Tag Archives: cake

Cake – Boston Cream Pie

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I really do like making cakes for my loved ones.  This particular cake has been in the works for years, because I just couldn’t seem to get it right (for MY tastes).  It’s my father-in-law’s fav-o-rite, and he’s always, ALWAYS very gracious – even when the custard turned out lumpy.  One year, (I kid you NOT), it looked like a butt.  We even stuffed t-paper in the crack, because we thought it was so funny!  This year’s cake, however, turned out to be the bomb-diggety!  It.  Was.  Perfect.  Now before you get all upset that I cheat because I yellow cake mix, you can use whatever yellow cake recipe/mix you want.  It’s cake.

Boston Cream Pie:  Perfection on a Plate!

Boston Cream Pie: Perfection on a Plate!

Boston Cream Pie

1 box yellow cake mix (mixed and baked according to directions), leveled, and refrigerated

Custard / Cream Filling

Ganache

 

Custard / Cream Filling:

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 egg yolks

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter

Ganache:

8 oz. semisweet chocolate

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter  (People LOVE shiny food.  There have been studies!  This little pat o’ butter make that ganache so gorgeous and GLOSSY.)

Custard / Cream Filling:  In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment, but you can do all this by hand – if you’re crazy). Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain.  In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla just to a boil over medium heat. Immediately remove from heat.  Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated.  When that’s mixed and tempered, whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the empty saucepan.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly (do NOT walk away – go potty BEFORE you start all this!), until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.  Let cool slightly.  Scoop this in a small bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.  Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve (I suggest making it the day before, along with your cake).

Ganache: In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream and butter just to a boil.  STIR CONSTANTLY, but GENTLY.  You do NOT want air bubbles in your ganache.  It’s just not… right.  Put the chocolate chips in a medium mixing bowl, and pour the boiling cream over it.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then take your spoon and GENTLY stir it until it is all smooth and glossy.  Let the mixture cool on the counter for about 10 minutes.  Don’t stick your clean finger in it just yet.  You will burn your little digit.  Not that I would know, or anything…  You can assemble the cake while you’re waiting.

To assemble the cake, put one leveled, cooled cake on a plate.  Plop that cooled custard on top and spread it around with a spoon.  It should be nice and thick.  If it’s not, you didn’t follow directions, so stop what you’re doing and go make some more.  Once that’s done, lay the second cooled, leveled cake on top, but turn that cake upside-down.  It makes it nice and even for you.  If your cake is lop-sided, the custard will be your friend.  Just press down on whatever side is sticking up until it’s level.  Pour the ganache slowly on the top.  When you have a nice pool, stop, and use a spoon to swirl it around.  Add more ganache, until it slightly starts to fall off the sides.  You can guide it with your spoon if needed.  You most likely won’t need all that ganache for the cake, so by all means, grab some strawberries and dip them in the bowl!  Or…. chill your leftover ganache and make truffles.  Yummmm…..  Oh!  Back to the cake:  put it in the fridge to cool it down completely.

Eat and enjoy!

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Cake – The Cobra Cake!

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Sometimess (and maybe it’s because I’m a total right-brainer), I get inspired to the enth-degree.  This was one of those times.  My son was crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts (I’m so proud!!), and his den was the “Cobra Den.”  Well, for his Blue & Gold ceremony, I made a 6′ long cobra snake cake.

Before I go into the step-by-step on how to make this slithering slab, let me give a shout out to my three helpers that gave up a couple of hours on their Saturday morning to help me pipe stars all over this bad boy:  Thanks to Lisa, Jennifer, and Annika!  Without their help, I’d probably STILL be piping stars today.

Step 1:  You need a 6-foot long, heavy-duty plank of wood. Don’t go cheap, because this cake gets heavy!! Wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Also – see how dark it is outside?  I started putting this bad boy together at 5 am, so the cake would be ready to decorate by 9 am.  *Yawn*

Step 1:  You need a 6' long, heavy-duty plank of wood.  Don't go cheap, because this cake gets heavy!!  Wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Step 1

Step 2:  Form your head and tail using rice krispie treat mix.  A good mix for this is 3 tablespoons butter (melted over low heat), 4 cups mini marshmallows (melted with butter over low heat), and 6 cups of crispy rice cereal.  You’ll need 2 batches for this cake.  Allow this to cool for about 5 – 10 minutes.  What you’re looking for is the rice to not be gooey and be able to hold its shape.

Step 2:  Cobra Snake Cake

Step 2

Step 3:  You’ll need 5 bundt cakes for this recipe.  If you don’t have a bundt cake pan, go look in the thrift store.  There always seems to be at least ONE there – or borrow a friend’s.  I found that a good baking time for a bundt pan was 325° for 40 minutes.  Let them cool before removing the cakes from the pan, and DON’T level them!  Leave that rounded top.  Cut 4 of the cakes in half.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 4:  Stagger the cakes on the foil-covered plank, so that you’re creating a continuous “S”-shape.  Without the snake head, this reminds me of pipes.  If you have a plumber in your life, this might be a good idea, too!

Step 4

Step 4

Step 5:  The last bundt cake should be cut like the picture.  You’ll need a piece that’s slightly less than 1/4, and another piece that’s slightly larger than 1/4.  The smaller piece will connect the head to the body, and the bigger piece will connect the body to the tail.  You can go ahead and eat that other half.  You’ve earned it.  😉

Step 5

Step 5

Step 6:  In this step, a couple of things have happened.  First, that slightly smaller 1/4 piece has connected the body to the head piece, of which has been built up to meet the cake.  Also, if you look under the cake, you’ll see a small blob of the marshmallow/rice mix.  Remember how you didn’t level the bundt cakes?  Well, you need that extra height and roundness to make it look more like a snake.  Unfortunately, they tend to roll on that round part.  By putting the mix there, you’re creating a sort of edible shim for it.  Don’t worry.  No one will see it once it’s decorated.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 7:  With your second batch of the marshmallow/rice treats, add the hood of the cobra.  You’ll reserve the rest for the tail and the shims, as you need them.  Don’t be afraid to really squish and scrunch this stuff together.  It sculpts really well!

