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caramel & cocoa

Caramel & Cocoa - cooking, parenting, fashion, diy, eating, living, a blog

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Butter-Cream Filling and White Fondant

There are very few things that I am good at. I can actually name tons of things that I do poorly but I was very pleased with how C's 2nd birthday cake turned out. It is a basic vanilla cake with a strawberry butter-cream frosting & filling and vanilla fondant.
I made both the strawberry butter-cream and white fondant the day before. You can just as easily buy a nice frosting/filling & fondant, but if you have the time and are looking to create something, I say just go for it... The fondant however does take alot of steps. 

For the butter-cream frosting: 226 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)500 grams confectioners (icing) sugar (about 4 cups) (sifted)1 tablespoon vanilla extract3 tablespoons strawberry jam/jelly 
Using a hand mixer or electric mixer beat the butter until it is smooth on a low speed. Mix in the vanilla extract. Beat in the sugar in 4 to 5 lots remembering to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the strawberry jam and beat on a high speed until light and fluffy. 

For the white fondant (you'll need to color this as you like): For my cake I made 3 lots of this recipe (675 grams in total)5 tablespoons of water, divided1 teaspoon gelatine225 grams icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)1 tablespoon glucose syrup1 teaspoon glycerine tutorial here: Fondant Tutorial 

Preparation methodPrep: 20 minsCook: 5 mins | Extra time: 8 hours, setting

1.If you have a marble or granite slab, or work surface, grease it liberally; grease a palette knife also. (If you don't have a marble or granite slab, use a smooth work surface.)2.In a small jug, add 1 tablespoon of water and sprinkle in the gelatine. Leave to soak.3.In a heavy-based saucepan, put the sugar, 4 tablespoons water and glucose syrup. Heat over a medium heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring gently.4.When the sugar mixture comes to the boil, boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the syrup has reached soft-ball stage (112 degrees C) on a sugar thermometer.5.While the sugar is boiling, heat the soaked gelatine in a saucepan of simmering water until dissolved and liquid.6.When the sugar has finished cooking, remove from heat and dip the saucepan's base in cold water to stop it from cooking. Leave to cool for a few seconds.7.Add the gelatine and glycerine to the sugar, and stir gently to combine.8.Pour the mixture out onto the marble slab, and begin turning and mixing with the palette knife until it becomes a paste and clay-like. At first, the fondant will be very fluid, but it will gradually harden. After 5 to 10 minutes of turning and mixing, the fondant will become very stiff, crumbly and hard to manipulate. At this point, lightly grease your hands and work surface, and begin kneading the fondant into a ball as you would with bread dough. As you knead, the fondant will begin to come together and become softer and smoother. Stop kneading once your fondant is a smooth ball without lumps.9.Put the fondant in a sandwich bag, or wrap in cling film, and refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours) until set. Color it as you require. 

For the cake: (from
350 grams of sifted flour (3 cups)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
226 grams unsalted butter (1 cup)
350 grams sugar (1 3/4 cups)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoons of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of milk 

The optional ingredients are to calm the screams of the inner perfectionist!
In the USA, corn syrup can be used instead of glucose syrup. If you don't have a marble slab, I suggest you mix is vigorously with a wooden spoon in the pan until clay-like, then wrap and chill. Although, I haven't tried this myself, it's a suggestion based on previous experimentation.
It is best kept in the fridge when not in use, and can keep for up to a week.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C/160 C fan). Butter two 9-inch x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans. Then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper, then spray the paper.
In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder. 
In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter until soft and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour.  
Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake 27 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.  
Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Remove the parchment or wax paper and re-invert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before frosting.

To assemble: 
1. Make sure that cake is cooled completely. 
2. Sandwich the two cakes together with icing in between them. Cover the entire cake with icing or jam. 
3. Carefully roll out the fondant on a floured surface and carefully place over and smooth over cake. Watch the end of this tutorial for help. Fondant Tutorial