Happy Birthday, Jenny!
(+5 skill points -> 180/400)
Friday was my co-worker's wife's birthday. Poor thing has a broken toe! This was a nice opportunity to make something for her and try out a few things.
- 8" round
- French Vanilla box cake mix (Duncan Hines)
- iced with white chocolate & coffee flavored IMBC
- shell border on the bottom
- rosette border on top
- script using thinned IMBC with a squeeze bottle
I'm sticking with using baking strips from now on. The rose nail method just doesn't work for me. This cake baked up very nicely in an hour.
IMBC is so fickle ... I was worried about it destabilizing when both chocolate and coffee were added. The milk chocolate was heated in the microwave first so it could cool down by the time I was ready for it. Chocolate remains viscous for a good while, even when not hot. The IMBC needed something liquidy but not hot. Here's 3 oz. of baker's white chocolate. I actually should have used more, but I wasn't thinking correctly. It should have been 6 oz.
The coffee syrup was 1 1/2 Tb of instant coffee with 1 Tb hot water. Again, made early so it could cool down before being added to the IMBC.
The IMBC was a little frustrating. The meringue part of it went fine, whipped up real nice. The cake got leveled and torted while the meringue cooled down.
After I added the butter it went soupy. Perhaps I didn't let the meringue cool down enough? I gave up whipping it and stuck the mixing bowl into the fridge for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile I prepared the cake box. The "secret" Walmart by my work has a little section for cake decorating! I found 10" x 10" x 5" cake boxes for $1. Oh I call it the "secret" Walmart because it's pretty hidden from the road it's on. There are a bunch of trees that block visibility to the store. There's only one sign and it's not properly lit at night. You have to know exactly where it is or you'll miss it completely. The other day I meant to stop by it after work, but I must have been listening to the radio or thinking about something. I drove right past it and didn't realize until it was too late! The next day I made sure to pay attention. I bought some non-skid material for cake transportation. It's the stuff you put in your kitchen drawers to keep things from sliding around. I cut out a square and put it in the cake box.
The IMBC when back to whipping ... no dice, still soupy. I thought, "Uuugghhh ... I don't have all night to do this! I'm exhausted already!" Back into the fridge it went, this time for 15 minutes. After that, it started to stabilize. The chocolate and the coffee were added without difficulty. The icing was thinned more than usual, but it was just fine. It glided on to the cake like a dream. It also tasted awesome. The white chocolate was subtle, but it made the IMBC taste even smoother.
I hate making small batches of royal icing, so tried piping the "Happy Birthday" with melted chocolate in a squeeze bottle. That did NOT work. The chocolate was too runny and it looked awful. I was able to scoop it off the top and re-ice the cake.
I tried thinning down some of the IMBC with the chocolate. That got loaded into the squeeze bottle and I piped again. This time it wasn't that bad. I wasn't shooting for knock-out looks. Simple shell border on the bottom, rosettes on top. I wanted to put coffee beans in the rosettes, but when I practiced one on a piece of foil ... well, it looked like a little booby. Ah, I should have taken a picture! Ha. Well, no beans for the cake.
I'm not pleased about how it wasn't so smooth on the sides of the cake. Last week I bought Viva paper towels for smoothing down icing. I would have had to refrigerate the cake for a while to do that, but I was already running out of time for the night. Maybe next time.
- IMBC was too hot when I put the butter in ... patience is a virtue!
- squeeze bottle piping might be good for some things, but maybe not script
- don't make cake boobies
- not enough milk chocolate
- IMBC tasted awesome! I'll use this next week for Aunt Mimi's 60th birthday cake
- IMBC pipes so smooth ... I loved the rosettes ... I want to use this on cupcakes one day with my 1M tip
Happy Birthday, Jenny!