t have to wait if you are in a hurry. It really depends on you. You can save time by using more or you can use less product if you would rather wait. Most of the time I do this it’s for pieces that need to dry fast like bows or maybe things I need to mold. Since I know it will get harder as I work with it, I just work fast and when I feel I can barely knead it, I add more fondant to it to soften it.

I will suggest to play with it and find the consistency you like for whatever you are working for. Also keep in mind that it might react differently depending on the fondant you use. If you are using for example Fondarific, which is chocolate based fondant, it will take a lot more. If you are using Satin Ice, it will take less since it has no chocolate in it. So if you are playing with a new fondant that you never used before, do a test and see how it reacts. If you add too much to certain fondant, it can make it  dry, reason why I always suggest to do smaller amounts.

If you need to make a fondant that requires a lot of color, you can always add a bit of Tylose to it to avoid it getting softer. If you feel more comfortable, do a test first and see how your fondant reacts. Sometimes colors might change the consistency of certain brands of fondant. If you find yourself with a fondant that is too dry and cracks too much, add just a bit of glycerin. If the glycerin doesn’t help, try modeling chocolate. Add small amounts because if you add too much your fondant can get too soft and some people like softer fondant but other people don’t. To learn what’s best for you, you need to test what you like and all I can do is offer suggestion on things I use that work for me.

Once you have added Tylose or Gum Tragacanth to your fondant, you have to keep un mind that it will dry faster. You can store a regular fondant in a tub for months. But once you add Tylose to it, it can dry in a matter of days and that amount will change depending on how much you added. If you added just a bit it will last longer but when you add a lot, it will be hard as a rock by the next day. You can seal it in plastic wrap but also place it in a Ziplock bag so it lasts longer. You can also add more fondant to it to disperse the Tylose so it lasts longer. I prefer to do small amounts that I will use promptly and avoid having to deal with fondant that is dry hard as a rock.

I hope I have not forgotten anything in this Blog. It’s a lot of information but sometimes it’s better to have the knowledge than to deal with questions and problems that we don’t know how to solve. Hopefully you have some answers and this will help you conquer any problems as they arise. If you don’t have Tylose available in your area I always have it available in my webstore. Click here to get Tylose. I will post in the website under the video links to where you can find the other gums.

Click here or on the photo below to watch the Fondant Tylose Tutorial

I hope you enjoy the tutorial. Until next time TA TA!!!

Edna 🙂

 

 

Moist White Cake Recipe

Moist White Cake Recipe

This is my favorite White Cake Recipe. This cake is moist and has a great crumb. It pairs great with anything but I love it mostly with fruit fillings. My favorite one would be Raspberry Jam which I do from scratch and I will share the recipe soon.

Here is the link to the recipe and the tutorial. Click here for, Moist White Cake Recipe.

Moist white cake recipeI made a step by step tutorial on this cake with very detailed information on how I make it. This cake will work great for stacking but I don’t suggest using it or sculpting cakes. Most white cakes tend to be delicate and crumb more than any other cakes and that is something you don’t want to deal with when you are sculpting a cake.

I will also add that this cake does shrink some and I don’t suggest to use it with cupcakes. If you live in high altitude, keep in mind that my recipes are not made in that condition so make sure to do the necessary adjustments so it works for your area.

I give a lot of extra tips in this tutorial that I use when I am baking cakes that you guys might find useful. So I do suggest to watch the video and follow the steps for making this cake. Click here to watch video and get recipe.

Remember, baking is a science and following instructions are important. I have made this cake many times and have tested different techniques and I posted the one I love the most. If you have your own way of baking and you get a successful cake, feel free to share with us in the comments! If it didn’t work, then make sure to try it my way.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Until next time, ta ta!

Edna 😀

 

 

Mason Jar Cake Tutorial

I love Mason Jars. They are reusable, great for canning, jams and storing food. I found this website that sells caps for mason jars that I totally fell in love wMason Jars Recapith. They are called Mason Jar ReCap.

My 2 favorite ones are the one with the flip top and the one to pour liquids from, but they have so many other ones to choose from.

I made a tutorial on how to use Mason Jars for cakes. It’s a fun way to make cakes to take along or share with friends and family. And I will say that there is not one person that doesn’t smile when you share  a mason jar filled with delicious cake. Even if you have a cake shop, it’s a great way to sell cakes. They stay moist longer because they are sealed. Win win!

