Sunday, July 21, 2013

Strawberry Mousse Cake

I wanted to make my grandma something really special for her cake. I scoured Google images high and low and I was inspired by a buttercream caterpillar cake on Cake Central. I knew that the cake was decorated with royal icing and I went from there really.

This is probably the only cake I had the most fun making. I won't lie, it did take quite some time to make. I baked the white cake a day before, storing it in the fridge after it cooled completely. I made the royal icing decoration and let them dry overnight. The next day (her birthday) I cut and frosted the cake. I then added the decorations which stuck pretty well onto the cake. I was a bit peeved some did break which made me wish I had extra flowers. Oh well. I used my leftover buttercream to pipe green leaves.

I will admit that I am not the best with my so-called piping skills. I tried my hardest and it's not to bad, I think. This is actually the first time I did a pearl border as well... I know, what kind of pastry cook am I :p

I like the sprinkles as an added touch.

She was so surprised!! Of course she knew we were going to come over, but she was really wowed by her cake. She said she didn't want to even cut it. Gnaaaww. Every component tasted great to me, and I could tell they liked it by the amount of times they got up to get another slice.

White Cake: 
(adapted recipe via The Way The Cookie Crumbles)

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare two 8″ cake pans with parchment and butter. *Note: Original recipe uses 9'' cake pans*

Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into a medium size bowl, and mix with fork until blended.

Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for 30 seconds more. Be sure to the scrape sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 20 seconds longer.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake until skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Let cool completely. 

Strawberry Mousse
(recipe via Southern Living) 

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Process 2 cups sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Transfer strawberry mixture to a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add gelatin to strawberry mixture, stirring constantly until gelatin dissolves.

Cover and chill until consistency of unbeaten egg whites, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes)

Vanilla Frosting 
(recipe via Sweetapolita)

5 sticks (575 g) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
5 1/4 cups powder sugar, sifted
4 1/2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
   pinch of salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

Royal Icing
Yield: 1.5 cups of icing
(recipe via Wilton)

1 1/2 Tablespoons meringue powder
2 cups powder sugar
3 Tablespoons water, warmed

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).

Add color. Gel coloring works the best, but I only have food coloring on hand. You might have to add a bit more of powder sugar if you use food coloring to get a nice consistency.

Note: I filled up a parchment cone of royal icing. I drew similar flowers onto a white sheet of paper as my stencil. I laid a sheet of parchment paper on top of the stencil and just piped from there.

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