Inspired by the colors of an autumn sunset, I created this flirty, flower cake. I combined my favorite watercolor buttercream technique with easy piped buttercream flowers in this How to Make a Buttercream Flower Cake tutorial.Read More
Delicate waves and intricate ruffles simply made from buttercream icing!
Hi All! Thank you so much for all of the kind words regarding last week’s cake. I hope the gluten-free part didn’t scare too many of you away, but also inspired those that are gluten intolerant to bake beautiful things. Also, I am super relieved that you all seemed to like the new blue backdrop. It’s not something I plan to use everyday, but glad to have something fun and a little out of my comfort zone to spice things up every now and then. But what you really seemed to be excited about is the delicate wave/ruffle piping. As promised, I will be sharing how to do it yourself!
I love experimenting with buttercream every change I get. When I first started my career working with cake back in 2007, it was all about fondant and novelty cakes. I found the most joy either spending hours on delicate sugar flowers or making a cake that looked like other food – a hamburger cake or a donut, perhaps. Trends come and go, and I am so glad to see that buttercream has made a definite comeback and seems to be here to stay.
I personally made the transition from fondant back to buttercream after I closed my bakery and moved to Vancouver. I was no longer making wedding cakes and didn’t have room in our city apartment to keep all the tools and supplies needed for those types of cakes. Plus, I had nobody to eat or order them. I started gravitating towards interesting flavour pairings and buttercream textures because those were the types of layer cakes that I wanted to eat myself and ones that you home bakers would appreciate the most.
I feel pretty nerdy and so pretentious saying that cake decorating is an art form and buttercream is my medium of choice, but it’s true! As a child and into my twenties, I used dance as my creative outlet. Now I use sugar and butter. Using just an offset spatula and various piping tips, it’s fun and challenging to come up with new textures. This delicate wave/ruffle pattern just happens to be one of my new favourite designs.
About 5 years ago I made a very similar design, except it was made purely from fondant. Each wave was ruffled by hand and then gilded with a bit of edible gold paint on the delicate edges. It took forever. By the time all the ruffles were added, the fondant had dried and hardened. It was gorgeous, but you’d have to pick off all of that hard work just to get to the yummy cake inside – essential making it a time-consuming decoration and not necessarily an edible garnish.
Today’s version is so much tastier and takes only about 10 to 15 minutes. No, seriously! Once your cake is crumb coated and your buttercream already whipped, the piping is quite simple and fast. Plus, the organic-ness of it all means that your waves don’t have to be perfect. In fact, embrace the imperfection!
How to Make a Ruffle Cake
1. Place the cake on a cake board of the same size. Fill, stack, and crumb coat your cake in buttercream icing. You do not have to fully ice the cake, but the crumb coat should be thick enough that the cake layers do not show through. Finish off the top of the cake as normal.
2. Fit a piping bag with a petal tip (I used #103 on this 6-inch round cake) and fill with buttercream.
3. (optional) Place the cake board (and cake) on top of an upside-down bowl so that it elevates the bottom of the cake.
4. Hold the piping bag parallel to the side of the cake, keeping the wide end of the piping tip towards the cake – slightly touching the crumb coat.
5. Keeping consistent pressure, start piping ruffles from the bottom of the cake to the top. Create long, curvy waves as well as short ruffles for more interest. Stop pressure before pulling the piping bag away at the top. Repeat.
6. Continue around the cake – sometimes following the curves of the previous wave and sometimes mixing it up. I prefer the ruffles to be fairly close together for a delicate look.
7. I find that the waves look more natural if the begin slightly bellow the cake – hence why I elevate it. Once you pipe waves all the way around the cake, take an offset spatula or paring knife to gently “cut off” the bottom excess without disturbing the rest of the wave.
8. Use an offset spatula to carefully lift the cake and place on a serving dish or cake stand. Enjoy!
Equally rich and creamy as it is light and smooth, Swiss Meringue Buttercream is my first pick for frosting. Its silkiness and stability makes it a preferred choice for most pastry chefs and wedding cake makers, but it can be easily made in the home kitchen too. Concerned about whipping egg whites and working with meringue? Well, it’s time to officially kick those worries to the curb and become a fearless Swiss Meringue Buttercream master!
