Fondant Covered Cakes

Wow, the past few weeks have been so hectic, literally cake after cake after cake! I want to share with all of you my experience with decorating a cake with fondant. I’ve talked about fondant toppers before, but this time, it’s covering up the ENTIRE cake to create a very smooth surface. Fondant is really fun to work with, but it can also be very tricky!

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For my parent’s anniversary, they wanted something that could feed a hundred + people. My oven was on from 6pm to 12am the night before…I wonder what the electricity bill looks like for this month! It definitely took a long time to make this 3-tiered cake because it was my first time working with fondant, but it really paid off in the end!

To end off with a smooth surface on your cakes, it’s really important to know how to frost and put on fondant fondant properly. Here’s how I did it for both a wedding and a birthday cake:

WEDDING CAKE

For the wedding cake I made a cake with 3 tiers. Traditionally, wedding cakes are meant to be pure and white, which is where I got the idea of using fondant. The cake itself was so white and beautiful! It was a typical asian spongecake, and it was SO fluffy and light! I’ll post the recipe up soon 😉

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1. Place parchment paper around where your cake is going to be. This helps keep the platform clean and presentable because all the excess icing will be lifted off when you pull away the parchment paper at the end

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2. Ice the space inside the wax paper. This is so that your cake will actually stay on the platform when you transport it instead of slipping around. We don’t want our tall cake to fall now!

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3. Place down the first layer, and begin frosting the top. Once the frosting is about 0.5-1 cm thick (depends how you like it), add the second layer of cake on top and press down

*Note: For the second tier of cake, I just put my whole cake on a large piece of wax paper, and used a cake transfer to move the cake onto the bottom tier. If your cake is just one layer, it’s easier to use parchment paper that can be pulled apart, like what I did above

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4. Apply a coat of frosting over the entire cake. This is called a crumb coat because it locks all the crumbs into the first layer frosting, making it cleaner and easier when you apply the second coat. In my case, however, I covered my cake with fondant so I didn’t need to apply a second coat. Make sure that the coat of icing is flat, because if it has a lot of bumps or is uneven, it will show on your fondant!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture at the end of this stage, but you can see what the cake is supposed to look like 3 pictures down in the background.

5. Make sure your table is generously covered with powdered sugar to prevent the fondant from sticking to the table when you knead it. Once the fondant is soft enough, begin rolling outwards in all directions

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6. Once the fondant is about 0.4cm thick, trim the fondant so that it is roughly 1.5 times bigger than your cake

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7. Place the rolling pin gently in the middle of the fondant, and pull over half the fondant. You want to do so gently or else the pin will make a dent in the fondant

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8. Use your right hand to hold the rolling pin, and the left hand to lift the fondant from the bottom. Place it carefully over the cake and make sure the middle of the fondant lines up with the middle of the cake. This will give you even sides to work on when you are smoothing out the fondant onto the cake

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9. Use a fondant smoother to press down the sides. This creates a smoother fondant surface, and also helps the fondant to cling onto the icing of the cake.

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10. Use a pizza/fondant roller to trim the excess fondant off

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11. If you accidentally trimmed too high, or some of your edges are rough, don’t worry! You can cover it up with ribbon, icing stars, or even another strip of fondant to hide it

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12. Just keep stacking cake on top of cake, and voila! You’ve made yourself a multi-tiered cake

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Since it was almost Mother’s Day, I used carnations to decorate. Even though the cake was rather short for a wedding, I was glad the flowers put some life into it!

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What the inside of the cake looked like

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BIRTHDAY CAKE

So one day, my friend came up to me asked, “Hey I’m planning a surprise birthday for my boyfriend, can you help me make the cake?” I was SUPER excited because:

1. I was glad that my friend trusted me enough to let me bake this special cake :’D

2. This is another chance for me to make a big cake and practice my fondant skills

3. It’s my first time customizing a cake to a design she gave me! I think my drawing and design skills really helped haha.

I followed the same steps I did for the wedding cake. However, the shape of this cake was more challenging to work with because it had a lot more places where I had to be careful how I wrapped the fondant. Practice makes perfect, and I could definitely tell because decorating this cake took me half the amount of time it did for the wedding cake!

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Notice that I pulled off the wax paper strips and my cake board was still super duper clean 😉

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It’s hard to dust the surface of coloured fondant because it shows really easily, especially over a dark colour of fondant. Clean off the excess powdered sugar and touch up on some rough edges to get a smooth, fine finish on your decoration.

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And the birthday boy himself!

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No Need to Go to T&T Anymore: Asian Chiffon Cakes

Hello everyone, sorry it’s been so long I posted. I’ve been quite busy with school lately, and I’m glad I can finally take a break today!

Today I’ll be letting you guys know how I made my green tea chiffon cupcakes and chiffon cakes. I LOVE this type of cake. They can be found in all Asian bakeries, including T&T and ones at Crystal Mall.

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The reason why I love this cake is that it’s SO LIGHT AND FLUFFY! You don’t have to force it down your throat because the inside is very airy; it almost feels like the cake is a sponge. Not only is the texture light, but this recipe also calls for half the sugar that most American cake recipes ask for. Not only is this recipe HEALTHY, but it also TASTES GOOD. There’s not that much desserts out there that have both qualities.

This cake is also very versatile. I use it to bake both cakes and cupcakes.

