As part of expanding our (her) cake repetoire, Lauren and I have sort of committed to abandoning boxed cake mixes and using straight from scratch recipes. With the assistance of a cake decorating book that Rachel got for us, we took our first step in that direction last night. I don't have recipes for this entry because I don't have the book in front of me, and on top of that I didn't actually do any of the baking last night because I was busy doing the cooking (chicken salad and potato salad) and the dish washing so we didn't get in each other's way.What Lauren made was a Madeira cake filled with strawberries and chocolate ganache and covered with buttercream icing. No fondant this time around. The results were mixed. First off our biggest problem is that we aren't cooking by weight. So next on our list of ways to expand our culinary arsenal is a digital weight scale. Its way too much of a hassle to try to figure how many cups or tablespoons 310 grams of butter is, and if that number of cups/tbsp is the same for 310 grams of sugar (which it isn't).
I just realized I never actually posted anything about our vacation. The vacation was great, and I'll return to share some words and pictures about crabbing and fresh seafood. But I'm going to use this post to focus on Savannah, Georgia and our trip to The Lady & Sons restaurant, owned by Paula Deen of the Food Network.
Last week while on vacation, Lauren and her sister decided to make a fondant cake for their younger sister's birthday. I thought it was borderline insanity given that we were out of Lauren's kitchen, without any of her cake supplies and most importantly without a KitchenAid stand mixer. Bu they were determined to make it happen, so I looked up the fondant recipe, gave them a few pointers and then backed away slowly. Obviously the picture shows that it turned out just fine and here is why: the fondant recipe I was using worked, but it didn't create the most workable fondant.
- 1 - 16oz pkg mini-marshmallows
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp vanilla
6-8 cups3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Vegetable shortening (for greasing everything that touches liquid marshmallow)
In other news, Lauren and I may be making a cake this weekend. Rachel dropped off an incredibly awesome and generous thank you gift to us for Sofia's Dr. Seuss cake. The gifts included a variety of cake decorating and fondant working tools. Lauren will be making a baby shower cake in September and wants to test out some ideas we've seen on Cake Boss and Food Network Challenge. On top of that we've also been contacted by an acquaintance of mine about doing a John Deere tractor wedding cake for August of 2010.
So in short order we're going to need to find some solid "from scratch" cake recipes and start fancying up the actual cake and frosting.