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while or picked up a copy of my book, “Layered,” then you know how much I sing the praises of Swiss meringue buttercream. Not too sweet and flawlessly smooth, I opt for this meringue-based frosting 9 times out of 10. I find it extremely versatile and easy to flavor (think coffee, raspberry, passion fruit, mint, and more!), although plain vanilla (preferably with some fresh vanilla bean seeds) is equally lick-straight-off-the-spoon worthy. Want effortlessly smooth cakes or heavenly swirls of frosting? This is the recipe you need.
So if Swiss meringue buttercream is the preferred choice for professionals and is so superior in texture and flavor, then why don’t more home bakers use it? Okay, I admittedly don’t know if anything in that last statement is at all accurate, nor in the next, but I think it's the mixing process intimidates many meringue-based buttercream novices. Either that or they hate delicious frosting and love extra work and stress when trying to ice a cake, hehe.
Lucky for us all, I put together a little video showing (almost) step-by-step how to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream! Check it out:
Yes, using an electric mixer is nearly a must for making this type of buttercream. And while I am sure you can attempt to do so with a hand mixer, and stand mixer makes the process even easier. Don’t have a stand mixer? Kitchen Aid CA is generously giving away an Artisan Stand Mixer to one lucky winner! Along with a signed copy of “Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cake,” one lucky winner will receive a brand-new Kitchen Aid mixer (in the color white). Coveted by home bakers and pastry chefs alike, this mixer is a total game changer. I literally could not do my job without it! Scroll down to see how to enter.
This recipe can be used exactly as is or as the base to a variety of other frostings. I find that it is not as sweet as most other types of frostings, so it is easier to flavor. For example, you can find recipes using this base for Honey Sour Cream Buttercream for the Honey Apple Cake, Graham Frosting for the Pumpkin Pie Cake, and even Coconut Rum Buttercream for the Coconut Mojito Cake in my book! So many options it is hard to pick a favorite!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
makes about 3 ½ cups - see notes
½ cup (120 ml) egg whites (from about 3 to 4 large eggs)
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks – 340 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (optional)
1. Whisk together the sugar and egg whites: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add the egg whites and granulated sugar. Whisk them together briefly by hand, just until they are combined so that the egg whites don’t begin cooking by themselves.
2. Create a double-boiler: Fill a sauce pan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place the mixer bowl with the egg white mixture on top to create a double-boiler. The water should be kept at a simmer but should not touch the bottom of the bowl. The double-boiler acts as indirect heat for the egg white mixture.
3. Heat the egg white mixture: Occasionally stirring, heat the egg white mixture until it reaches 155 to 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer. The mixture should be very hot to the touch and the sugar should have dissolved.
4. Make the meringue: Once the egg white mixture is hot, carefully return the bowl to the stand mixer. Fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for about 8 minutes. When done, the meringue should hold shiny, medium-stiff peaks and be cooled to room temperature. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
5. Add the butter: With the mixer on low, begin adding in the butter a couple tablespoons at a time. Use the paddle attachment to mix it in. The butter must be room temperature in order to incorporate properly with the meringue.
6. Add the vanilla: Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla bean seeds (if using) and the vanilla extract.
7. Mix until smooth: Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until silky smooth. This may take a few minutes, but centime to mix until light, creamy, and free from most air bubbles.
Tips and Trouble Shooting:The egg whites should be free from any drips of egg yolks. Likewise, the mixing bowl should be clean and free from grease. Any fat (grease or yolks) may prevent the egg whites from whipping properly.
If you do not have a candy thermometer, it is possible to test the heated egg white mixture by touch but BE CAREFULL! The mixture is hot enough when it stings behind your fingernail just a bit.
When the meringue is done mixing, the outside of the mixing bowl should be room temperature. You should not be able to feel any residual heat escaping out of the top either.
If after you add the butter the buttercream begins to curdle, just keep mixing. The butter was most likely too cold and will require more time to incorporate. This process may take up to about 5 minutes, so be patient. Alternatively, you may remove a small amount of buttercream and melt it in the microwave. Add the small amount of melted buttercream to the mixing bowl and incorporate until smooth.
If the buttercream appears soupy, the butter was most likely too warm. If this happens, place the mixing bowl (and its contents) in the refrigerator for about 15 before trying to mix again.
