Sometimes you need a cake in a hurry. This is especially true of cake decorators, but it can happen to anyone–your child comes in and needs a cake for the bake sale, you remember that special someone’s birthday at the last minute.
In this article, Wendy McGowan shows us how to cool our cake quickly. Read it here!
Happy Memorial Day! If you’re wanting to do something fancy (but relatively easy) for the cake you’re making for your upcoming celebration, check out this article on How to Ruffle Fondant from Craftsy!
What better than a coconut cake to serve your guests at Christmastime? This recipe comes from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.
(Click above link for recipe and accompanying video instructions.)
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).
To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.
In case you haven’t heard about my latest adventure, my life is pretty sweet right now—I have a loving boyfriend, a popular cake decorating company, and have recently entered into a cake competition in town. But when I attend a class with a famously ornery celebrity chef, all of that threatens to change. The chef is found beaten to death with a cake stand after his first lesson, and he has more enemies than anyone can count. So it’s a shock to me when I immediately come under police suspicion. And on top of that, Ben tells me he’s considering a career move—to Kentucky. To a company run by an old girlfriend! And, there’s still the cake competition I’m trying to win! I will need to put my wits to the test again—with the help of my nosy friend Myra—in order to clear my name, win the competition, and salvage my romance.
People are saying some pretty nice things about the book. I’d love for you to read it and give me your thoughts as well. Leave a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of BATTERED TO DEATH, signed by the author, Gayle Trent. Good luck! (Oh, and wish me luck too!) 😉
If you’re a professional baker, you realize the importance of taking a good photograph for your portfolio. The photo at right shows a beautifully-photographed cake. Of course, it helps that it’s a gorgeous cake to begin with, but a bad photo wouldn’t do it justice.
Fortunately, the good folks at Cake Central have come up with a tutorial to help you make sure you’re photographing your cakes (or other projects) in a way that makes them look their best. Check it out.
Spotlight on: Moroccan Lace
Again, I have to thank the geniuses at Cake Central for providing a tutorial on making lovely Moroccan lace cakes using silicon onlays. See the step-by-step tutorial, and watch Chef Dominic Palazzolo demonstrate his technique.