Friday, January 21, 2011

How to make a Titanic cake?

Titanic Cake 3D

I made this Titanic cake a few years back and it has been the most viewed of all of my posts by far. Also, a few people have asked me for more detailed instructions. So here is how to make a great Titanic cake:

Materials:


First bake your cakes and let them cool down on a rack. Once they are cooled, cut any bumps from the top so they are flat on both sides. This is very important as you need a sturdy structure.

Make your buttercream icing, you will need about 2 or 3 batches of my recipe. If you buy store made icing, you will need about 8 to 10 cups. You will need approximately 2 cups of black, 1.5 cups of red, 1 cup of brown, 1/2 cup yellow and 4 cups of white.  To color your icing you will need paste colors not water based ones as this will water your icing. To color icing black and brown, and use less of the paste color, start with 3 cups of white icing and put some cocoa powder to it until is nice and dark brown, reserve 1 cup of brown and add black color paste to the rest. These will be a chocolate buttercream - yum!

Stack 3 of the cakes on top of each other, using some white buttercream in between layers as a filling. I start with the bottom cake with the flatter surface down, then put some buttercream, then the middle cake, more buttercream, and finally the top cake with the flatter surface up. You will end up with a tall pretty smooth rectangular cake which will be the base of the Titanic.

With a very sharp knife you will carve the Titanic from here.

To do the front of the Titanic: Find the middle point on one of the short sides of your rectangular cake, mark it with a tooth pick. From the same end of the cake now go to the longer side and measure about 3 -4 inches from the end of the cake and put a tooth pick there too. Do this on the other side as well. Now cut your cake from the middle tooth pick to the other, the piece you are cutting will look like a triangle and the cake will start looking like an inverted V shape wedge. Do one side at a time removing a small triangle first, then do the same on the other side. Once you have the right shape, you can do small carvings on cake to make it more curvy.


To do the back of the Titanic: Remove the corners of the other short side of your rectangle, you can cut a small triangle of about 1 inch . Then with small carvings, make your cuts rounder.

You now have the base of the boat. Do not discard any of the cake pieces that you cut out of your cakes, you will need those big triangle to make your iceberg!!


These pieces will be your iceberg


Now you need to do the middle of the boat. Take one of your cakes and cut it into 3 rectangles of equal size (vertical cuts). Depending on how tall is your cake pan, you will stack 2 or 3 of these together as you did with your base. First stack 2 and measure against your base boat so you get your dimensions right. I only needed 2 of the pieces. On the top piece, make it about 1 inch shorter than the bottom piece so you can have the back balcony of the boat. You will stick this structure to the base boat with buttercream on the middle but a bit to the back (keep looking at the picture of the final cake for perspective). In order for the cake to be stable you will need to insert a skewer or two all the way from the top of the cake to the bottom - going through all 5 layers of cake. If your skewers are longer that your cake, cut the reminder skewer so it does not show.






With the final cake pieces you will make the railings. Cut small strips of cake (little rectangles) of about 1/2 inch thick. Make sure they are the right size and shape for the cake. Place around the cake securing with spaghetti pieces (NOTE: you can also use toot picks, but if you will serve this cake to kids, I do not recommend using tooth picks. No matter how well you look, you do not want to risk a child biting into one)

Now it is time to start icing your cake. We will start from the top down. First remove all crumbs from around your cake and make sure the cake is on its final place as you will not be able to move her after the icing is on.

Do the deck with brown icing. you can cover the whole deck with the icing and spread thin with a spatula, or fill it in with stars as you did the outside of the boat. I used the spatula. To do this, thin your icing with a 1/2 spoon of milk, mix well and spread the icing with the spatula. I did stars for the small deck on the second floor.


Then with white icing, cover the walls with stars until all your top walls are covered. Once this is done, you can put the windows using chocolate chips.
Then you do the bottom of the ship. Start with Red icing -With a start tip #16 start covering the bottom of the cake. Make sure all your stars are close to each other, you will do this in lines all around the base and go up. Ice about 1 inch of the cake in red.