For this tutorial I used my Banana Cake Recipe. People are always trying to find ways to pair cakes with fillings and I am sharing one of my favorite ones.

I used sugar covered roasted pecans and caramel as part of the filling for this cake. I will be sharing the recipe for the roasted pecans soon. Basically I layered the banana cake, then added a layer of caramel then added the roasted pecans on top and finishing it with another layer of cake and buttercream.

You can use any buttercream you like for mason jars. Even soft icing will do great since the jar holds everything together. For banana cake you can use cream cheese frosting. I have a Crusting Cream Cheese Recipe but I have another recipe that is softer and has more cream cheese in it. I use it mostly as a filling but it’s great to use in jars as buttercream, (click here for the recipe) . I have made this cake using Suspiro recipe too and it’s delicious. You can also use Wilton whipped buttercream that is sold in a box if you want a fast fix on a lazy day. There are so many options, you can choose what you enjoy the most!

I have a great recipe for Salted Caramel. But if you feel lazy, you can use caramel from the store. Just keep in mind that the caramel that is sold in supermarkets tends to be too soft for cake fillings. It works great for jars because the jar holds the cake in place but in a regular cake, it might be too soft and make the layers slippery.

I sent an email to the company and got a 25% discount for you guys if you are interested on getting some of the Mason Jar Recap lids. The coupon is good until May 20, 2017. You can visit their website at: www.masonjars.com

 

Here is the tutorial posted below. It will be also posted in my website under this link: http://www.designmeacake.com/mason-jar-tutorial

 

Hope you enjoy this Blog and tutorial. Until next time..ta ta!

Edna 🙂

My Favorite Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

Presione aqui para Español

Chocolate is my addiction! I just love it! I have a great recipe in my website for a Crusting Chocolate buttercream. That recipe is great for cakes that are going to be stacked and for those who need a strong buttercream due to hot weather or humidity. The high ratio in this recipe helps stabilize the buttercream.

The recipe I am posting here (click here for recipe) is a recipe that I use all the time for my personal cakes. It’s made with butter and no high ratio. It’s delicious and very easy to make. Usually I like  recipes that crust so I can smooth it almost to look like fondant. This recipe doesn’t crust the same as the recipe listed above, but it crusts enough to be lightly smooth out with Viva Paper.
If you haven’t used this technique you can click here to watchDark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
 tutorial about it.

I made a step by step Tutorial on this
recipe that is in a video on my website.
One benefit from this recipe is that you
can pipe beautiful borders with this recipe.
The cake itself can stay outside the
fridge for a few hours as long as you
leave it in a room with air conditioner.
If you live in a state that is colder than
Florida, you can probably use it on your stacked cakes. But make sure you do
a test before you use it on a cake for
a client. Just make sure to use
butter and not margarine when doing
the recipe.
chocolate

I love to use this buttercream with my dark chocolate cake recipe. If you love chocolate, this is death by chocolate. I will work on the tutorial for the cake and post it soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the recipe just as much as I do. Look below for the link to the recipe and tutorial.

Click here or on the photo to go to the tutorial and the recipe.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipw

 

Until next blog, ta ta!

Edna 🙂

 

 

Christmas Cake for 2015.

Christmas Cake Design 2014 by Edna De la Cruz from Design Me a Cake

Every year I do a Christmas cake. It’s a tradition I keep and enjoy. I used to make decorated cookies. But for the past few years I decided to make a cake instead of the cookies. I miss doing the cookies but time will just not allow me to do both.

I decided to do a blog to answer the questions that people ask me when I post a
cake. All the green letters are links to the products.

Here is the naked cake. 

Christmas Cake work in progress

 

I wanted a Christmas style cake so I definitively wanted green in it.
The fondant I used for the green came from Renshaw. Most of you might
not have heard of them. They are a British company that over 100 years
experience in baking and cake decorating.

renshaw2

I was completely pleased with
this fondant. Often times dark
colors in other brands of fondant
tend to crack, but Renshaw did not crack, the flavor was good and
it was easy to work with.

 

Renshaw Green Fondant

For the bottom 2 tiers, I used my homemade white fondant. I will post that as soon as I can do a video tutorial on how to make it.

I used Luck’s Classic Gold Shimmer with my Airbru Classic Gold Shimmer airbrush color from Luckssh to color the cake. I love to airbrush a cake but one thing you need to know is that airbrushing will make any small crack look more like a crater. Especially if you try to airbrushed too fast and make the fondant too wet.When it
is too wet it will begin to dissolve the fondant.