Storage: The buttercream may use immediately or stored at room temperature for the day. If making in advanced, the buttercream may be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to about 10 days or in the freezer for 2 months. Bring the buttercream to room temperature and mix thoroughly before use.
Serving Size: This recipe makes enough buttercream to fill and frost a three-layer 6-inch round cake. This recipe may be doubled to fill and frost a three-layer 8-inch round cake
Hi everyone! A few months ago, I started this short series on how to write a cookbook in preparation for the release of my book, ‘Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes.” In part one, I went over all the behind the scenes for getting a literary agent, working together to create the perfect proposal, and securing a publisher. Today, I want to cover what it takes to actually write and photograph the actual stories and images for a book. I will go over the timeline I was given as well a rough schedule that helped me stay on track, editing, layout and design, and selecting the cover image.
After signing on with my literary agent around March of 2014, we quickly started whipping my proposal into shape. By Memorial Day, my agent started shopping it around to publishers. She had warned me that summer was not the ideal time to try and secure a publisher, but we were prepared to be patient. I checked my email dozens of times each day waiting for word that a publisher was interested in working with me. Over 4th of July weekend, when I least expected it, I finally received such email.
I was absolutely thrilled to find out that it was Abrams Books that was interested! My own bookshelves are stacked with other Stewart, Tabori, and Chang books (an imprint of Abrams that covers mostly food, lifestyle, and photography books), and I could not hardly believe that they wanted to work with me. After a few messages back-and-forth and a call with my magnificent editor, Laura, I accepted and they began working on the contract. The manuscript would be due the second week of January, about 6 months after they made initial contact. At that point, I was already several months pregnant….. My agent asked if I wanted her to see about extending my deadline but Everett was due on January 5th and extending it could only mean I had a few more months, but with a newborn. Instead, we decided to stick to the original date and cross our fingers for a healthy, full-term pregnancy (little man was actually almost two weeks late, so I was able to send in the manuscript a few days before he was born).
The timeline was a bit aggressive (but not necessarily unusual for publishers/authors), so I had to make a rigorous schedule and do my best to stick to it, my growing belly an easy reminder to get things done. I won’t lie, it was pretty rough. Had I not been photographing my own book while pregnant and then moving to a new apparent half-way through, it probably would have been much easier. However, there really is no greater motivator to get moving than a baby on the way….
With the help of my husband and his love for spreadsheets, we created a detailed schedule. I didn’t always stick to it, but it definitely helped keep track of my progress. I had 60 whole cakes to shoot, plus a dozen extras and some step-by-step shots. I got the step-by-step shots in early with the help of my second photographer, my big brother Ryan Lindow. I didn’t want my huge belly showing, hehe. From there, I planned to shoot 3 to 5 cakes a week – using the first few days of the week for all my recipe testing, baking, and prep and then photographing them all at once instead of working on one cake at a time, from start to finish. This schedule (with a few weeks of wiggle room) meant I’d be wrapping up all of the photos for the book by mid-October. Should something go wrong with the pregnancy, I wanted to make sure I was off my feet and could save all of the writing and editing for last couple of months.
I was exhausted and uncomfortable all of the time, but the schedule worked! I spent the last couple months of my pregnancy writing the headnotes, front matter, re-testing recipes when needed, and touching up photos. I even got to enjoy the holidays a bit! In the end, I am thankful that Ev was a bit late, and I was able to send everything over to my editor with time to spare.
Of course, this is all probably not the norm for most cookbooks (although my agent said you would be surprised how many female authors are pregnant at some point while writing a book because the process can take so long).
To be honest, the editing process was much more intense and involved than I was prepared for. Since the manuscript was due at the same time as baby, it was made sure that I wouldn’t received my first round of edits for at least a month or two (thank you, Laura!!). Thankfully, Brett was still in school part-time, so we were able to make the necessary adjustments to our new “schedule” to fit in time for me to work while tending to a new babe over the next 9 months or so.
The rounds of edits pretty much looked like this: editors review the latest version, I receive editors notes and comments, I make the necessary edits, then I send it back for he next round. Each round took several weeks - they would work on it for a couple weeks, then I would have a couple more to make any necessary changes.
