My Favorite Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

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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 🙂

 

 

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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 🙂

Cake Fun Contest- Week 2

Week 1 was a success. Here are the winners chosen by you guys.

Alis Nonoleta Nuta was the winner for the beginners cake, and Beverly Call Brown was the winner for the more advanced cakes. These 2 cakes were part of our first weeks competition.

Alis Nonoleta Nuta

Alis Nonoleta Nuta

Beverly Call Brown

Beverly Call Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We now begin voting for the 2nd week of this contest. Scroll down to choose your favorite beginner and advanced cake. Leave a comment below with your favorites for each division.

Here are the names and the cakes chosen for Advanced cakes:

Christine Jelloian

Christine Jelloian

Leyla Sanabria-Perez

Leyla Sanabria-Perez

Michelle Head

Michelle Head

 

Here are the names and the cakes chosen for Beginners cakes:

Debbie Shaw

Debbie Shaw

Jessica M. Dorman‎

Jessica M. Dorman‎

Judy Stebbings

Judy Stebbings

Remember to choose one cake for the advanced level, and one for the beginners level. Post the names of your favorite cakes in the comments below. I will announce the winners next week.

In the meantime, don’t forget to post your cakes with the BEGINNERS or ADVANCELABELS on them so I can place your cake in the right division. Post them on the thread that is pinned at the top of my page by clicking here: Facebook Page Design Me a Cake.

Remember you can be a winner! The final prize will be a cake toy for each division from my web Store www.designmeacake.biz. Go check out all the goodies!!

I will ask of you guys to not spam the contest with fake votes or business promotions; this is a contest that is for fun. Remember to vote only once, and to list the names of each contestant for each division. Just have fun with it.

Remember, October 6th is the last date to submit your cakes for the final drawing. So if you didn’t win this week, keep posting your cakes with your title of beginners or advanced level. Good luck to everyone!

Until next time, Ta ta!
Edna 🙂

Let’s Have Some Cake Fun!

This week I am starting a contest that will run for around 4 weeks. This past weekend was the first week of the contest, and I asked my cake friends to share their cakes in my Facebook Page for Design Me a Cake. I was going to put the names of each contestant in a jar and choose 3 winners each week, but to make it a bit more fair for beginners I’m choosing 2 divisions of 3 winners: Beginners and Advanced. That way beginners won’t feel intimidated by the more advanced cake decorators.

I want to make it clear that there are many beautiful cakes posted in the thread. It’s very difficult to choose just 3 winners for each division. So to make it fair, all the names went into a jar for each division, where both jars will have a lucky draw to declare the winners at the end of the contest.

The next 3 cakes I’m posting below are competing for advanced cakes of this week. Choose one of these as your favorite. Here are the names and the cakes chosen:

Beverly Call Brown

Beverly Call Brown

Brenda Oliviera Henkel

Brenda Oliviera Henkel

Charmaine Magro

Charmaine Magro

The next 3 cakes below are the those chosen from the beginners jar. Choose one of these as your favorite:

Alis Nonoleta Nuta

Alis Nonoleta Nuta

Laurie Young

Laurie Young

Tiona Reed

Tiona Reed

Remember to choose one cake for the advance cake, and one for the beginners. Post the names of your favorites in the comments below. I will announce the winners next Friday.

In the meantime don’t forget to go post your cakes in the Thread for the contest  I posted in my Facebook Page Design Me a Cake.

Remember you can be a winner! The final prize will be a cake toy for each division from my web Store www.designmeacake.biz. You can go check out all the goodies.

I will ask of you guys to not start spamming the contest with fake votes. One vote per person for each division each week. Just have fun with it.

Remember, we still have a few more weeks to play so if you didn’t win this week; keep posting your cakes with your title of beginners or advance level. Good luck to everyone!

Until next time, Ta ta!
Edna 🙂

Pineapple Cake Filling

Pineapple Cake Filling

Most delicious Pineapple Filling recipe for cakes.

I love this recipe. I grew up in Puerto Rico eating what became my most favorite cake ever. I used to asked my mother for this cake every year for my birthday. It was a very moist cake with pineapple filling and the frosting was called Suspiro. Even when I moved to Florida, she would send this cake to me. I didn’t care if it came in pieces. I just wanted my cake!

My Mom got sick and my favorite cake stop coming. So I decided to figure out this cake filling since I knew how to make the cake and the frosting.

After plenty of testing I figure out what was the closest to my memories of this cake filling.
I used canned pineapples for this recipe because they are always available. But at some point I will try to figure it out using fresh pineapple.

Cake filled with Pineapple

Cream cheese Cake with Edna’s Pineapple Filling recipe.

I just posted the recipe in my website, Here is the link :

http://designmeacake.com/pineapple_cake_filling.html

There you will find my tutorial on how to make this awesome Pineapple Filling recipe, along with many other cake recipes, icings and other cake related tutorials.
You can use this cake filling with any white or butter cake recipe. Here, I used a cream cheese cake. This filling is fast to make, delicious and can stay out of the fridge once it’s in the cake.

In Puerto Rico, we add simple syrup to make the cakes moist and delicious. Soon, I will share how to make this syrup along with the frosting used for this cake. You can also use my crusting buttercream recipe for this cake on special occasions; but when I’m home, I love to use a Suspiro frosting that complements it perfectly. I will do a tutorial for the Suspiro frosting since it has some complicated steps to be followed.

So for now, we will start with this delicious filling. You can store the leftovers of this filling in the fridge. As far as how long it last, that is a question I have yet to figure out. ‘It never lasted long enough to test how long it will last (lol).’ I would say that it lasts pretty long since it doesn’t have any eggs or dairy in it. Just remember when you are making this filling, as soon as it’s ready, you pour it into a mason jar that has been sterilized.

You can follow canning guidelines if you desire to save this for a longer period. Here is the link to the National Center for home Food preservation: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

Pineapple Cake Filling

Best pineapple cake filling by Edna De La Cruz from Design Me a cake.

Feel free to stop by and visit me at Design Me a Cake for my recipes and tools needed to create this delicious cake. Also, subscribe to my YouTube Channel  for a more hands on approach on how to make wonderful and tasty treats, and a bit of silly humor to go with.

Hope you enjoy this recipe. Until next time, ta ta!!
Edna 😉