love bake create

Second Time Lucky February 21, 2013

Filed under: Holiday Cakes — lovebakecreate @ 6:41 AM
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I’m not one to be defeated. So after the gong-show of an attempt at double baking a cake I did some poking around the internet to see if there were any other techniques I could use and maybe make it a slightly less painful process. The result was a success!

February 17, 2013 017

We have a cake!! There’s surprise hearts inside! Yay!

Now, before getting to this point of delicious cake, there were several hiccups and A LOT of work.

Let me explain…

Since there were going to be cookies inside, I had to… bake cookies. Heart shaped pink ones since it’s still February. It took quite a few to fill the pan.

February 17, 2013 010

Sorry about the random blob of cake mix; I forgot to take a picture of just the cookies

105 to be exact. Not that it was an issue, because my paranoid self made 185 cookies. Take that Christmas!

So the cookies were baked and lined up the night before using a simple sugar cookie recipe.

The next morning I snuck out of bed early (abandoning Eric and Ella) so I could mix up a batch of Red Velvet cake. I know, it should be red, but I thought the pink hearts would look better against a brown cake.

It did come out a little thicker than I expected, so after plopping the mix into the pan, I used the back of a spoon to poke the batter, getting it between the cookies. Totally unnecessary. After it heats up in the oven, the mix becomes quite liquidy and fills the spaces all on its own.

February 17, 2013 011Even with a gigantic 13″ springform, I had batter left over, so I went to town making six extra cupcakes and a smaller heart shaped cake. Why not?

Now, I’m just about convinced my mom’s oven is possessed has hot spots because it took FOREVER to bake this monstrosity. The recipe called for an hour to 90 minutes at 325°F. Since it has a tendancy to be too hot, I lowered it to 300°F as usual and happily set the timer. I also left the extra cakes out, being slightly smart, knowing they would bake faster than the giant cake.

After an hour, I grabbed a skewer, opened the oven door and poked.

Raw.

The middle was freakin’ raw! Not ‘little bits of cake were on the skewer’ but like ‘gooey batter sticking to the skewer’ kinda raw.

Deep breath.

Turn up the temperature to 325°F, re-set the timer for another 30 minutes, and quietly give the oven the finger as you walk away. Maybe it was that last step?

I ended up doing this three more times with the temperature ending up at 350°F and that cake sitting in the oven for just over two hours! At least I was able to bake the other cakes in the meantime.

Once cooled, I could decorate! The plan had been to cover the whole cake in swirly roses but I didn’t have nearly as much icing sugar as I needed and I didn’t want the cake to be overly sweet, so I settled on covering just the top. Sadly, my MacGyver-ed equipment wasn’t up to the task.

February 17, 2013 014Since I left all my piping and decorating equipment in BC, I had to use what my mom had. Yes, that is a plastic bag. Sturdy one, though. She did have a few piping tips but no couplers. Seeing as I didn’t want the tip to come rocketing out of the bag mid-squeeze, I secured it with tape. Cow print scotch tape, to be exact.

Starting with the top of the cake, I layed on the roses and made my way around the edge. I love this technique because it’s relatively easy but still looks pretty.

I had enough stiffer buttercream icing to make one circle. The rest was supposed to be done with the slightly softer whipped cream but when I went to pipe it on…

February 17, 2013 015It came out looking like a pink and white turd.

Plan B; smooth the whipped cream over the top and sides, and be done with it.

As for the cupcakes and heart cake, I piped on some turd-like mounds and put cookies on them.

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February 17, 2013 018I think this is it for our Valentine’s baking this year.

I’m also super excited to be heading back to BC tomorrow and having my own kitchen again!

The promise of warmer weather, cross country trips and seeing friends again, whoo!

Enjoy!

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Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14, 2013

Filed under: Baking fails,Holiday Cakes — lovebakecreate @ 11:04 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Not just for love, chocolates and all the commercial stuff, but Valentine’s Day is also my Grandma’s day! In Poland you get to celebrate not only your birthday, but your saint’s Name Day. Seeing as my Grandma’s name is Valentine …

So I had a beautiful idea; bake a red cake, cut little heart shapes out of it and then bake another white cake around it. When you sliced into the cake, you’d get little surprise hearts. Delightful, heart warming and not too difficult. Not quite how it went down though.

First, I made a simple cake batter and dyed it red with food colouring. I poured it into some mini silicon loaf pans (which I’d never used). After about seven minutes in the oven, the train started coming undone. See for yourself. It was such a disaster that I had to introduce it to YouTube.

The end result.

The end result.

To sum it up, the outer part of the cake was baked long before the middle, to the point that a little volcano formed, spurting raw batter out the top, forming that lovely looking protrusion on the cakes.

Hoping that not all was lost, I carried on with my plan and cut the volcano cake into hearts.

I cut the loaf into slices...

I cut the loaf into slices…

... then cut hearts out of the slices.

… then cut hearts out of the slices.

February 14, 2013 045

Once all the heart slices were cut and arranged, the plan was to fill the pan with white cake batter and bake. “Here, use this,” smiles my mother as she hands me a box of cake mix. Sure, it’s easy and quick, what could go wrong? Well, when you’re not sure if the box of cake mix is still good to use, it can go horribly wrong. The first issue was that the white cake mix didn’t quite cover the hearts.

The red bits are candy that was in the cake mix.

The red bits are candy that was in the cake mix.

Notice the bottoms of the hearts poking up through the mix. I figured the cake has to rise, right? The bottoms will get encased in cake, right? Wrong.

February 14, 2013 050Those burnt little peaks in the middle? Yup, those would be the bottoms of the hearts.

I should mention, the same volcano effect was seen with this cake, so I have to question several things:

  • Was the box mix out of date?
  • Did I use the correct temperature?
  • Does the oven have hot spots?
  • Did I use to much baking soda with the first cakes?

Regardless, I kept going (brave or stupid, I’m not sure which) and turned the cake upside down to take it out of the pan.

February 14, 2013 051 *Insert explitive*

It was right about now that I realized I had neither greased nor floured the pan. Makes sense that a chunk of cake welded itself onto the bottom.

My ever helpful mom scraped it off the bottom with a spatula, held it up so we could assess the damage (and take a picture) and then we promptly fixed it.

 

 

 

February 14, 2013 053Tada! Perfect!

Frustrated by the numerous issues, I decided to wait to ice the cake.

Curiousity got the better of us and we wanted to see how the secret hearts turned out, so we decided to cut into the middle. You could always ice over it, no one would be the wiser. So we cut into the cake to find …

 

February 14, 2013 054

Hearts surrounded by raw cake.

*Insert swearing and table flip*

That was last night. This morning I toyed with the idea of getting up early, doing it all over again, maybe getting the result I wanted ….

And then got lazy decided to boost my confidence and make scones instead. With a Valentine’s twist ofcourse.

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Who better to share all this with than a happy family?

Seems Eric was camera shy this morning

Seems Eric was camera shy this morning

Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

ENJOY!