*The only downside to making it into cupcakes is that the cake shrinks, which means that it will cave in towards the centre. This creates a wrinkled surface and the absence of a nice, round top. Use a funnel cake pan or one with removable parchment paper to prevent the cake from pulling on the sides while it’s shrinking!

IMG_4639IMG_4726So here is the recipe! I found it online, but I altered a lot of the elements. ITS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY! If you don’t and just mix everything together, your cake will not rise properly.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: (Makes 12 cupcakes or 1 6-inch cake)

75g White Flour

1 Tbsp Matcha Powder

1 Tsp Baking Powder

3 Egg Yolks

3 Tbsp Oil

4 Tbsp Water

3 Egg Whites

85g White Sugar

Procedure:

Flour Base

1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Whisk the egg yolks, oil, water and 1/3 of the sugar together

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3. Sift together the flour, matcha powder and baking powder

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4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Set aside

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Meringue

1. Whisk the egg whites on high speed until they are foamy

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2. Add 1/3 of the sugar into the egg whites and mix on low speed for 30 seconds

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3. Add in the rest of the sugar into the egg whites and mix on high speed for around 1.5-2 minutes. The mixture should turn whiter and grow in size. It should be ready when stiff peaks form after you take out the mixer handles


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Combining

1. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the cake base using a plastic spatula. Do not mix it in with a mixer or else you will lose the airiness that you want in your finished cake. Once well incorporates, keep folding 1/3 of the meringue until all of it is used

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2. Pour the batter into either a cake pan or cupcake liners

3. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

4. Top it off with some light whipped cream and you’re in for a real treat!

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IMG_4789TIPS:

Here are a couple thing I encountered while making this cake that might help you have a higher chance of success:

1. Make sure to separate the egg whites carefully! Any trace of water, oil, or egg yolk will contaminate the egg whites and will prevent it from expanding to its full potential

2. Tilt the bowl by 45 degrees to gain more leverage when whisking egg whites

3. To prevent the cake from shrinking too much, turn off the oven when it’s done baking, but don’t remove it. Wait at least 20 minute and then bring it out so that the temperature difference isn’t too much for the cake

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4. Remove the cake from the pan immediately and pull off the parchment paper. If the cake shrinks, it will shrink evenly instead of pulling on the sides and caving into the middle.

5. If you’re making a cake, peel off the brown skin so that it is easier to frost the cake

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Happy Birthday Gloria!: Checkerboard Chiffon Cake

So this was the 1st time I’ve ever made a BIRTHDAY CAKE. I’ve had fun with mini cupcakes and cookies for snack time treats, but never have I done something this big and this complicated! I just wanted to say thank you to Gloria for trusting me with building her 19th birthday cake. The whole process was so nerve wracking because I was so scared of messing up!

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My friend has a very sensitive palette. Half the things I make she can’t even eat because she likes her treats semi-sweet to the point where I question whether it still counts as a dessert or not!

Earlier on in the weekend, I tried experimenting with making Asian chiffon cakes. Ever since I was little, I have enjoyed eating cakes from T&T and Asian bakeries because the cakes were always so fluffy, and they used smooth, semi-sweet whipped cream instead of heavy frosting.

Since my group of friends love that type of cake as well, I decided to take my cupcake idea and take it to the next level: Gloria’s birthday cake. Like when I decorate cupcakes, I designed the appearance of the cake on paper first before actually decorating it.

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I found it very difficult to find the right combination of cream, fruit, and chocolate to make the cake look nice. The planning process reminded me very much of graphic design, how every element needs to belong in a masterpiece for it to look presentable.

Not only did I spice up the outside with a hand-made fondant Olaf figure (she’s obsessed with Frozen), but I also tried to make the inside of the cake unique by making a checkerboard pattern.

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As I was making the cake, I was quite scared because the layers didn’t seem to be lining up, and whipped cream seemed to be ending up everywhere. When she cut the cake though, I finally got to see what the inside looked like, and I was more than excited to see that it had worked!

So if you’re interested in making a birthday cake in the future, try this checkerboard pattern method out! It’s actually quite simple, and will definitely give your friend a surprise when they find out what’s inside 😉

Procedure:

1. Bake two cakes that are different colours

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2. Cut them so that they have clean edges and are leveled with each other

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3. Stack the cakes on top of each other. Using a sharp knife, cut the cake into 3 rings that are even in thickness

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4. Take the rings apart and lay them out so that you can see the different sizes

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5. Place the biggest ring of colour A on the platform where you will be decorating the cake

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6. Using a spatula, line the inside of the ring and platform with a thin layer of whipped cream. Make sure the layer is very thin so that when you cut the cake, you won’t see a huge layer of cream between the checkered cake pieces

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7. Select a medium ring of colour B and line the outside of the ring with a thin layer of whipped cream. Place it into the larger ring. Do the same with the small circle of colour A

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8. Once you have the bottom layer of the cake assembled, cover it with a thin layer of whipped cream. Then, repeat steps 4-6 with alternate colours for the second layer

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9. Now that the two layers have been assembled, use a spatula to cover the rest of the cake with a thick layer of whipped cream. To make the sides look pretty, I bought a cake decorator to make patterns on the sides

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10. Use fruits, chocolate, and piped whipping cream to decorate the cake! Have fun! 🙂

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