Tag Archives: heart cake

Eat Your Heart Out

16 Jan

Whew! Everyone make it into 2011 okay? We didn’t leave anyone behind, did we? Woo-eee, what a ride! Have you been wondering where I am, if I’m okay, if I gave it all up to become Diddy’s personal assistant? Naw. I’ve been around. I’ve been hanging. With my peeps. Little peeps, big peeps, annoying peeps, and Little Bo Peeps. Or doing endless college assignments, picking up after those-who-are-old-enough-to-clean-up-after-themselves-dangit! and baking, baking, baking! Whatev.

I feel like I should have written posts for a year before publishing the first one. The thing is, you get them hot off the presses and right outta my kitchen. That makes it kinda tough to make a post about a holiday cake when the holiday has just passed. After all, I make my stuff as close to the day as possible. Which means, by the time the kiddos head back to the Ivy League, the holiday is but a distant memory except for the mess they left behind. Luckily for me, I have an ace up my sleeve. Okay, a heart, but still- I’m ready ahead of time for the next holiday.

This time, let’s do something for the less experienced among us. That right, rank amateurs, step on up! If your idea of making a birthday cake involves sticking candles in a cake covered with canned frosting and still in the pan you baked it in, holla! This one’s for you!

Swanky Heart Cake

I actually wrote this a few years back for a friend. I was just beginning my cake journey. Everybody say, “Awww!”

Okay, let’s get to it.

 Bake one 8 inch round cake AND one 8 inch square cake. Let cool for a bit and then remove from pans.

(Chocolate or Cherry Chip would go well.)

Make 2 batches buttercream pure white icing. Set aside approximately 1 ½ c. and tint it pink. The pink should be the consistency for piping. (This assumes your recipe takes 1 lb. of powdered sugar.)

Leave the remaining buttercream white at a consistency for frosting the cake with the exception of approximately 1 ½ c. for piping (make the 1 ½ c. the consistency for piping).

 Place the square cake on cake board, making sure one corner of the cake points to the bottom middle of the cake board and attaching with a dab of icing underneath to keep it in place.

Cut  the round cake exactly in half. 

Frost the cut edges of the round cake and 2 adjoining sides of the square cake. Place one cut side of round cake to one frosted edge of the square cake. Press together until it holds. Repeat with other half of round cake and other side of square cake.

So I’m not that great at fussing with shapes using a computer. *shrug* Close enough.

Using a heart shaped cardboard template covered in plastic wrap, place it in the center of the cake, making sure the point of the template matches the point of the heart cake. Go ahead and mark this space by white creating shells around it or just leave it in place to remind you not to frost there.

Crumb coat the rest of the cake white, let the icing crust and then smooth with your preferred method. If the round and square cake do not match exactly in size, fill it out with extra frosting to make it even and look almost seamless. The finish coat will finish the job of hiding the seams.

Finishing icing the cake with white, let crust, and smooth with your preferred method. You can use an icing comb on the sides of the cake at this time if you like. However, remember you must have a thick coat of icing to use the comb.

Thin a little of the pink frosting to spreading consistency and spread it in the middle-following the heart template. Smooth the pink as best you can. You do the pink last because it’s a little tough to cover pink with white, but not white with pink. Keep checking that it is lining up with the point and curves of the top edge of the cake- you don’t want an off-center heart in the middle.

Using a star tip (a bigger one works fine for the borders but use a little smaller one for the heart center) and white frosting, pipe shells to outline the top of the cake and the middle heart shape.

Again using a star tip, pipe the bottom border with shells and pink frosting.

Cut one Hershey bar into smallish chunks and place around bottom border and on top of center heart shape.

Fill in between the top white shell border and the inner shells outlining the center heart with cherry pie filling. Use a large eating spoon (AKA soup spoon) and be gentle so you don’t glop it where you don’t want it.

Melt another Hershey bar and put it in a squeeze bottle or disposable piping bag. Drizzle melted chocolate on the board in whatever way you like. Alternatively, you can do this with a spoon but your drizzles won’t be as small or as exact as you would like.

Finis! Cut, Enjoy, and Give away the leftovers!

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Band Wagon Ho!

9 Nov

Have you ever tried to figure out what you can do with a heart shaped pan that doesn’t look old fashioned? Yeah, me, too. I’m not really the hearts and flowers type. I am all for masses of buttercream, so don’t count me out of lots of flowers on cakes just yet. 🙂

One day, I was cruising the ‘net, looking for inspiration and found a nifty Star Trek uniform cake that I filed away for future geeky birthdays, and inspiration hit: Heart, uniform, band, cake! Yeah, that’s it-band uniform cake!

