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Cake decorating is an art. Not everyone can be the Mozart or DaVinci of dessert decorating, but you can learn from some cake decorating masters. YummyArts gives you the tools necessary to decorate cakes, cookies and other sweet treats with style.
=================== www.IDProducts.US =================== Grandma's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing December is the time for baking in the kitchen, insulated against the cold weather by a festive fug of spices, brandy and rich dried fruit: cookies, mince pies, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake. The Christmas cake should be prepared well ahead of time so it has time to develop moistness and flavour. Usually I procrastinate and bake it only a week before Christmas but this year I was determined to do it right. So yesterday the kitchen exuded a gentle spicy aroma as the cake cooked extremely slowly for four and a half hours. Just one whiff is enough to conjure up Christmas. It is just the sort of rich, damp, heavy fruit cake that Captain Hook put out to poison the Lost Boys in the original Peter Pan story. That detail seems to have been omitted in the updated versions, maybe these days it seems too old-fashioned to believe that rich cake is death to young stomachs! My kids aren't really into the cake itself anyway, but they love the marzipan and icing, so will nibble meagrely at the cake in order to justify feasting on their icing and that of the adults as well, who Jack Sprat-like tend to prefer the cake and leave the excess sweet icing to the children.en. Just before Christmas I usually get out the reliable old Delia Smith cook book to check out the cake recipe and quantities for the marzipan. Her recipes almost always work and are accurate if not always inspired. Now she is long supplanted by the younger, sexier Nigella, but her books are still at the back of my shelf for when I need to check details of some ordinary but useful dish. Rich Fruit Cake Recipe 450g/1lb currants this article Distributed by Mega Social Buzzer =================== www.IDProducts.US =================== 175g/6oz raisins 50g/2oz glace cherries(optional) 225g/8oz plain flour teaspoon salt teaspoon grated nutmeg teaspoon mixed spice 225g/8oz unsalted butter 4 large eggs 50g/2oz chopped almonds 1 dessertspoon treacle grated rind of 1 lemon grated rind of 1 orange The night before you want to make the cake, soak all the dried fruit and peel with the brandy. Leave it in a covered bowl over night or at least twelve hours. Grease and line a 20cm/8 inch round cake tin or a 18cm/ 7 inch square one. this article Distributed by Mega Social Buzzer =================== www.IDProducts.US =================== Next fold in the flour and spices gently. Stir in the dried fruit and peel, treacle and the grated lemon and orange rind. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and spread it out evenly. Tie a band of brown paper round the outside of the tin and cover the top of the cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper (with a hole cut in the middle of it) Bake the cake at 140C/275F on the lower shelf of the oven for 4 - 4 hours. Don't open the door to check until at least 4 hours have passed. Once the cake has cooled wrap it in a layer of greaseproof paper then foil. Delia recommends feeding it with brandy every week or so, by poking a couple of holes with a skewer then letting a few teaspoons of brandy soak in. Our cake is now well wrapped in grease-proof paper and foil and stored on a shelf in the larder to steep in its own flavours. A week before Christmas I'll make the marzipan to go on it. I'll have a lot of help with that as the children vie to gather up any scraps that fall or are trimmed off. We've even converted marzipan haters in the family to our variety of almond paste, just by leaving out the almond essence, which gives the strong almost metallic taste to shop marzipan. Without it the real almond flavour gets a chance to shine through, more mellow and delicately nutty. (I'll write up my recipe for the marzipan and royal icing in my next article.) On top of the marzipan goes the top layer of royal icing, made with icing sugar and egg white, put on rough to resemble a snowy scene. You can be creative with your decoration, go for elegant with a single artificial poinsettia flower or fun with plastic animals - a donkey and ox, or as I often do being in Africa, a zebra, elephant and giraffe - standing around in the snow. Silver balls could make a star or you could find a tiny angel decoration to stand atop the cake heralding Christmas. This type of icing is extremely popular, as it is easy to work with, easy to cut, and soft to eat. Over the years it has been given many names, which can be confusing when buying. In Australia it is known as Plastic Icing. this article Distributed by Mega Social Buzzer =================== www.IDProducts.US =================== The icing can be made at home, and the ingredients include egg white, liquid glucose, icing sugar and gelatine. Liquid glucose will keep the paste pliable and gelatine allows it to stretch. It can be used for modelling figures, flowers and leaves. It can be crimped (marked with a tool, rather like a pair of tweezers) smocked, embossed, draped and used to make edible frills. Also by softening it with a few drops of water, or egg white, it can be piped. So as you can see it is a very versatile icing. However, its main use is still as a coating for cakes. But like everything else, it is easy when you know how, so here are a few tips to prevent anything going wrong. First measure the cake - up one side, across the top and down the other side, then add a couple of extra inches. Measure a square cake diagonally across the top, then include the two side measurements. If a flat top is needed, and the cake is rounded, cut this off, and upturn the cake so the base now becomes the top surface. Next coat the cake with either a thin layer of jam or butter cream - this coating acts as a glue to hold the paste in position. Make sure the coating goes right down to the bottom of the cake. Sprinkle icing sugar (not cornflour, as this dries the sugarpaste and could make it crack) on the working surface. Now roll out the paste - if possible, using a long rolling pin, as a short one could leave marks. To prevent the paste sticking to the working surface while rolling, give it a slight turn every so often. Roll until the paste is approximately " thick. Then, using the palm of your hand, gently smooth the paste onto the sides of the cake with an upward movement. If any air bubbles appear on the surface of the paste, prick them with a sterilised pin. this article Distributed by Mega Social Buzzer =================== www.IDProducts.US =================== Then stick a thin roll of paste around the base of the cake and also mark this with a crimper. And finally, tie a ribbon around the sides. Good luck!! It can be difficult to choose what medium to decorate with. Fondant is highly popular but quite expensive. Moreover, let's face it - fondant is not for beginners. When it comes to cake decorating, icing is used to make many decorations from flowers to specialty designs or borders. What you need to do is go talk with others and get their advice, tips and tricks too. Cookbooks, kits and a monthly email newsletter are not going to help you much. Yummy Arts can though and when you visit, you'll see why and how. Just try and imagine one site, one community that has literally everything you need. You can go and get your ideas, then you can watch a video and learn or enhance a skill, then you can talk with others along the way, or email for support and answers. Then you can post your finished creation for everyone to see, talk about and learn from. I know you're probably like me and have to see for yourself and seeing is believing when it comes to cake decorating. I can't imagine what you could do to a professional portfolio if you have Yummy Arts as your secret weapon, but those that are professional attest to the substantial rise in orders and income. You'll get all you want and more, including that gorgeous cake you're about to make and decorate. Good luck. In our family, my grandmother was a dedicated baker and would bake something for us every day. This recipe is done the old-fashioned way and is topped off with some delicious chocolate icing. If it's hot and humid outside, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator. Cake Ingredients: this article Distributed by Mega Social Buzzer =================== www.IDProducts.US =================== 1/2 pound butter, softened 5 eggs 2 cups granulated sugar 3 cups all-purpose flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla extract and beat again. Note: If your batter seems really stiff, add a little additional milk. Chocolate Icing Ingredients: 2 1/2 squares baking chocolate this article Distributed by Mega Social Buzzer =================== www.IDProducts.US =================== 2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup evaporated milk 1 teaspoon butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Remove pan from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Beat icing by hand until it is thick enough to spread on your cooled cake. =================== www.IDProducts.US =================== this article Distributed by Mega Social Buzzer
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