Since I took the cake decorating class at SAIT many years ago, I haven’t had any temptation to start decorating cakes. The biggest barrier being the icing! Not baking the cake or decorating it, but making the icing… what a pain! To get the consistency just right is so hard, and for some reason I always feel like it takes longer to make the icing than anything else.
Well, for some reason I wanted to start decorating again. I wanted to attempt to re-creating this cake design that I saw on pinterest. And as is typical when I am determined to do something, I did not go small, but decided to go all out and even try out some new techniques.
I tried chocolate modeling to make white and milk chocolate roses, and vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and white chocolate buttercream. The white chocolate buttercream, while it sounds and tastes good, I definitely do not recommend using it to make roses. The roses were very, very delicate the next day and easily broke. Also, do not put it in the fridge to use the next day. The white chocolate solidified the icing into a hard lump. When I left it out of the fridge for a couple of hours, no softening happened. I had to put it in the microwave for a few seconds, and instead of a nice pipe-able consistency it was smooth like melted chocolate. However, on this post I will concentrate on the actual cake rather than the decorating.
Oh well, I think it still turned out okay in the end, and it tasted great. Enough about the icing…. lets get to the cake. I started out making my basic box cake with chocolate and banana cream pudding. But decided it need another layer other wise the decorations I planned on the top would look to heavy. So I also made a banana cake for the middle layer. In between I made a strawberry and rhubarb compote with chocolate. Now lets get to making the cake.
Chocolate Banana Cream pudding Cake
- See my basic box cake recipe.
- I used a box of Betty Crocker Super moist Devil’s food Cake, and a box of instant Jello banana cream pudding.
- Lightly grease 2 x 8″ round pans so that the cake will come out easily. The cake rises quite a bit, so make sure that you fill the pan only half way full.
- Wrap damp cake strips around the outside of the pan to ensure the cake bakes flat rather than dome shaped.
- Bake as instructed and cool completely.
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 8inch round pans.
- Mash ripe bananas with a fork and set aside.
- Stir the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Beat the butter with a paddle attachment until smooth.
- Add in the sugar, and mix until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and eggs – one at a time.
- With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients.
- Mix in the sour cream.
- Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- On low mix in the mashed bananas until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden and toothpick comes out clean – about 30 minutes
- Cool completely.
Rhubarb Strawberry Compote
1 cup, rhubarb
1 cup, sliced strawberries
1/2 cup, sugar
1/2 cup, chocolate
- In a put add the rhubarb, strawberries and sugar. Cook until the rhubarb becomes soft and mashable.
- Taste, to make sure there is enough sugar to your taste.
- In a small bowl mix spoon 1 Tbs of corn starch and some of the liquid from the compote until a smooth paste forms. Add a little at a time into the compote until you are happy with the consistency.
- Remove from the stove and add the chocolate. Stir it until it is all melted.
- Set aside and cool completely.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 ounces egg white
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups softened unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sizes
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until combined.
- Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat.
- Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to cream a double-boiler.
- Heat, whisking occasionally, until the egg mixture is hot to the touch – about 140 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Once hot, remove from heat and place bowl on mixer.
- Whisk on high until the bowl of the mixer becomes room temperature. This took at least 30 minutes for me.
- Swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle.
- With the mixer on medium-low, add in the vanilla or vanilla scrape the vanilla bean.
- Add in the butter 1 Tbs at a time, completely mixing the butter in before adding another one.
- Once added, mix on medium-high until smooth.
Assembling the cake
Finally the fun stuff… Assembling the cake!
I chose to have a 3 layer cake with two layers of chocolate banana cream and one layer of banana cake. But you it’s up to you what combination you would like. You could even have a four layer cake if you can’t decide!
- Place the first cake layer on the base.
- Pipe a circle of icing around the edges of the top to ensure that the filling does not get squeezed out.
- Scoop as much of the strawberry rhubarb compote into the center as you would like. Spread it around until it is smooth.
- Place the second layer of cake on top of the compote that you just spread.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3.
- Place the third layer of cake on top.
- Spread a very thin layer of icing all over the cake and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This is called the crumb coat and helps the decorative icing to have a smooth look. The crumb coat is set, when the icing is hardened around the cake.
- Once the crumb coat is set. Take the cake out of the fridge and ice with the remaining buttercream.
- Once the base layer has been completed, decorate as desired.