What happened to our cooking and writing streak?? I miss our food talks and experiments people….I know I too have been a bit out of touch..actually I was a little busy doing some other things. But I would write about those in later posts. Today I am just too excited to share with you both a creation that I made for a friend’s birthday who loves bags and shoes!! I really wanted the cake to mean something special for her and am glad that it turned out exactly how I wanted it to be. There was one more challenge in this attempt – I had to make the whole thing Vegetarian. Now this is not a big deal for you Didi, but for me it was 🙂 The inspiration of the cake came from some other blogs and videos which have demonstrated awesome designer bag cakes and Fondant shoes like http://rosesen.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/gumpaste-shoe-tips-and-template/ or http://www.cakesbyroxanne.com/2011/01/how-to-make-gum-paste-stiletto-2011.html. I mean look at the stuff, who would say its EDIBLE??!!! But I am not familiar with fondant…to tell you the truth, I didn’t make an effort to try it till now as it requires stuff like Glucose syrup/corn syrup/gelatin, which are not so easily available in India (ok we do get gelatin, but I wanted the whole cake to be vegetarian). Even if they are, they cost a lot, as you very well know Didi!
Finally I saw this video and decided to follow the easy yet attractive method it showed. Of course I gave it the Dakhina touch from every angle, but yes the idea was from here. What I produced finally was this:
There are 4 different parts of this presentation. The cakes, a cream filling to stick the two cakes together, a chocolate ganache icing and sugar clay. For about a 1.5 kg Cake:
a) 2 Round shaped Eggless cakes (I made a chocolate cake and a coffee cake from our Black Pearl Ship post. For the coffee flavour, I added a Tbsp of instant coffee in the condensed milk and then mixed it with the rest of the ingredients)
b) 200 ml Fresh Cream for filling
c) Flavouring the filling – 2-3 tbsp Icing Sugar, 1 Tsp Instant Coffee, 1 TbSp Cocoa Powder
d) 200 gms Dark Cooking Chocolate+200 ml thickened cream for Chocolate Ganache Icing
e) 1/2 cup Icing Sugar+ 5-6 Tbsp Butter+1-2 Tbsp milk for Sugar Clay
f) For Decoration: some colored Gems/Smarties/M&Ms, Chocolate Gold Coins and Ribbon of your choice
The first thing is that I baked the cakes and put them in the fridge for 2 hours. This makes the cake hard and one can easily cut it into any shape without it crumbling and falling to pieces. Then, take one of the cakes and cut about a 2 inch piece from one side. This shape would help us make the cake stand. Using the same piece, measure the other cake and cut a same size piece from that. If you have trouble following me, look at the link of the video that I followed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9l_-IBPXBs&feature=related). Quickly whip the cream till it forms soft peaks or is stiff. Add about 2-3 tbsp Icing Sugar, 1 Tsp Instant Coffee, 1 TbSp Cocoa Powder and whip again (taste and check..you can add more sugar/flavor if you want). Lavishly put this on the bottom face of one of the cakes and place the other cake’s bottom face on top of it. I made the Chocolate Ganache and wrapped a board with foil (like I did in my Tall Boy Cake). Then like in the video, I put some cream on the flat sides and made the joined cakes stand on the board. Once I was sure it was standing properly, I did the first layer of icing with the ganache which is called crumb-coating. This evens out all the flaws and gaps/broken areas of the cake (my chocolate cake was broken, but every thing stood well with the cream filling and the icing. The pieces I had cut out from these round cakes, I shaped and joined them to make a small coin purse. After icing both with a layer, I put the cakes in the fridge for another hour. This helps to apply the rest of the icing later.
While the cakes were getting cold, I began the task of making the sugar clay. I couldn’t put gelatin, so had to figure out a way to make this as I really wanted to make a shoe. I tried many options looking at the different gelatin-less recipes available on the internet, but nothing worked. They were brittle and crumbly. Finally I decided to knead icing sugar with butter and milk. I started with adding 1-2 tbsp of butter + 1 tbsp milk to 1/2 cup icing sugar. It was crumbly, so I kept adding the butter till it became a soft pliable dough. Then I shaped the shoe (it turned out to be a wedge heel dancing shoe instead of a stilletto that I hoped to make….with all the stress to get the right shape of the shoe, I forgot to take pics…sorry! next time for sure would take them :D).
Then I took the cakes out, and put 2-3 more layers of the ganache. Remember, if the ganache starts to thicken while you are putting on the layer on the cakes, microwave it for 30 seconds again. Normally it is instructed that we should dip our icing spatula in hot water to even out the icing. But somehow I preferred liquefying the ganache because that hot water trick didn’t work with me 😦
Decorate the cake as you like..you can see what I did with it..I cut a small piece of ribbon to make the handle on top as well. With the sugar clay I made the white line to define the lid of the purse. There are some visual faults in this, but for the first effort I think its not that bad, what say? 🙂 The good part was that my friend was very happy with this cake, she said she could’t have asked for more in a cake. And yes, it tasted super too!! I was very happy and satisfied with it…totally worth the effort!
Looking forward to hearing from you two!
Take care, lots of love,