First up, my editor Laura. Her first pass cleaned up any complicated wording, headnotes that needed to be re-focused, methods were clear and concise, and noted a few photos that did not reflect the recipes correctly.
After Laura came the technical editor and the copy editor. These rounds consisted of making sure the STC’s style guide was followed, global changes to the recipes were made so that the methods all matched, and grammar/spelling/etc was in check.
And let us not forget about more recipe testing! There was plenty of that and this stage as well (making sure my pregnant brain that wrote the first copy of the manuscript deciphered all the notes correctly).
The entire editing process was lengthy but not as painful or heart-shattering as it could have been. Part of my feared the whole thing would get scratched! Thankfully, that was not the case and only one recipe was replaced. I opted to re-shoot several of the cakes myself (who else doesn’t look back on work they did a year prior and want to re-do it?) along with some extras to fill in some of the front mater.
LAYOUT AND PAGE DESIGN
This might be the point where my words and photographs started to feel like a real book. Up until this point, the recipes were still in a giant Word Doc and the photos saved as individual files.
The first step was to find a designer. I put together a vision board and was paired up with the ever fabulous Deb (I'm not exactly sure how it all technically went down). The second step was to select a font. I love the typeface that Deb found – classic with a bit of whimsy; not too trendy and too, well, boring. The font package gave us plenty of options between different flourishes and weight. I don’t know too much about what goes into selecting a typeface, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out, and I think I still will be for years to come. Third, producing some sample pages. Deb put together several different layout options for us all to go over and choose from. We wanted everything to be very clean, easy to read/follow, and with little bits of character and pops of color.
Once the page layout was decided, my designer got to work. A a month or so passed, then I received the first hardcopy of my recipes and photos ever! They were not bound like a book, but it sure looked like a book!
This stage was devoted to making sure all of the information fit in the designated areas, the step-by-step grids made sense, image placement was exactly how we wanted, and that everything was easy to read and follow along. I actually had a lot of fun marking up those hard copies. I figured the more adjustments I made, the better the final book would be! A portion of it came down to things like trimming a few lines so that a recipe fits on one page, adding a photo to finish off the chapter on an even page, and adding extra tidbits like “Decorate It,” “Shortcuts,” and “Baker’s Notes.” It was a giant puzzle that I am so thankful I didn’t have to solve on my own.
At the end, we were able to see what gaps needed to be filled with extra images – which turned out to be some of my favorite, stylized photos.
Up until now, the images we printed on a regular ink jet printer. A good one, but it did not produce the quality of images that were bookshelf-worthy. I wasn’t particularly satisfied with the images prior to this stage, but I knew I shouldn’t let it bother me. Then came the color proofs. And they were amazing!
The images we printed at the same quality that the final book would be printed in. During all of the edits, there was no need to waste the time and resources on these types of photos. But WOW! What a difference!
The point here wasn’t just to look at all the pretty images of cake, but it was to make sure the colors read as they should. Photos on a computer and photos in print look a lot different from each other. My job here was to say things like “too cold,” “that red doesn’t look natural,” and even “something is off, but I can’t figure out why.”
SELECTING A COVER
I thought this part would be simple, but I was wrong. There were hundreds of images to choose from, surely there would be a few that were worthy of the cover, right? However, there were many things to consider: we wanted a cake that showed off the “layers” (hence the title) and not necessarily a cake that was fully-iced, the cake should have a bit of color (a lot of cakes in general tend to be brown and white), and we wanted something dramatic yet approachable. Several different cakes were thrown in the ring, but ultimately we picked this towering, in-your-face stunner: the Strawberry Shortcake.
In addition to the front, there was also the back cover that needed designing. The image needed a bit of negative space in order to add text. I immediately thought of the gorgeous Red Wine Blackberry Cake.
And just like that, everything went to print! Just before the holidays, thousands of my words and hundreds of photos were sent off to the print shop to become actual books. I received my first copy just about a month ago and could not be more pleased. I can’t wait for you all to get a copy!
Check back tomorrow to learn about our Pre-Order Campaign!!!!
My first real bakery job (minus scooping cookies and scones for the masses at the UC Davis Coffee House), was as a cake decorator at Sacramento’s beloved Freeport Bakery. A month or so after applying to be a counter clerk, I found myself in the kitchen on the night shift (the lowest tier of cake decorators), elbow deep in whipped cream, sliced strawberry, and chocolate ganache.
