Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cake Disasters and Buttercream Frosting to the Rescue

I baked a cake for a dinner party yesterday. It was a chiffon-style cake--somewhere between a delicate Angel Food cake and a regular, dense cake in consistency.

I made the exact same cake a week before, and it was fine. But this time, when I flipped over the hot cake-and-pan combo on a wire rack to cool--as per the instructions--the cake tore open and half the top came off!

Quickly picking up the biggest chunks, I patted them into place. (There may have been some cussing.) I'd planned to drizzle the cake with a thin, glaze-type icing. But this thing was one hot mess. It needed camouflage.

Thank goodness for Buttercream Frosting! After the cake reached room temperature, I removed it carefully from the pan and put it in the fridge to chill. (A chilled cake is easier to frost.)

I made a double batch of frosting and used about a third of it to fill in the low spots. Then I frosted the chilled cake with a thin "crumb coat"--this seals the cake's surface so that the final layer of frosting doesn't tear up the cake. That used up another third or so of the frosting.

Back in the fridge to chill the crumb coat thoroughly--about 15 minutes. Then a final layer of frosting over all.

And to help draw the eye away from the low places where cake was missing, I added some cute decorations.

 Buttercream Frosting is a great way to disguise cake mistakes--not to mention that it tastes divine.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
(citrus variation below)

3 Cups powdered sugar
1/3 Cup butter, softened
1-2 Tbsp. milk (or other liquid, like strong coffee, Kahlua, etc.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, blend the ingredients on low setting. Slowly increase speed and continue until icing is soft and fluffy. If the icing seems too stiff, add more liquid, a teaspoon or two at a time.

Variation: Lemon Buttercream Icing
3 Cups powdered sugar
1/3 Cup butter, softened
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. lemon rind
1/2 tsp. lemon extract

Follow the same instructions, above, to prepare. If icing seems too stiff, add a teaspoon or two more of lemon juice.



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