I suggest you give it a coat of color and let it dry in between coats to get a better finish. In between drying sessions I keep working with other details of the cake. This way I move faster.

Gumpaste Swag Mold with tassles

For the bottom tier, I did a band in green. and I cut the top part of the band in the same swag shape I was using on top of it.
Ruffle Swag MoldThis is the mold I used called,
“The Ruffle Swag”. It’s from the company Marvelous Molds. The mold has two layers of ruffles and is topped with a string of pearls.

I decided to paint those pearls with a
Gold Highlighter. (click here for gold). This gold is meant only for decorations that can be taken
down before cutting the cake.

There are lots of highlighter golds out there but none of them are edible. I have seen some companies say it’s approved, but the reality is that none of them are approved. There are other golden tones that are non-toxic but they don’t have the true gold color that the highlighter gives. If you need a true gold for a full cake,
then you can either use edible gold leaf or buy 24 carat luster gold.
This option is a bit more pricey, so I stick with airbrushing.

GrandTasselDrop

 

In between the ruffles I added this mold. This one is called, “Grand Tassel Drop Mold”. This one I finished with the highlighter Gold as well.

At the top of each tassel, I added a simple Blossom like the ones I made in my tutorial, “How to make Simple Blossoms”.

 

Watch the video above to learn how to make Simple Blossoms.
Click here for the Plunger Cutters.
Click here for the Flower Former.

Ruffle Border with Bows.

On the tier above I used the “Ruffle Border”. RuffleBorder

This mold has the same ruffle detail as the swag but it’s on a straight line. The molds connect easily so you can connect them and make them look
like a one big piece. I painted the ruffle part on both the swag and this
one with Super Pearl Luster Dust.

Bow MoldOnce again, on this ruffle border I painted the pearls
with the Gold Highlighter and then
I added Molded bows

Some people may wonder why I used a mold when I can do bows so easily without the mold. Well, the reason is simple. It’s just a different look and it can be a fast approach too. But basically for me it’s just part of the look I wanted
for the cake.

Christmas 2014 2

For the tier that I airbrushed, I added cutouts that look like ornaments.
I don’t have this available at the web store at the moment but if you are
interested in them, feel free to leave me a comment below so I can order some.
They are really easy to work with and I hand painted them with Gold Highlighter. 

Perfect Pearl Mold

For this tier, I used the Perfect Pearl Mold
to finish the base. I wanted to bring some of
the white, green and gold to it. This way I
have a color flow between all the tiers.
In the first and last tier, I used an Extruder
to finish the border. I kept those borders
green because I wanted them to blend
with the background.

Gumpaste Poinsettia

For the topper I used a Poinsettia. I teach how to make these flowers in my DVD, How to Make Gumpaste Poinsettia”. In the DVD I explain how to make fantasy Poinsettia like this one. I added some gumpaste snowflakes, finished with some disco dust and a cutout Christmas tree dusted in Gold Highlighter.
The Christmas tree cutter is made by Ximena (click here for cutter).

On another note, I added a Newsletter button at the top of the blog for those
who want to receive an e-mail newsletter. I don’t like my email to be filled with
daily newsletters and I don’t plan to do that to you guys either. But I can send
news for a new tutorial posted, or a special sale at the store or even a contest.
Plus I plan to do more advanced tutorials too.

I would love for you to share any ideas you may have with me. Do you
guys like basic details on how a cake was done, or do you want
full step by step tutorials? I ask this because I can do basic tutorials
but the ones that are step by step are more time consuming and I
might have to charge a small fee for those. Do you prefer PDF
files or video tutorials?

Any ideas that you have will be great for you to share with me.I want
to do either A video or blog, where I answer questions you have.
So any ideas you have, comments and questions, feel free to
post here or go to my Page in Facebook and post them there.

You are my cake family and I have always tried to help in areas that you
need help. Hopefully with the new year I can finally finish the new website
and not have to stress about it anymore. I want to dedicate more time to
what I truly love, making cakes and teaching. Hope you guys help me with
all this work I have! lol

And don’t worry about misplacing recipes. The new website will have all the
recipes I have and I will add more to the list. Maybe some of the links
will change but all will be there. Even cakes I never posted from my earlier
years.
I will leave my old cakes so you can see how much I have
grown through 
the years. I want people to know that to achieve better
cakes you need time 
and practice. Giving up is not an option.

