Friday, June 20, 2014

Just your friendly neighbourhood baker

I don't know about you, but these days I feel as if I'm constantly trying to breathe broth. Heat, humidity, and pleanty of sweat - yay summer! 
Just the ideal conditions for baking a cake, right(/sarcasm)

Anyway, a colleague - actually one of the attending physicians working with us on a rotation to pamper our beloved policy holders with medical advice whenever needed, or otherwise (Look, mama! More sarcasm!) - asked me for a Spider-Man cake for her adopted son Nhat, who just turned six. 
She wanted it to feed about 20 little ones, but other than that she wasn't particular. She showed me a model cake, covered with red fondant, with a blue web covering one wedge of it and a Spidey action figure plopped on top. Only she couldn't find that particular toy, but provided me with a Spider-Man candle instead.

I immediately thought of repeating my Red Velvet feat from a few days ago, since that cake was really delightful, and dramatic enough to satisfy a bunch of kids. 
Only with a bright red interior, I needed blue fondant for a nice bit of contrast, and a red web on top. The doctor was OK with me inverting the colour scheme, and pretty much left me free rein with it... 

...and so, here it goes. 

I thought it better to have the web cover the entire surface, so the kids won't need to fight about who gets to gain a spider sense by eating it. 
I piped it with royal icing btw; I really wanted to use Candy Melts, but I just can't tame the darn things (shame, 'cause they taste lovely and have such bright colours!)
The writing is, likewise, a royal icing transfer, and all in all it was surprisingly quick to do, thanks to this truly amazing Spider-Man font you can download for free OMG!

Since I needed a much larger cake this time, I hit the Internet for a recipe that was already adjusted for a 12'' round pan. (I know, I know... SO lazy of me! But, I was short on time as the party's tomorrow, so I really needed to take all of the guesswork out of the process to be on the safe side.)

In the end, I picked this one from Food & Wine
Unlike the Bake Happy recipe I used before, this one produces little to no dome, as it is actually meant to bake low, like a German Torte. I wanted a bit more height though, so I made two and stacked 'em - even so, I got zero waste from them, as they baked so amazingly flat I didn't need to cut anything from them. 
(This meant, unfortunately, I didn't get a taste of it - but, by the looks of it, I think I like Bake Happy's version better. It was extremely light and soft, whereas this one feels heavier and kind of oily. Granted, the added sturdiness is a bonus in this instance, but in my personal opinion, Aikko's recipe is closer to the real thing.)

I did none of the fancy ice cream and pecan praline thingie - even plain cream cheese icing was a no-no, what with it being for very young kids who might not like its sour-ish taste (which I love, btw!)
So, alas, a canned vanilla frosting it was, and plain American buttercream for crumbcoating. The very thought sickens me, but this way I'm sure the kiddos will not object... plus, I have to admit the hellish stuff is much stabler than anything dairy-based!

Right, now I only need to carry the darn thing to work. Ugh. 

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