As you did with the red, start covering the next line in black stars (using same size tip #16) until you are about 1/2 inch from the top.

Now do yellow and do 2-3  lines of stars in yellow (using same size tip). Finish with 2 -3 lines of stars in white. Continue with white starts until you cover the outside of the rails.









Then we need to add the funnels, get 4 cake rolls like Ho Hos, cut their ends on a diagonal so the lean back and put them on top of the upper deck securing with buttercream and a skewer inserted diagonally.



Now ice the funnels, with the star tip, do the bottom of the funnel with yellow icing and the top with black.





Write the name of the boat R.M.S Titanic with yellow icing and a writing round tip #2 or #3.




Take 2 skewers and the wool thread and insert them in the cake as shown in the picture for the masts.




To make the iceberg, put some of the cake pieces that you cut off together using white buttercream - I like to use the triangular pieces sticking up. Covered completely with white icing using a spatula so it looks rough like ice. you can color some white icing with a little blue tint (baby blue) and make some color effects around the iceberg.

To make water use the piping gel. The piping gel is clear so I color it with a little blue (use gel colors not liquid colors) and mix it only a little as it is nice to have swirls of different blues and clear. Put around the bottom of the boat and the iceberg with a spatula, lifting the spatula up after you put the gel so it looks like waves.






Your cake is ready now. I hope you enjoy it!





If you like this post, you may also like:

How to make a Titanic Pinata?
How to make a bear cake?
Airplane Cake
Swimming Pool Cake

Monday, January 10, 2011

How to make buttercream frosting?

 
 
To get the best icing you need to take into account a few things: the weather and how nice you want it to taste! The best tasting icing is done with 100% butter (no shortening at all) however, if your cake will be in a hot place the icing will melt fairly quickly. I will give you here a variation of a Wilton recipe that I use a lot - it is 100% butter as I do care a lot about taste. If you are in a really hot place, please substitute half the butter for shortening.


How to make icing?

Ingredients:

• 1 cup (2 stick) butter softened

• 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of butter flavor extract

• 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

• 2 tablespoons milk (or water - but milk is more tasty)


Makes: About 3 cups of icing.



Instructions:

In large bowl, cream butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla and butter flavor.


Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.



Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use or place on airtight container.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re whip before using.


For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 more tablespoons milk.

Once it is done you can color it. Use paste or powder food coloring as it will not water down your icing.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Teddy Bear and Tea Cup Cake - A How to

 


The Party is over - the cake has been demolished by the girls, so I call it a success! so here is the How to make a Teddy Bear and Tea Cup cake.

I started by making the Tea cup and the saucer  (click here for instructions). To make the bear I sort of cheated as I did it with a Wilton pan - but it was a first try so why not? In order for the pan to work we needed a firm cake so I searched online and came up with a variation that did work, and it came out quite moist and not bad for a box cake.

Cake recipe for Bear Pan:

2 boxes of Duncan Hines Devil Chocolate Cake mix
2 boxes of chocolate pudding
2 sticks of butter
2 cups of sour cream
1 cup of milk
8 eggs

I mixed everything on the kitchen assistant and voila - You will have enough batter for the bear and an extra cake - unfortunately if you only do 1 box it will not be enough batter for the bear.

I sprayed the pan with PAM baking to make sure the cake will not stick. It worked very well. Also, you will see that the cake will ooze from the pan while baking this was OK. The Wilton instructions say to bake for 50 minutes at 350F - My cake took about 90 minutes - so keep checking often.

Once the cake was done - I cooled it down following the Wilton instructions (http://www.wilton.com/).

I decided to make my bear with a natural look, so I used 2 different tips (#4 for the lines and #233 for the fur) it is a lot of work - you have been warned. My girl wanted a polar bear so I did a white butter cream (see my post on how to make butter cream)



I started by doing the eyes and nose. With the tip #4 do an outline of the whites of the eyes and feel it in. Do the same for the cheeks and nose using whatever color you like. Then with black, do the outline of the eyes and nose.

