Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Lesson In Perseverance

I have had a lot of fun looking through and finding things I want to try out. One thing I saw this week was a flag cake for fourth of July. It looked a little complicated, but I thought I could probably pull it off.

I started out by making a 1.5 recipe of white cake batter and dividing it evenly between three bowlsI used food coloring to dye one bowl blue and one red. I left the other white

Then I poured the batters into cake pans sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (apparently a big mistake...perhaps the rest of the day would've gone a little easier if I'd taken the time to thoroughly grease and flour the pans or line them with greased parchment paper)
Once the cakes were baked and cooled, every single one of them stuck to the pan and tore apart when I took them out. I put the pieces back together as well as I could, then used a long serrated knife to cut the white and red layers in half.

The cake was in so many pieces, that I couldn't pick up my layers, so Josh suggested sliding a cookie sheet between the layers to make it easier to pick up the top one
As you can see from my bottom white layer, the project was looking rather bleak:

When I was younger, I would've had a small hissy fit, thrown the cake away and been in a bad mood the rest of the day. I've mellowed a bit though (and I have children to set an example for), so I just made the best of it.

I pushed the pieces of that layer together and spread a layer of buttercream frosting on top.

Then I topped it with one half of the red layer (which was also falling apart)
I also topped that with a layer of buttercream frosting. I did a thin layer, then cleaned my spatula and put on another layer to minimize the crumbs in the frosting.
Then it was time for the tricky part. I stacked the remaining white and red layer and used a bowl as a guide to cut a smaller circle from them (I used a serrated steak knife for this)
Once cut, I left the layers stacked and used the cookie sheet again to transfer them to the cake.

Next, I used the same bowl to cut a circle out of the blue layer (it looked a bit green on the surface after it browned while cooking)

This time I was keeping the outer ring instead of the center. Since I was already dealing with so many pieces (just look how torn up the cake is in the above picture), I decided to cut it into fourths so it was easier to pick up and put on the cake

I literally had big gaps that I stuffed chunks of cake into
Then I used a light hand to frost the whole thing with a thin layer of icing, let it set for a bit, then put more frosting over the top (again, so you didn't see crumbs in the frosting)
After all the trouble I had with assembly, I was tickled pink at how it looked when I cut a slice out. Not perfect, but the effect I was going for is definitely there!
If I were to try this again, I would definitely pay closer attention to how I prepped my cake pans. Also, the cake was very good, but it might be easier to work with something more dense and less fluffy. Can you cook up pound cake in a round cake pan?


Anonymous said...

It looks great, and I'm sure the girls will love it. Don't know if you realize or not but they have spray with flour in it for cakes and such. Also if I just use the oil spray, I still dust with sugar and it comes out fine.
Happy 4th!!!!
Love ya....Mom

Rachel said...

That looks great! I'm impressed, Kimberly, and I really want some cake right now.

Rebecca said...

Love, Love, LOVE this!!


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