Thursday, July 1, 2010

Las Vegas Birthday Cake

It was one of those cakes that nothing went right on.
My original idea was two tiers. The bottom tier would be the Las Vegas Strip, the next would be the Las Vegas sign going around the side, and on top a Rice Krispie Treat cubes covered in fondant to make dice. I am glad I scaled it down now because that would have turned into a much bigger disaster than what I had. The idea I went with was dark blue/black butter cream frosting for the night sky with gold star sprinkles giving it some Vegas pizazz. Around the bottom would be butter cream transfers of the Vegas Strip in lights, using glitter frosting and brushing each building with gold powder. On top the Las Vegas Sign with Mikal's name and age, also brushed with the gold powder to give it a glowing look. Well, it all sounded great but when the time came to put it all together it was a mess. It was 104 degrees that day and the frosting melted into a puddle as soon as it came out of the freezer. Not to mention I could never get the frosting colors to come out right. I know I should have used fondant, I even went a bought Duff's brand at Michaels, but I hate the taste of fondant. I made more frosting with more powdered sugar and even added corn starch to make the frosting thicker but it was to no avail, once in the piping bag it would just run out of control. So I gave in to the heat and just threw the transfers, with no sparkles or glitter that I had planned, up as fast as I could and rushed it to the table. As we sang happy birthday the Paris balloon actually peeled off the cake, Luxor melted onto itself, and the Eiffel tower and Bellagio bubbled up. You live and you learn, when it's over 100 degrees use fondant no matter how gross it tastes. :) 

At least this cake tasted good so here is the recipe:

White Layer Cake

Makes two 9-inch cakes
  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 large egg whites
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
  3. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not over beat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining whites.
  4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Re invert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.
The frosting was the same recipe I always use except I added 2Tb of corn starch.

Since this post is so long I am going to make a separate post on how to make the butter cream transfers.

Ahh, I am glad this cake is over. :)

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