The first thing I do when using something is to find a picture of it. No problem for this. I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pictures of this particular uniform. In fact, every home game I take at least 200 pictures of it. The trick is to find one that shows the front without an arm, an instrument, or someone’s head in the way. That’s why it took me so long to actually make the cake-sorting through all those pictures. Having finally found one, I opened Word and used Auto Shape to make a heart. Then I inserted the picture over the heart. After that is was 15 minutes of “bring to front, bring to back, format picture, size picture” and all that jazz to get both objects they way I needed them ‘cause that’s how I roll. Why do it right the first time when you can do it 6 times and curse along the way? My biggest act of bravado? Not saving it when I finally got it right. A magic thinker, that’s what I am. Of course it will print perfectly- no need to check. Naw, you won’t need to fuss with it again, just one copy and you’re good to go. Or not. Anyway….  I created it three different times and then saved it.

110 uniform heart cake template compressed

(To find out more about this spectacular band, go here: http://www.marching110.org/ . Do them a big favor and go to Kroger’s website and sign your shopping card up so they get moolah to get them to the Rose Bowl Parade every time you shop.)

Then I said a lot of bad words, dragged my son into it, and we copied into Paint just to be able to save it as a jpeg for y’all. Ain’t the new Office Suite great?

Actual directions instead of rambling. Eventually.

Bake your heart. Well, not YOUR heart. Halloween is over, after all. Bake a heart shaped cake. Cool, torte, fill, and then ice it in the appropriate color. Cover with fondant if you’re into that kind of thing (I am, and I’m not afraid to admit it).  

Next step: decorate as appropriate. Done.

What? You need more?

 Umm, I don’t quite know how to say this. Best to pull it off fast like a Band-Aid, right? Right. Here goes. I didn’t take pictures. Not one. Not this time. I have the final pictures, but none of the process. In my defense, it was Friday night. What’s so special about Friday nights? My Fridays right now are this: get up at 5:30, get to work at 7:40-ish. Leave work at 4:30, fight the Nascar race on the outerbelt, buy groceries. Get home between 7 and 9 at night, starving, exhausted, and a tad cranky. Put away groceries, decide that although you don’t care what you eat someone had better put food in front of you in the next 10 seconds or your grumpiness will reach heights heretofore unseen in this here parts. Eat, stumble to the shower, and remember tomorrow is game day and you haven’t planned what to take to the tailgate. Crud! So much for Woman’s Lib.

I can’t just leave it like this so let’s foray into another cake file and look at the pictures I took for the Star Trek uniform cake. The process is nearly identical, so I think you’ll live to bake another day. If not, invite me to the wake. I’ll bring cake.

Where were we? Ahh, yes- bake a heart shaped cake:

heart cake compressed

Torte, fill, ice:

torted star trek cake compressed

star trek uniform cake filled compressed

(No, I don’t remember what I mixed into the icing. Chocolate something from the look of it.)

star trek uniform cake stacked compressed

(You thought I forget to stack, didn’t ya? Never, my dears, neva!)

star trek uniform cake crumb coat compressed

star trek uniform cake final coat compressed

Okay, we’re back where we were. Yes, we are. I checked. We’re back to “decorate as appropriate.” I checked. If you don’t believe me, scroll up and look for yourself. Stop arguing with me. I’m too tired for this. Let’s move on before this gets ugly, k?

Most band uniform collar stand up like the 80’s never left. How surprised were you when the cool kids started doing that again but called it, “popping your collar?” Man, we were cool before it was cool.

The collar is simply a rectangle of fondant, roughly 5 inches long by an inch to inch and a half tall.

star trek uniform cake collar compressed

The trick to getting this on the cake is folding it in half lengthwise and making sure your fondant has plenty of flex. You can add glycerin or corn syrup to the fondant to help it along. Take the piece to the cake, gently fold it without creating cracks, and place it in the dip at the top of the heart. The folding is the hardest part of it. Do NOT crease the fold. Have patience and expect to re-do it as needed so you don’t get frustrated when the blessed thing cracks like your feet in winter.

Once that’s in place, it really is “decorate as appropriate.” I have no idea what your local band’s uniform looks like. I’m sure it not the same as the ones I know, so I can’t guide you much for this part. The one I made in cake form was fairly straight forward. Okay, I decided to not get too fancy. It was Friday night, after all. Mine had block lettering, and piping. Piping like sewing piping, not piping like frosting piping. I mean, you can pipe on the piping, but the piping has to look like piping. Did I mention it was Friday night?

To cut the letters, I folded paper and used my middle school art class skills. Remember folding a square of paper into a smaller square and then cutting that to make letters? No? Geeze, what school did you attend? Click, click, click, nothing. Hmm. I know I’m not the only one who was taught how to do this. Really. I have this friend…. I gots nothing. Of all the sites on the ‘net, no one has posted how to do this. You can try finding a font in Word- something block letter shaped, or stencil shaped, or something. Maybe the kids have something in their craft stuff. You keep looking and I’ll keep looking and if neither of us finds something in the next 10 years, I promise I’ll make a tutorial for you.

In the meantime, here’s my finished cake:

band cake completed compressed

And my finished cake with its little:

band cakes both completed compressed

It’s not exactly as I planned, but the tailgate DID get tailgate of the week. Coincidence? Yeah, yeah, I know. Coincindence. Our tailgate hosts are so awesome, they don’t need cake to win anything. The cakes were finished in time, though; and in my defense, it was Friday night.

 

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