Wednesday 3 December 2014

A Very Happy Birthday & A Rosette Cake Tutorial

Things have been busy. 

Such is life, though, right? I think busy for the most part is good. I always like to bite of more than I can chew, pun intended (isn't it always with me, anyway)!

Which is a bit of a double-edged sword, sometimes. Baking for me seems to be a constant. I am always up to something in the kitchen. Whether it's just for fun or testing out new ingredients -- there are an infinite amount of possibilities I have yet to explore -- and more often than not the stress of photographing and editing as well as praying for good lighting can be overwhelming.

Moral of the story is bear with me -- new things are coming, I promise. But while things may be slowing down in the posting arena things are not slowing down in the kitchen. More importantly, this post is dedicated to my beautiful sweet mother whose birthday we just celebrated. I had a wonderful time making cookies and decorating cakes. I didn't worry about photographing them as much because the point of birthdays is to spend it with that person! It's not to worry about lighting or details. It's about the look on their face when they see what you made for them and admire your little details that you placed there especially for them.

And that to me is worth the world. I gathered around my family for brunch reservations at a beautiful downtown location and surprised my mother with brunch and dessert when we got back. For those who don't know, my mother is my best friend. I have had a bit of a complicated past and I truly think that what got me through those times was the love and unwavering support of my mom. She did not always understand what was happening, nor did I expect her to. But her persistence, her hugs, her thoughtful heart to hearts and warmth have allowed me to accomplish so much more in life than I ever would have thought possible.

There are not enough words in the English language to convey my love for her kind spirit. So, again, Happy Birthday Momma! I love you so much. Thank you for being my light and my hope when I could not find it, I hope that you enjoyed your birthday!

So let's have a peak at the desserts, shall we?  I will also share a brief tutorial on how to make a Rosette Cake (it's NOT my original idea, I see these all over Pinterest but this is just how I did it).

First, the sugar cookies.

I made 4 main cookies representing each of us, the kids.

I also made rustic mugs (she loves her coffee as much as I do), hearts and birthday cakes.

I made my No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake in a 9-inch springform pan by doubling the recipe. This was a HUGE hit. The whole cake was gone right away.

Now for the piece de resistance.

Rosette Cake How- To

You Will Need:

  • 6-8 cups buttercream frosting 
  • Piping bags fitted with large closed star tips for as many colours as you are using
  • 2 layers of cake of choice (you can used boxed cake in a pinch) 
  • Extra decorations: sprinkles, pearls, etc. as desired

First you will need to 'dirty ice' your cakes by spreading a thin layer of icing over your cake as your 'crumb coat' to prevent crumbs and give the rosettes something to hold on to.

Place it in the fridge to cool while you prepare your frosting.

However you prepare your buttercream is up to you. I needed 2 batches of this frosting I used for my cupcakes and I also needed to make some extra stabilized whipped cream for the middle of my cake that I used to pipe on extra roses. You need to have extra frosting! I didn't when I made this and I wish I had known how much frosting a 9-inch cake would need. 2 batches should do but you may need that whipped cream to help fill in any patches. Make sure to stabilize it so it doesn't wilt!

For an ombre effect begin with a light colour of choice and colour the whole batch of frosting. Scoop out 1/3 of the frosting and place in your piping bag. Now with the remaining add a touch more of the colour. Scoop out into your bag. Repeat for the last colour with a drop more colouring. Now you have three shades of frosting reading to go for an ombre cake!

The colours you choose is up to you.

To begin, remove your cake from the fridge and place it on a cake board/cake stand with parchment underneath to catch spillage. Beginning at the bottom place the tip two inches from the bottom of the cake and pipe a swirl keeping your hand parallel to the cake. it is essentially like piping a circle parallel to the cake to get a rosette. As you move around the bottom of the cake ensure you leave adequate and equal amounts of space while you are piping. Around 3 inches. Otherwise your rosettes will all crash into one another.

A trick I saw was to first use circle cookie cutters to trace circles as a guide. Simply begin the swirl in the middle of each circle and pipe until you have filled the entire space.

Pipe rosettes on the top of the cake just as you would the side. The beauty of this part is that different shapes and sized are totally okay! It makes the cake look more rustic. Fill any spaces with tiny stars that you can pipe on easily. It ends up looking beautiful and no one will pick up on any mistakes. 

Repeat with varying colours as you see fit

While icing is wet sprinkle with sparkling sugar or other sprinkles. I used edible candy pearls.

That's it! 

The cake I used is from the Rose Levy Berenbaum the Baking Bible. This lady REALLY knows her stuff. The cake tasted JUST like a fancy wedding cake that I remember having at my Aunt's engagement party. I really, really loved it. I of course would not post her recipe because it's from her book! If you have the chance to read any of her cook books, it will be really helpful to do so. She is meticulous and even prompted me to buy a food scale which I have never ever used. Ever. In my life. I even put my egg whites in a warm bath to bring them to room temperature which is a bother I am not used to doing. But because I wanted this cake to be perfect I followed all the usual rules of baking that I am so aware of but can be lazy to implement.

The result? Perfection.

I hope this inspired you, motivated you or at the very least made you hungry (sorry about that)!

Velvety smooth and delicate perfection.

I promise!

Happy Birthday Mom, 

I love you. 


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