Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Here's the grill cake I made for my dad for Father's Day.
His present was a new grill so it was pretty appropriate.

I started out with a stars and stripes funfetti cake.
You're supposed to add 3 eggs, 1/3 c. oil and 1 c. water, but we only had two eggs...but they were large grade A eggs so I figured it would be fine. I added a little bit more oil to make up for it.
It says to mix the batter electronically for 2-3 minutes but I never do, I just whip it by hand for a little while and make sure it's not too lumpy.
I used two 8 inch rounds, greasing both first with Pam spray.
And then flouring the bottoms to make sure the cake doesn't stick.
Divide the batter somewhat evenly into the two pans.
And bake at 350 for 32-35 minutes.
Or until golden brown.
When they're done, check the center of the cakes with a toothpick. If it comes out cleanly, the cake is done.
And here's my sketch of what I was thinking for the cake.
I found this green glass cake stand to put my cake on.
And I flipped the first cake out of the pan and carefully placed it onto the cake stand.
Then I frosted that round.
And flip out the second cake, carefully placing it on the first cake. I always flip it upside down to create a more flat surface, but I'm not sure that it really matters.
Then I frosted the top of the cake.
And eventually the sides.
Then using a clean knife I smoothed down the frosting a bit.
And placed it in the fridge to chill so that the cake would be easier to work with.
Now here come the goodies:
I went a little crazy at Joan Fabrics and bought candy melts, black icing, silver pearl dust, and edible "sugar sheet" letters. I had read this recipe about making candy clay and I decided to make it.
First you melt chocolate. I always just microwave my chocolate, it's so much easier than using water and all of that, but melt it however you feel comfortable, as I have burned chocolate in the past (only once though!!)
Once you have your melted chocolate (Yum!!) you add some light corn syrup to the chocolate. You need 1/3 c. corn syrup for 1 14oz bag of chocolate. I just kind of guessed and added what I felt was right. Be careful that you don't add too much though! Just a little will do it.
Now, before you add the corn syrup, take some wax paper and place it on a cookie sheet for you to put the candy clay on to set up once it is made.
Now add the corn syrup. I used a little less than half of a 1/3 cup of the corn syrup for half a bag of melted chocolate and it was almost a bit too much.
 As you mix the chocolate and syrup together, it will begin to immediately harden and become like clay.
 Scoop out the clay mixture and place on the wax paper to set up a bit. This will be the hamburger meat.
I divided mine into smaller pieces so that it set up faster.
 Next I melted some yellow for the cheese using the same technique.
 Again, placing it on wax paper to set up a bit.
And once it's no longer sticky, you can begin to knead the clay and work it out into the shapes that you want.
 I flattened mine out with my hands and formed it into a large, flat circle.
 Then I used a sharp butter knife and cut out a square for the cheese.
 It wasn't exactly perfect, and the edges were a bit crumbly, but that's how cheese really is so the imperfections make it realistic.
Do the same for the hamburgers. To the right is the clay I made for the hot dogs, I mixed the chocolate and yellow melted chocolate to form a light brown color and then added the corn syrup.
 Once you place the cheese onto the hamburgers everything really started coming together and looking realistic. It's okay if the cheese isn't perfectly centered or the perfect size because once again, in life they aren't perfect.
 I rolled the hot dogs into cylinders and flattened them out with my hands.
 They don't look great at first, but once I made these grill marks with the flat side of the butter knife they looked a lot better.
Then I used an edible black pen and drew in the grill lines to make them more defined. Since they were so shiny, I placed the cookie sheet into the freezer to harden and look a bit better. While the shiny effect did go away and they were easier to work with, once they came out of the freezer the chocolate was rock hard and took forever to soften enough to eat, but boy is that candy clay delicious! It tastes like a really rich Hershey kiss. Yum!
 Now back to the cake!
 I wanted the bottom of the grill to be black so I bought this black Wilton icing so that it would be nice and dark.
 And I frosted it into a circle.
It wasn't perfect, but after I smoothed it down it looked much better.
 Now for the silver pearl dust. I poured a bit of vanilla into a small dish. The dust says you can use vanilla or vodka but I chose the vanilla instead.
 And I sprinkled in some of the pearl dust.
 I mixed it in with a cleaned paint brush and realized I had too much vanilla.
 The silver was pretty, but slightly watered down.
But the silver wasn't showing up that well, so I decided to stick it into the microwave for just a few seconds and reduce the mixture down, and it actually worked out quite well and became a much stronger silver.
 I still wished it were a bit stronger, but oh well.
 I also tried to paint the cake with the silver and ended up only doing the top of the cake because I just didn't think it looked that great. I didn't want to fondant the cake but I'm sure the silver would have worked out much better had it been painted on fondant.
 Out of the freezer the candy clay looked much better, although they were rock hard.
And I carefully placed them on the cake.
 The burgers were almost too big for the cake.
 But they worked out okay.
 I couldn't decide on the angle I liked, the cake looked kind of weird.
 Finally, I decided to do the letters and just leave the burgers and hot dogs how they were.
These sugar letters were like edible stickers that you peeled off and placed off the cake. They tasted a bit like edible photo paper, a bit chewy and unnatural but not too bad.
 And you just carefully place them on the cake.
 It was a bit hard to keep the letters straight but who cares, right?
 I wrote out Happy Fathers Day.
And the cake was done!
 A little sloppy because of the butter cream, but not bad overall.
 Here's the top of the cake.
 And again...
 And the finished cake!
 And here's my dad!
 Happy Fathers Day Daddy!! Love you!
And here's Mom cutting the cake!
:) Happy Father's Day!