Hope you had a wonderful New Year and wish you the best ahead.
Lots of hugs from my house to yours. Thanks for being my cake family!

Until next blog, ta ta!
Edna 🙂

 

Simple Syrup

symple syrup

Where I come from we like our cakes extremely moist. I don’t know how many of you have traveled to the Caribbean and tried the well-known “Rum Cake”
from Tortuga.This cake is extremely moist, delicious and comes in many flavors
too. 

That is just an example of the kind of cakes we like in Puerto Rico; extremely
moist. Some people even use Brandy instead of rum. Personally, 
I prefer
rum better, but adding the alcohol is always an option. Cakes that 
are made
with just flavored Simple Syrup can be equally delicious.

Many of you have asked me: “What is simple syrup?” Well, this blog is for you. It’s just as simple as the name implies. It’s basically sugar and water cooked until the sugar is dissolved. You don’t want to overcook it since making the sugar too thick would be harder to get into the cake.

There are many recipes for simple syrup and all of them work. The most common one is in the ratio of 1 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar (225 gr) to 1 cup of water (225 gr). Some people make a stronger version by using 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water instead. You can always choose what would work best for you. I will write the full recipe in the website.
The video tutorial is at the end of this blog. Press here for recipe.

Learn how to make simple syrup for your cakes.

My recipe for simple syrup consists of 1 cup (225 gr) of sugar to
2/3 (150 gr) cup of water. I do less water in my recipe because this way
I can add flavorings to it. You can always add more water if you are not
adding anything else to the syrup. 

The next question I usually get is: “How much liquor do I add to the recipe?”

I can say 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup, but the problem is this amount will vary depending on so many factors. For example, if you use Captain Morgan Rum you probably will need less rum than if you use Bacardi rum because of the extra spices it contains. I like to use Bacardi Rum because it has a very smooth flavor that doesn’t ‘pack a punch’ as you bite in the cake. Then again, some people might want the rum flavor stronger and that is where things are going to change. Each person has his own opinions when it comes to taste, so the best way is to test it and see what you prefer to use with your own cakes. If you decide to try the simple syrup with Rum, try adding first a few tablespoons of the rum and taste it. From there, you can add more rum if you want too. Another great flavor to add is Amaretto.

Amaretto is one of those liquors that I usually add by looking at the bottle. Basically, I add the liquor until the syrup starts turning into a brown tint. Rum and Amaretto are the most loved flavors in my business. Even though it’s alcohol, by the time you cut a piece of the cake you will have the flavor but you won’t get drunk from it. It’s just a small amount of alcohol, unless your cake is soaked in it and you made the syrup too strong.

Simple syrup is mostly used in sponge cake since that particular cake tends to be on the dry side. The sponge soaks the liquor really nicely. But it can also be used with other types of cakes. Just make sure to test it. For some recipes a little goes a long way. Some people will use simple syrup when a cake didn’t turn out moist, maybe due to overcooking or a bad recipe. You can use it not only to ensure a cake is moist, but to help a cake stay moist for even longer!

If you don’t want to use alcohol in your cakes, you can always add other
flavorings. If you use extract, I usually just add another 1/4 cup of water to my
recipe or just make the basic recipe a 1:1 ratio. You can use juices too or even concentrated juice to give flavor. I have used strawberry syrup from my

‘Strawberries in syrup recipe’, and also concentrated orange juice with great success.

Coconut milk is still another option you can use. Lemon juice with simple syrup
makes a lemon cake sooo delicious. Again, there are so many options!

You can even add lavender, ginger honey and many other flavors to infuse the syrup.

Vanilla Simple Syrup

Vanilla Simple Syrup

 

Remember, you can keep your syrup simple with the addition of vanilla, but if you want to compliment the flavors of your cake just add extra flavors to the syrup. Simple syrup is not only used in cakes. Bartenders use it for drinks all the time. For those who will ask: “Can I save the leftovers?” Yes, you can. Some people will save it for up to 2 months in the fridge, but make sure that where you store it is completely clean or crystals can build up in it. I usually make it as I need it. It’s so easy to make.

You can make flavored syrups for coffee with leftovers too. For example, with vanilla, you can add it to coffee or tea. You can make syrup for ice cream or pancakes by adding simple syrup to jam. You can make some caramel or melt it, and add the syrup to make a soft caramel that you can pour over desserts or even coffee. This syrup has many uses. I have even used it to fix a jam that I overcooked were it becomes a bit too hard.

