Thursday, April 19, 2007
Just pretend you didn't see this, K?
All right, this is NOT my finest hour, but I expressly forbid ANYONE from telling me just how ugly this truly is because I already know. I am not self-depreciating, really I am not; but this little confection had disaster written on it as soon as I started in on the blobs...umm...I mean flowers.
I was so buoyed by a wonderful email I received today that I decided my mom needed a cake to take to work with her that would not make everyone drunk.
I also wanted to try Italian Meringue Buttercream. I had tried the Swiss version a while back (which is very similar); but thought maybe I had done something wrong because I thought it was disgusting. As I have mentioned, I was kind of floating along today so I decided to give it another whirl.
Meringue buttercreams are not made with powdered sugar. They are made from regular sugar, egg whites, and butter. LOT'S of butter. I cannot tell you how much butter I go through nowadays, but I will tell you that Albertson's had it for 50 cents for four sticks because it is expiring in a week. I felt like a kid in a candy store when I found this, and I made sure to test it on myself before sending spoiled butter out to any unsuspecting cake-eaters. This is another reason for my mad-cake-baking frenzy. I need to use up the TWELVE POUNDS butter or freeze it (that's six bucks worth if you are counting). I literally smell like a stick of butter right now. I am normally covered from head to toe in white powder from the "POOF" of powdered sugar that occurs when mixing my normal buttercream, so I don't mind the trade off of smelling like a piece of toast.
I also tried out a new cake recipe today. Golden Butter Cake from The Whimsical Bakehouse. I added some new lemon oil that I found today just to give it a little spunk and cautiously proceeded with the buttercream preparation.
I now know what went wrong with my last attempt. I did not mix it for long enough. None of the recipes tell you that you need to mix it long enough for it to basically change it's composition, because it went from whipped meringue texture to buttercream-y after a while. I had nooooOOoo idea it would do that. I am a bit shy of overmixing things after I made butter out of heavy whipping cream (no, I'm not kidding). And it is delicious. It's a much lighter, non-gritty frosting that is much less sweet than traditional buttercream. I still like my traditional buttercream, but this was a nice change of pace. It also smooths shiny, which I thought was kind of fun.
Now onto the mess I'll call a flower spray and scrollie thingees. I thinned down my buttercream because I'm sick and tired of those dang ragged edges. I'm all for the "natural" look on myself, but I want my buttercream roses to look like fake buttercream roses darn it. I did use my traditional buttecream for this part of it.
Well, I thinned it a bit too much, the air is a bit too warm, and my hands are hot. So instead of flowers, I got blobs with definition. Those big blobs are roses, and those three horned blobs are supposed to be Sweet peas. Oh and the green blobs are my sad sad attempt at melted leaves.
I can only hope the cake tastes good. I greased the pans with Crisco instead of butter and the edges got too crisp so I'm worried it's too dry. Oh well, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, right?