Thursday, July 21, 2011

Let there be Cup-cake & Cut-offs

So, I've been trying to figure this one out for a while now; no - not how do they get the soft flowing caramel into the caramilk bar...{Although winning a gold key would be kind of exciting; like going on your own Willie Wonka chocolate factory tour}.  What's the trick to that cupcake cake swirl? 

I've been following the work of a very talented Andrea Sullivan {another Canadian :)} and am completely taken by her flawless, whimsical works of edible art.  Meeting her is one of the things on my bucket list, and to take one of her classes comes in a close second.  She makes these incredible cupcakes - I had to give this a run...only I had no clue how to do it.

Attempt 1 {a year ago} was a complete wreck!  The cake fell, I didn't understand the mechanics of it.  It didn't help that my Dad {bless his heart} drove me and the cake to the restuarant to which we were celebrating my grandmother's birthday. Do I need to say more?  A cake, a car and a crazy ride = crappy looking cake at the destination!  I was devistated, I really wanted it to be fantastic.  Bottom line was Grandma loved her cake regardless.  Sometimes the inputs alone far exceed the output.

I had no reason at all to bake a cake today, so what better opportunity for me to haul out my mixer and ingredients do I have?  I got to test out a new recipe too, better now than later when someone really wants a cake and I need a tried and tested recipe.

It was an almond sour cream cake, the description online stated it was a dense, moist cake that worked well for stacking cakes.  I figured it would be good for carving too.  After baking it, I started by levelling both of the cakes in the pan by cutting flush across the top to get a straight line. Then, I turned them out and let them cool completely. 

I took the smaller of the two cakes and tapered the base to resemble a cupcake wrapper, then the top got carved with a swirl to mimic the icing on the top of the cupcake. And here are the cut-offs my hubby will have to force himself to eat {he really hates eating all the cut-offs and "mistakes"...sometimes I think he makes "mistakes" when I am not looking to ensure he get's some of the goodies}.

My cupcake cake started to take shape...time to chill out. 

 A little while later I scratch coated my cupcake, and added some extra fondant to raise the ridge of the swirl. Then I filled in the gaps between the cake and the ridge with buttercream icing to make for a smooth surface to apply my final coat of fondant to.

All in all, I think for a second attempt this turned out pretty good. It can still use some refining, like a cake board between the layers and dowel supports to make sure the top doesn't crush the base.  Let's hope it tastes as good as it looks. 

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