Now you are ready for the fur. Start at the bottom of the bear and do short hairs with tip #233, make sure you pull sometimes to the left or the right to make it look more real. Follow the natural way that the fur will follow if it was a real teddy bear.


Once I was done I did not like the color of the nose - so I mixed a ligter pink and we a star tip #16 I piped over the dark pink on the ears and nose.


Finish it with details like flowers in the ears or hands if you like.


I also baked a little cake to do a table for the tea cup - this was fairly easy. I took a little fondant, colored it pick and rolled it to form a big circle. I made a table cloth out of it and put it straight on the cake. I decorated with little stars.




This was so fun. The kids really liked it.



If you like this post you may also like this:

How to make a sugar tea cup
How to make a Bear Pinata
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sugar Tea Cup and Saucer for my Bear Tea Party




My baby girl wanted a Bear Tea Party this year. If you follow my blog you would have seen the Bear pinata blog that I have just finished. She wanted a polar bear having tea!! And of course she wants that on her cake too. And what is a Tea Party without a Tea Cup? So here it is, the sugar Tea Cup.



Start by finding a real tea cup and a saucer that you like. You will use them as a mold for your sugar version. You will need gum paste or fondant (gum paste is more durable - but I had some fondant already open so I used fondant this time). Take your fondant or paste and roll it to form a circle slightly bigger than your saucer and about 1/8 of an inch thick. Dust your saucer with corn starch or icing sugar. Place the rolled fondant on top of the real saucer and gently press against it to mold to the shape.




With a some scissors cut the edges of the fondant as close as possible to the saucer. If necessary (normally if your saucer is of an intricate shape like this one) turn the fondant and the saucer upside down and trim the edges with an exacto knife.





Turn back up, lift gently to make sure the fondant is nit stuck to the plate and let dry for at least 2 days. Every so often lift fondant from plate to make sure it does not stick.

For the cup the process is very similar. If your cup is wide,  roll a circle of fondant about 1/8 thick and gently place inside the icing sugar dusted cup. Slowly and gently stroke the fondant so it takes the shape of the cup. This might take a while but it is worthy unless you like wrinkles on your cup. If the cup is narrow, you need to roll the fondant and cut a piece of fondant about an inch taller than your cup in the shape of a rainbow.








Gently put one end of the shape inside the cup and then press the rest so it forms a cup inside your real one. Cut the excess once you meet the beginning of the piece. Press gently to stick the edges together (You will get a rough area where the 2 ends meet - it is OK we will smooth it later). Also cut the excess from the top of the cup with scissors or with the exacto as you did with the saucer.




Gently lift the fondant cup to make sure it does not stick and let dry for 2 days. Same procedure as the saucer.



I cut little flowers with a flower cutter from my cup and saucer to make it even cuter - but this is optional.





For the handle, you can do different designs. I rolled a little log of fondant and twirled it to a nice shape - let dry on top of a sponge (so it does not get flat).





Once your pieces are dry, you can let them as is or you can decorate them. The first thing to do is to smooth the rough edges. I use a metal nail emery board that I have just for cakes. Carefully file the edges and any roughness you can find. If the ends were your edges meet are too rough, you can make a paste with icing sugar and a little water (tooth paste consistency) and rub it into the rough area flattening it with a spatula. Let it dry and voila! smooth cup. With the same paste glue the handle to the cup and let dry.




I painted my one with food color paints, and shimmers. I also added little sugar flowers that I made earlier with a flower cutter and fondant. I dusted the flowers with pink and gold dust.




Draw your design with some marker in paper so you have an idea of how it will look in your cup. Once you have a design you like, grab your paint brushes and go.





For this one, I drew some vines first, then added some leaves. I then drew some strawberries and glued the cut flowers. I finished it all with some gold dust on the edges.








Now we are ready for tea.

If you like this post you may also like:

Bear Pinata
Swimming Pool Cake
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