|A colourful butterfly for you|
Cake Decorating Lesson 4: Cut-Out Cakes
What is a cut-out cake? Bake a cake using basic pan shapes like round or square, then you cut the cake to shape it into any alphabets, numbers, animals, insects or designs that you like. For example, you can have a letter "A" for Amy, "B" for Betty or "C" for Carol. Or if your little princess is celebrating her 5th birthday, you can cut and design a number "5" cake for her. Such customised cakes are usually quite expensive, but if you prepare it at home, it only costs a tiny fraction of the price! And, cut-out cakes are not that difficult to make once you know the trick!
The things to consider when preparing a cut-out cake are:
1) Keep cut-out to a minimum to avoid cake wastage (well of course, you can always munch on the cut-out pieces or even combine the small pieces for making cake pops).
2) Do not trim the cake surface area too small, or it will be difficult to add designs on it.
Planning and Preparation at home ...
I have no special birthday celebrations at the moment, so I thought of making a butterfly cake. I saw a simple method at Betty Crocker by using a round cake pan. I modified the method slightly as shown below:
|How to cut and assemble the butterfly cake|
After the cake pieces are assembled, trim the edges to make them look curved. For ease of trimming, place a piece of cut-out baking paper (i.e. the pattern paper) on the cake to help in getting the right shape. You can also draft your design on the baking paper.
Next, how to transfer the draft design onto the cake? One way is to use chocolate transfer method (as in Lesson 3). But you need to freeze the cake to harden the surface cream, so that the chocolate will stick nicely onto the cake. Another possible way is to use a toothpick or skewer to mark the outline of the design before piping in the cream. This is a more difficult method than chocolate transfer, but you do not have wait to freeze the cake. I thought of using tinted piping gel to trace the outline onto the cake, but was advised that it is not workable. I thought I saw this method in the Wilton Decorating book??? Never mind, will try this piping gel method at home.
I do not have the time to freeze the cake during lesson time. No choice, but to free hand draw the design onto the creamed cake using toothpick, then pipe in the cream using a star nozzle.
|A strawberry yogurt cake|
This time, I did not prepare any special filling for spreading between layers of sponge. I guess you can do so, before cutting and assembling the cake. Instead of baking a basic plain sponge, I added some strawberry yogurt drink to replace part of the melted butter and also added 1/2 tsp strawberry flavour. The cake turns out soft and flavourful, even without any filling.
As I was writing this post, I saw this site with lots of creative ways to make cut-out cakes.