Raspberry Cake filling

Tutorial Coming Soon.

 

Another question people tend to ask: “How much syrup do I add?” You can use a pastry brush to add the syrup to your cake. It will add smaller amounts of syrup and you don’t have to worry about adding too much. Another way to safely add smaller amounts would be to use a spray bottle. If you are trying to make a very moist cake like the Caribbean version, then I suggest a squirt bottle, like the ones Wilton sells for the candy melts. With it, you can add plenty of syrup fast.

Typically, I layer my cake and add the syrup to both sides of each layer. This way I ensure there is moisture on both sides. Once I do this, I like for the cake to rest at least overnight, so the flavors come together and the syrup spreads through the cake plus, a cold cake is stronger, so you can layer it and crumb coat easily. In simple steps:

  • Bake Cake
  • Seal and place in the fridge before it completely cools down
  • Let cake rest overnight (it can stay in the fridge safely for 4 nights, SEALED WELL)
  • Layer my cake
  • Add simple syrup on both sides of each layer
  • Add filling
  • Give the cake a crumb coat,
  • Seal the cake with Saran Wrap so it doesn’t get all wet from condensation
  • Place the cake in the fridge either overnight or until it cools down enough
    to give a second coat.

Don’t leave the cake in a hot environment. A cool house will do ok if the fillings
in the cake are safe to be left out the fridge. Personally, I place my cake in
the fridge so it cools down. This way I can apply the second coat to my cake
very easily.

There is another way the simple syrup can be added to a cake. You can add the
syrup before the cake has cooled down completely and this helps the syrup
spread faster. Then you place the cake in the fridge sealed well. But you have
to keep in 
mind that It will be more difficult to layer a cake after the syrup
is in it, and layering the cake while the cake it’s warm can be a problem
since the cake is too soft.

Most of the time that I have seen people adding the syrup to the cake this way,
don’t layer the cake. The only have one layer of filling in a 4 inch tall cake.
Some people don’t like doing it this way because they feel the cake will ferment.
I have seen it done successfully but you have to take precautions if you do it
this way, especially in the hot summer days. Always do a test cake for the
area you live in to see which option works best for you. I usually work in
an area that has AC.

Vanilla flavored cake

Vanilla cake soaked in vanilla, almond, amaretto simple syrup.

It’s important to keep in mind that a cake that has been soaked or lightly sprayed
with simple syrup, will taste better by the next day. The reason for this is
because the syrup needs time to spread around. In the cake above you
can see patches 
of dry areas. That’s because the photo was taken as
soon as the simple syrup 
was added. After you let it rest, the syrup will
reach those areas.

 

Some options for chocolate cake can be dark rum, cherry syrup, Frangelico, Amaretto, Chambord,  chocolate liqueur or Kahlua.

For butter cakes you can use Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Chambord, Coconut Rum, white chocolate liqueur and so much more!

Once again, you can keep the syrup simple or you can add flavors to complement your cake.

For those who prefer a Latin style cake, I will do another blog dedicated just to that cake and I will go through how much syrup per cake you can add. In the meantime here is the tutorial.  Press here for the link to the recipe.

Hope you enjoy the tutorial.

Have fun with the recipe. Until next time, ta ta!

Edna 🙂

 

 

And the winner is!

We have the winners! What an awesome contest. I loved everyone sharing their cakes with me and everyone that visits my Facebook page. So many beautiful cakes!
This is the last day for this contest, and here are the winners.

For the beginners category, the winner is, Daniella Dahl. Love this cake. Makes me want to go to Starbucks to get a coffee. lol

Daniella Dahl‎

Daniella Dahl‎

For the advance Category, the winner is Michelle Head. Beautiful cake. Looks like a simple cake, but we know it has a lot of work in it. Very clean design.

Michelle Head

Michelle Head

 

Once again, thanks to everyone that posted a cake and participated in the contest. You are all winners in my heart. I will be doing another one soon.

Subscribe to the blog, I will be trying to post more often. Hopefully we can keep up with it.  I am still learning how to use the blog, but we only learn if we keep trying. Just like I say with cake, “The more you do it the easier it gets”.

This is it for today. Congratulations to the winners!!
Until next time, Ta ta!

Edna 🙂