One of the key responsibilities for the night decorators was filling and frosting the two different cakes that used fresh whipped cream to sell the following morning. This was not because whipped cream was the easiest frosting to start the new cake decorators on (quite the opposite, in fact), it was because it needed to be made fresh everyday and was a big pain to work with (meaning nobody else wanted to deal with the few dozen cakes that are made and sold daily). The timing fit for us PM decorators (since the other cakes the AM shift frosted could be made and stored in advanced), but the theory was - if you could ice a cake with whipped cream, then you would be prepared to ice a cake with anything. And let me tell, there were PLENTY of cakes to work on to practice and refine our cake decorating techniques.
Albeit delicious, the “Shadow Fresa” quickly became my nemesis. Layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream and sliced strawberries, whipped cream frosting, and a chocolate ganache drip around the edges. Whipped cream is one of the less stable frostings to work with, especially when made in large batches, so filling and frosting a cake with it is not a simple task. The more you fuss with the cream, the more difficult it becomes to work with - starting a downward spiral of floppy peaks that won’t pipe or smooth out for the life of you. Once you finally master frosting the Shadow Fresa comes the added bonus of drizzling chocolate ganache over the edges. If the ganache is too cold, it does not drizzle nor drip but either seizes up or remains as ugly blobs of chocolate. Too hot, and it melts and pulls the whipped cream right off the sides of the cake. Unless you heat the ganache to the perfect temperature, chances are you will be scraping whipped cream, hard work, and tears into the garbage bin.
The Drip Cake Phenomenon ready picked up steam in 2015 (big thanks to rock-star Katherine Sabbath) and is now a cake trend that just keeps getting better, more fanciful, and exceedingly more popular literally everyday. There are classic chocolate drips to neon, technicolored Willy Wonka drips – those left rustic, natural, and beautiful to those covered in sprinkles, candy, gold leaf, donuts, etc. Whichever style you choose, anyone that has ever tried a drip cake probably understands the pain and headache that usually comes along with it. Use a glaze that is too runny, and it slides right off the sides and pools at the bottom of the cake stand. Too thick, and you are trying to force, nudge, plead, and beg your drips to look natural and not like blobs left on the side of your cake. Now, as an experienced cake-dripper (I’ve been drizzling cakes since 2007 after all - ah, I’m old!), I thought I would share some key pointers for creating gorgeous chocolate, ganache, caramel, and fruit glaze cake drips
How to Make Drip Cake Magic:
- Chill your cake - A great start to a perfect drippy cake is a good base, or something for the chocolate or glaze to drip of off. A smooth buttercream finish works the best. Chilled, and you are golden. A cold, smooth cake not only creates a seamless, uninterrupted finish for the glaze to drip down, but the chilled cake helps control the drips from sliding all the way down the cake. Also, if the test drip doesn't turn out (see tip 5), it can easily be scraped off. Even when I drip a naked cake, I like to give it either aa bit of a crumb coat or ice just the top of the cake.
- Use a recipe that works as a good glaze - This might be a no-brainer, but try to use a recipe that works as a suitable glaze. For example, honey by it self might be too runny while peanut butter is too thick. Recipes that I find suitable for drizzling include: chocolate ganache, white chocolate ganache (plain, flavored, or tinted with gel food coloring), chocolate glaze, caramel sauce (although sometimes a bit tricker and harder to set), and powdered sugar glaze (either mixed with a touch of milk or fruit juice/puree). I’m sure there are plenty more, but hopefully these are a good start for you all.
- Patience - Many glazes and sauces are made on the stove or require some heat. You must allow the glaze to cool a bit before dripping on your cake. My basic chocolate glaze (recipe below) takes a good 10 to 15 minutes to cool. Freshly made caramel may take even longer!
- Consistency is key! - Other than temperature, the consistency of the glaze is very important. Sometimes this directly relates to the temperature (ganache and caramel will thicken as they cool), but other times it does not. Regardless, you are looking for a glaze that is thick yet still fluid. It should slowly drip off of spoon, not run or plop. To adjust, wait until cool, add more powdered sugar/liquid, or reheat as necessary.
