Thursday, February 16, 2012

VHD 2/12 - Vanilla Berry Rosette Cake

After a lot of debating I finally decided that my V-Day cake would have rosettes on it! I picked the blue velvet cake I made for M's birthday and changed that to a vanilla cake. I also folded in some berries in the end so it wouldn't be a plain cake. As for the frosting, well read on, this baking/decorating project was a true learning experience!

the two little hearts in the center were cut out from pink fondant using a cookie cutter

Vanilla Berry Cake
Cake proportions adapted from Paula Deen's Blue Velvet Cake

Butter - 1 stick or 1/2 C
Sugar - 1 C
Applesauce - 1/4 C (I substituted 1 egg with 1/4 C of applesauce)
All Purpose Flour - 1 1/4 C
Salt - 1/2 t
Buttermilk - 1/2 C
Clear vanilla extract - 1/2 t (non clear version should work too!)
Baking soda - 1/2 t
Apple cider vinegar - 1/2 T (regular vinegar should work too!)
Chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen - 1/2 C 

Preheat your oven at 350 deg F. Grease one 8x3 baking pan with PAM for Baking.

In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. On the side, sift flour and salt together and set aside. Add the applesauce to the creamed butter, give it a quick mix for a few seconds. Now add the flour mix and buttermilk, alternating between the two. When this is done, add the vanilla. In a small bowl mix the vinegar and baking soda (you will see a quick foam!) and add it to the cake batter and hand mix with a spatula. Finally, fold in the berries.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, shake it to level the batter and bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. I got a super soft and moist cake. A few comparisons to the "egg" version: the eggless version took a little longer to bake. Also, eggless version (1.5" tall) did not rise as much as the egg version (3" tall). Remove the cake and let it cool on a wire rack for a good 15-20 minutes and then flip it over and let it cool completely.

compare with the "egg" version of the same recipe

Rose Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese - 8oz at room temperature, I used the Philadelphia 1/3rd Fat
Butter - 4oz or 1 stick at room temperature
Pure cane confectioner's sugar - 2-3 C
Vanilla - 1/2 t
Rose extract/essence - 1/4 t and then add another 1/4 t depending on your taste
Pink Wilton Gel color and a toothpick for adding color to the frosting

Beat the cream cheese and butter just till the blend well. Add the sugar 1 C or 3/4 C at a time. If you are using a stand mixer, then use the paddle attachment on the lowest setting. When done, remove and add the vanilla and rose and give it a quick (do not over mix) mix with a spatula. Finally, add the color, 1/4th of a tiny dot a time (the gel color is quite strong), again give it a quick mix to check the color.

iPhone click!

Now, for those DOs, DON'Ts and for some whining and cribbing. All you expert bakers and decorators reading this post,  please feel free to share your tips and suggestions!

Even though I was very careful about not over mixing the frosting, I was left with a bit of a runny frosting. I quickly bagged it with a Wilton 1M tip and threw it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. I also transferred the remaining frosting into a Pyrex bowl and put it in the freezer till I had to replace the piping bag. My options were either to do the rosettes on the cake in installments (freezing the icing and refrigerating the cake after each installment) or skip decorating! I had to go with the former :)) The rosettes were not as firm as I wanted them to look, they became flat very soon. Again, I could not pipe rosettes on the sides and edges (they would flow down and out of shape). So, I ended up icing that part alone. But I still enjoyed piping those rosettes :)

Excuse the lengthy post but here are some notes-to-self:
  • As best as possible, avoid using cream cheese frosting while decorating - rosettes, ruffles, stars etc.
  • I read somewhere that both the cheese and butter should be just at room temperature and not too gooey, my cream cheese might have been a bit too soft. 
  • A few other tips I came across - beat the cheese and sugar first and then follow it with the butter, avoid butter altogether, always use full fat cream cheese, do not use too much sugar, do not over mix and do not over mix!!
  • Another point to be noted with eggless and/or butter cakes, they become hard and dense when you keep them in the refrigerator. Of course, I couldn't leave it out for too long because of the cream cheese frosting. If you have to refrigerate (you probably have to if there are leftovers!) then pull it out 30-60 minutes before serving. 
It was definitely not a smooth sail this time! Nevertheless, it was a deliciously fun adventure AND it got an expert chef/connoisseur's (thanks Nalini) seal of approval so there was the icing on my cake!

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Valentine's Day! I mentioned this on my FB status and I have to say this again, the V-Day Doodle was that perfect little message/story Google could have created, love it :)

1 comment:

  1. ahaa shd start your own cake shop...avlo was too good looking to eat!!


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