Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rose Basket Lemon Cake





I love the vibrant colours of these roses!


Cake Decorating Lesson 2: Basket Weaving
As in lesson 1, we need to bake basic sponge cake at home and bring to class for decoration.  This time, we need two cakes, so that when the cakes are stacked together, it makes a nice tall basket.  In addition, we need to prepare either fruits, flowers or anything that we want to arrange on our "basket".  

The planning stage at home ...
Since I had used strawberries in my first lesson - a Green Tea Strawberry Cake, I like to have something different.  I thought of using some other fruits like kiwi fruit, star fruit, mango, grapes, blueberries (use a stick to thread 3 to 5 together ... should be pretty) or perhaps pineapple rings cut into flower shape by using a flower cookie cutter, or maybe add some chocolate-dipped marshmallows in a stick.  Lots of ideas were running in my mind, as I think through, surf online for inspirations, and keep thinking ....

Eventually, I decided on roses ...
A few days before my class, I saw this beautiful rose basket... I know this is exactly what I want.  It does not matter that I have never done any rose piping before.  I will just learn.  It's a good opportunity to push myself to learn and do something.  Of course, it helps that I had this Wilton Lesson Plan:  Flowers and Cake Design sitting in my study (for a year).  So, I carefully read through the steps and started practising .... 



A bouquet of roses!


My hard work and my aching hands ...
These roses can be piped using stiff butter cream, fresh cream or royal icing.  Since I will not have enough time to pipe the roses during lesson time, after the basket weaving, I prepared the roses in advance.  Royal icing roses seems to be a better choice since they keep well and stay in shape.  

To pipe these roses, you will need a flower nail and piping bag with tip 104 (I used 103).  Hold the flower nail in one hand and the piping bag in the other hand.  As you squeeze the piping bag to release the icing, you need to turn the flower nail.  

My first few roses were flat and ugly (aiyah... I should have taken a photo of them ...).  I thought I have read every single words on the step by step..... never mind, read again.  Ok, icing is still not stiff enough.  More importantly, I did not move my tip "up and down".  It is not as simple as to just squeeze the bag.  You need to control your strength, the angle of the piping bag & tip, PLUS move the tip "Up and Down" while you turn the flower nail.  After hours of piping and many roses .... my hands were aching badly.... really painful.

By the way, you need to prepare these roses a few days in advance (better still, make them one week in advance) as you need to wait for them to dry completely.  Detailed step-by-step over here.



Roses... Roses... I love you



Preparation of sponge cake and lemon curd
I used my current favorite "4-1-1-1" formula for sponge (4 eggs, 100g flour, 100g sugar, 100g melted butter), but adjusted to 3 eggs recipe, plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest per cake (8" cake).  This formula gives consistent soft and light sponge.  

Lemon curd filling:
2 egg yolks
100g sugar
Juice and zest from 1 lemon (about 60g lemon juice)
1 tbsp butter

Method:
1) Combine egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice in a bowl and set over a pot of simmering water.  Stir frequently and cook till thicken (about 5 to 8 minutes).

2) Remove from heat, whisk in butter.  Place the bowl in a bigger bowl filled with tap water.  Continue to whisk till the lemon curd cools completely.

3) Cover with cling wrap (touching the surface of lemon curd) and keep in fridge.  Alternatively, I pour the lemon curd into a piping bag and store in fridge.  During lesson, I just need to pipe the filling between layers of sponge and cream (no mess!).



A basket of red and pink roses



I'm very glad that I took up the challenge to attempt this rose basket cake.  This marks my first rose piping and first basket weaving.  It's the same feeling all over again when I did my first princess barbie doll cake.  Very tedious, lots of hard work n preparation and reading up to do, except that it was not so stressful this time round.  In fact, I enjoy piping these roses.  The more I pipe, the more motivated I was to continue piping them, even though my hands were really aching.  Ha.. the power of our mind, determination, and .....



The tangy lemon curd blends in perfectly with the soft sponge and cream


And the POWER OF LOVE, for I make this cake with a person in my mind.  Happy Birthday, Mum!







11 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Auntie :)
    True, when it's made for someone you love, nothing really matters.
    The roses look really good, very life like.
    I've been wanting to join a piping class, but the center nearby always don't have it, and if they do, it always gets cancelled due to poor response (They were so smart to have it the weekend of the Dumpling festival) and another time, forgot for what reason.

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  2. Thanks, Wendy. Over here is the reverse, places for cake decorating class fill up very quickly. And some fees are really high.

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  3. 实在很有水准
    可以卖个好价钱了:)

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  4. Wow, it's so gorgeous!! Those roses are so so so beautiful^^
    Happy Birthday to your mom :)

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  5. 鲸鱼:Thanks, 不过这钱真不好赚。手痛了两天。

    Thanks yummylittlecooks.

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  6. Roses Roses I love them too.And on this great cake..amazing;)

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  7. Happy Birthday to your Mum :) Those roses look fabulous!! They look like real roses :))

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  8. Very beautiful roses, very beautiful cake!

    Happy Birthday to your mum ^_^

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  9. Very pretty roses! You are very good already! I'm sure your mum will be very happy!

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  10. Thanks ladies for your comments and well-wishes to my mum! I'm really pleased that this rose basket turns out well. And I'm equally glad to have joined the cake decorating class. Else, I will probably wait another nth number of years before pushing myself to do it.

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