So as you all may know, I am not the best baker in the world. Baking seems have a way of stumping me. My cakes always crack, my meringues always flop, my icing melts and nothing tastes quite like it should. I'm not sure how this happened. My Granny was a fabulous cook and spent hours in the kitchen always baking up treats for our birthday parties. She spent hours teaching my how to 'bake' but somehow, cooking meals was more natural to me.
Since my Gran died, there have been a real lack of homemade treats around our house, so I decided to get over my fear and start re-teaching myself to bake. Luckily, Granny had thousands of hand-written recipes scrawled on all sorts of odds and ends, and in the bag of papers, I discovered recipes from her Grandmother so I have many to sort through and am very excited to do so.
Gran used to ALWAYS make birthday cakes, and I was so inspired going through her recipes that I decided to make a birthday cake for my darling little sister's 18th birthday.
R just loves mudcake. Gran didn't have any recipes for mud cake so I used a rich chocolate mudcake recipe that I found on taste.com. The recipe is originally from Woolworths Good Taste Magazine.
I was also looking on www.planetcake.com.au and found a beautiful tiffany cake and decided to make something similar as A (my other sister) and I, gave R a tiffany bracelet for her birthday.
If you are interested you can find the recipe for the mud cake here, but I would recommend adding extra chocolate and baking for less time. My cake wasn't as moist as I would have liked, but it was dense. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect recipe, so if you have one- please let me have it!!
Now for the icing- ok ok, so I was running majorly short of time and used bought fondant icing. SHOCK HORROR. Nobody tell me how bad it is please, because I already know- and next time I will make the icing from scratch but this time I didn't.
My tips for the icing include make sure you have HEAPS of icing sugar to dust the surface, make sure you have enough icing to role out for the whole cake, and make sure you only use small bits of food colouring and keep adding to that. It's much easier to add more colour than to try and bring it back the other way. There are heaps of useful fondant icing videos on youtube which helped me get an idea of where to start.
Ok- so this post isn't really that helpful for bakers but I'm going to show you a photo of the cake anyway because I'm quite proud of the result! For a first go using fondant icing- it wasn't too bad. R loved it and my Gran would have been proud that I made a birthday cake!
I added some pink spots for colour and there was a bit of cracking, but overall it looked sort of coolish. Not www.planetcake.com.au cool, but coolish!
One main point- DON'T PUT THE ICED CAKE IN THE FRIDGE because when you take it out, the icing will sweat.
Do you guys have any baking stories? How did you learn to bake and do you prefer baking or cooking?