Step 7

Step 7

 

Another View

Another View

Step 8:  Shape the tail to connect to that slightly-larger-than-1/4-piece.  Add shims to any cake that needs support in order for the cakes to touch – or at least be as close as possible.  It finally looks like a snake!

Step 8

Step 8

Step 9:  Get your friends over to help pipe stars all over your cake!  Just so you know, to cover this cake with buttercream icing, I used a total of 10 lbs of powdered sugar, 10 tablespoons of butter-flavored extract, 10 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and 10 cups of shortening.  Also, I do know that cobras don’t have stripes, and that they’re mostly solid, but I was making a cake for a bunch of little boys, and I thought stripes would break it up a little.  It “reads” well.

Step 9

Step 9

 

Close-up of the head

Close-up of the head

 

Back View

Back View

 

Have fun making your own snake cake!

 

 

 

Cake – Wait… Cake?

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We now interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast for some…  cake?

Yeah, yeah, yeah…  I know it’s not “homeschooling,” but every now and then I make a really cool cake.  I even took step-by-step pictures and have instructions, so in a way, it IS teaching!  Right?  Well, my son asked for a zombie cake last year.  Here’s what he got and how I made it – just in case your kiddo wants one.

Step 1:  Bake 2, round, yellow cakes.  Let them cool, and level off the tops.

Step 1: Bake 2, round, lemon-flavored cakes. Let them cool, and level off the tops.

Step 2:  Cut out a cardboard circle that's at least 2" larger in diameter than your cake.  I only had a box that didn't have a big enough surface to make a complete circle, so I used painter's tape to join two pieces together.

Step 2: Cut out a cardboard circle that’s at least 2″ larger in diameter than your cake. I only had a box that didn’t have a big enough surface to make a complete circle, so I used painter’s tape to join two pieces together.

Step 3:  Cover said cardboard circle in foil.

Step 3: Cover said cardboard circle in foil.

Step 4:  Center 1 cake on the foil, and smear strawberry spread (it makes for some great-tasting, yummy blood when you cut the cake!) generously on top.  Don't get too close to the edge, because it'll squish out the sides!

Step 4: Center 1 cake on the foil, and smear strawberry spread (it makes for some great-tasting, yummy blood when you cut the cake!) generously on top. Don’t get too close to the edge, because it’ll squish out the sides!

Step 5:  Place the other lemon cake upside-down on the first.

Step 5: Place the other lemon cake upside-down on the first.

Step 6:  Using two bottom halves of yellow, plastic Easter eggs and Sharpies, draw out some fun eyes.

Step 6: Using two bottom halves of yellow, plastic Easter eggs and Sharpies, draw out some fun eyes.

Step 7:  In a mixing bowl, stir the contents of 1 tub of lemon-flavored frosting and some green (food coloring or cake/icing coloring).  Not TOO much green, though!  We're not making a leprechaun zombie today.

Step 7: In a mixing bowl, stir the contents of 1 tub of lemon-flavored frosting and some green (food coloring or cake/icing coloring). Not TOO much green, though! We’re not making a leprechaun zombie today.

Step 8:  Mix the frosting and coloring together really well.  You don't want stripes.

Step 8: Mix the frosting and coloring together really well. You don’t want stripes.

Step 9:  Frost your cake, but leave an opening.  In this picture (because of where I put the eyes), it kind-of looks like a muppet!

Step 9: Frost your cake, but leave an opening. In this picture (because of where I put the eyes), it kind-of looks like a muppet!

Step 10:  Press the eyeballs in.  I made mine a little wonky-styled to create a "DUHhhhh"-look, but you can put them however you like.

Step 10: Press the eyeballs in. I made mine a little wonky-styled to create a “DUHhhhh”-look, but you can put them however you like.

Step 11:  Using some red piping gel, squit some wounds on his face.  Also give him his tongue.  The only red piping gel I could find at the time was sparkly, but my son said that was ok.

Step 11: Using some red piping gel, squit some wounds on his face. Also give him his tongue. The only red piping gel I could find at the time was sparkly, but my son said that was ok.

Step 12:  I used black piping gel to create the details.  I went around the eyes, colored in the mouth, put two nasal cavity holes, and gave him eyebrows.  Placing the eyebrows like I did gave him more of a vacant look.  If I had turned the eyebrows in toward his nose, he would have been an angrier zombie.  Just something to think about when you're making your own zombie cake.

Step 12: I used black piping gel to create the details. I went around the eyes, colored in the mouth, put two nasal cavity holes, and gave him eyebrows. Placing the eyebrows like I did gave him more of a vacant look. If I had turned the eyebrows in toward his nose, he would have been an angrier zombie. Just something to think about when you’re making your own zombie cake.

Step 13:  This step can be ommitted, if you like.  I found some mint-chocolate (brown and green) marshmallows at the store.  I thought it would be fun to put some teeth in!  Rawwwwrrrrrrr!

Step 13: This step can be ommitted, if you like. I found some mint-chocolate (brown and green) marshmallows at the store. I thought it would be fun to put some teeth in! Rawwwwrrrrrrr!