- Test - The best way to find out if your glaze is the correct temperature and consistency? Try a few practice drips on the actual cake! If the glaze is really off then this might cause some damage to the cake, but chances are it won’t be tragic if it is slightly too warm or thick. Try these practice drips on the edge (not the center of the cake - see tip 6) and watch to see the rate at which it drips. Does is slide right off? Does it stop halfway down? Adjust accordingly before taking the glaze to the entire cake.
- Work from the outside in - Until you have the confidence to pour your glaze over the top of your entire cake (I still don’t - unless I am feeling extra brave and adventurous that day), start by working with only a few drips at a time around the edge of your cake. Using a spoon, I start making drips around the edges. I find that I am able to control the drips and design of the cake more this way. I love the idea of “perfectly imperfect” so this helps give me back some control while the drips still (hopefully) appear natural. If this feels too staged or fake to you, then feel free to skip to tip 7 and really go for it!
- Filling the center - Once I ensure that all of my individual drips are looking their best, it is time to fill in the center. At this point, the glaze or chocolate sometimes cools or thickens up on me, so I always re-check the consistency. If the glaze cools/thickens up too much, it may not spread or blend evenly. Less is more here - you don't want too much spilling over the edges and ruining your gorgeous drips!
- Smooth and tap - Hopefully you re-checked the consistency before filling in the center and it all oozes back together into a smooth finish. To help, use a small off-set spatula to gently even it out. I like to tap the bottom of the cake on the counter to help the top settle, smooth, and pop any air bubbles. A little “jiggling” of the cake helps too.
If you couldn't already tell by the photos, this Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake is absolutely delicious. Two things as simple and pure as dark chocolate and fresh strawberries have never tasted (or looked) so good. The chocolate cake is my classic recipe, scaled down for this small 6-inch cake. With Valentine's Day coming up, I wanted to create a decadent sweetheart cake to be intimately shared with your loved ones. The flavors a fresh and straightforward, nothing too fancy or overly complicated. But, I have to tell you, that strawberry buttercream really does taste like strawberries! It's so good. And of course, our chocolate glaze. Doesn't the whole cake look just like a chocolate-dipped strawberry?
Classic Chocolate Cake
– 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
– 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1/2 cup warm water
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans and set aside.
2. Sift together all of the dry ingredients (not the sugar) and set aside.
3. Place sugar and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer.
4. Mix with a paddle attachment until combined.
5. Add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
6. In alternating batched (starting and ending with the dry), add in the dry and wet ingredients in about 3 batches. Mix until just combined.
8. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pans.
9. Bake about 223 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
10. Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
– 3 large egg whites
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 4 to 6 tablespoons strawberry puree (recipe to follow)
1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Gently whisk until combined.
2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat.
3. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler.
4. Whisking occasionally, heat the egg mixture until it registers between 150 to 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
5. Once hot, carefully return the mixing bowl to the electric mixer.
6. Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg mixture on high until stiff, glossy peaks and the outside of the mixing bowl returns to room temperature.
7. Turn down the mixer to medium-low, and add in the butter, a few tablespoons at a time.
8. Once the butter is incorporated, stop the mixer and swap the whisk for the paddle attachment.
9. Add in the vanilla and beat until smooth.
10. Adding in only a tablespoon or two at a time, beat in the strawberry puree (NOTE: forcing in that much liquid into the buttercream might be difficult and cause it to split. Work in small batches and keep beating until smooth).
– 6 to 8 medium strawberries
– 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
– pinch salt
Blend in a food processor until fairly smooth. It is okay if some small chunks are still present.
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons white corn syrup
1. Place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside.
2. Gently heat the cream and corn syrup until the cream begins to steam and barely come to a simmer.
3. Pour the cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.
4. Stir in pinch salt, if desired.
5. Place chocolate glaze in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes before dripping over the finished cake.
– Let the cakes completely cool before trimming off the tops to make them level.
– Use a few sliced strawberries to add to the strawberry buttercream for the filling.
– Chill the frosted cake before adding the chocolate glaze (see tips for more info).
– Store any leftover buttercream in the refrigerator for about 1 week or in the freezer (sorry, there might be leftovers with such a small cake).