Happy Blog-iversary Cake (and a “Thank You” Apron Giveaway!)
This month I am celebrating so many things I felt it necessary to make myself a cake and have a party, with you! As you all know by now it is my blog-iversary, but it is also my birthday in a couple of weeks, the first anniversary of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (75,000 in print, oh my!), the election is FINALLY here and this just happens to be my 100th post! To say the least November is a BIG month for me! The very talented and generous folks at Crooked Brook, where I get all of my chef jackets, sent me a wonderful apron (see picture below) to give away! Leave a comment and I'll pick the winner next Sunday and send it off, just in time for Thanksgiving! I know my blog-iversary cake seems to have gone on and on and on, with the baking of the Génoise, making of the rolled fondant, filling it with Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse and covering it in a layer of Cinnamon Buttercream. Here are the final touches; rolling out the homemade fondant and creating a few simple gum paste roses. Assembling the cake: What you will need: Homemade Rolled Fondant or prepared Wilton Pure White Rolled Fondant (Wilton is easy to work with, but you DO NOT want to eat it. I only use this if the person I'm making the cake for intends to peel off the fondant. Yes, you just peel the entire layer of fondant off and reveal some delicious icing underneath. I'm suggesting you start with Wilton's product just because it is so easy to use.) Food Color Soft Gel Paste (Use the gels, not the water based kind you get at the grocery store.) Food Service Grade Disposable Latex Glove (This will protect your hands from the food coloring.) Heavy Gauge Clear Vinyl (This is the clear sheet that I roll out the fondant on. Nothing sticks to it and you can lift it up easily and move it around. you can also use a Roll'Pat Pastry Mat, but it is much more expensive.) Rolling Pin Kitchen Shears Pastry Wheel (For trimming the fondant around the base of the cake.) Fondant Smoother Corn Starch Corn Syrup (to adjust the consistency of the fondant, read on) Start by adding the color to your fondant. As you can see I mixed the color into my homemade fondant in a stand mixer. If you use Wilton fondant, it is a lot gummier and easier to add the color by hand as seen here. Between two layers of the clear Vinyl, sprinkled with cornstarch and roll the fondant out to 1/8" thick. As you can see the edges of the fondant were cracking almost like a pie crust. It happened because I let the fondant sit for almost a week wrapped, at room temperature and it dried out slightly. Have no fear, you can fix that! I just put it back in my mixer and added a tablespoon of corn syrup. Voila it was... nice and smooth again! Be sure you are rolling it out so that the fondant will hang down beyond the bottom of the cake. Press the fondant to the cake and then trim off the excess with scissors and smooth is with your fondant smoother. I picked up the scraps and added more color to it in the mixer. Roll this out to 1/8" thick. Using a metal ruler press and cut off a 1/2"strip that will be laid onto the cake to create the stripes. Obviously you can make them as thick or thin as you like! Or create polka dots with a round cookie cutter as I did on cake #11. Once all of your strips are laid on you may need to add a very tiny amount of water to glue them down. Make sure your pastry brush is just barely damp, you don't want water dripping down your cake. To make the gum paste flowers, use a prepared gum paste product and roll it out as thin as you can, using the same technique as you did for the rolled fondant. Gum paste is so strong that you can get it almost as thin as a piece of paper. It also dries incredibly fast so be sure to keep it covered as you use it. Cut it into 1"x4" thick strips. Starting at one end begin to roll and crimp the gum paste to create a rose. You will want to stretch it slightly as you roll, to create the look of petals as you go. Now you can arrange the flowers on your cake. The "1" was made in the same way I created the "C" for Claudia's cake. Thank you all so much for visiting Zoëbakes during the past year! I love having a place where I can create pastries and share the things I have learned over the years. As a small token of my gratitude I'm giving away this lovely unisex apron that Crooked Brook made specially for this occasion. It has been such a pleasure to get to know so many of you through blogging and Twitter! Thank you to the many food bloggers who have been such an inspiration to me! Leave me a note below and win the apron! For those of you who want to purchase an apron you can contact me! Don't forget to VOTE!!!