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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Zebra Coconut Cake and Lion King Cake!

Hello, all! I have been away for a bit due to wrapping up the holiday season and going on a mini-vacay with my Betrothed for our anniversary (9 years!)

I recently made two birthday cakes that I would like to share with you. The first one is a zebra coconut cake. I was given free reign to design a coconut cake for an 18-year-old's birthday, so I went with something most teenage girls like (or at least wouldn't mind)-- zebra print! So I started on the coconut cake. I wanted to go with quick and easy so I went for a mix-based recipe.
I mixed the cake according to the package but added 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut extract and 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes. Then into two 8" pans they go...
I like to weigh my pans to make sure they are equally distributed. I don't want uneven layers!

Sidenote: I'm getting a new kitchen scale. More on that later...

 After the cake has cooled, I filled it with vanilla buttercream and added a little sprinkle of extra coconut.

I iced the cake in more vanilla buttercream and got to work on the stripes. I decided to shoot a tiny video to illustrate how to put on the zebra stripes. But! It ended up upside-down when I went to review it! Yeeeea, I definitely don't know how to shoot or edit video... So if anyone knows how to fix this, I would live to be able to put my first video up! In the meantime, I'll explain how I got my zebra stripes on.

To start, I rolled out black fondant to about 1/8" thick. Then I cut pointy-ended stripes that started in the center of the top of the cake. Then I alternated those with different length skinny triangles on the bottom, making sure the flat side of the triangles met the bottom.

I topped the cake off with a bit more of shredded coconut and numbers made of a mix of milk and white chocolate. The birthday girl loved it, and so did the party-goers! :)

My next cake was for a two-year old's birthday, and he loves Lion King! I was also given free reign for the design of this cake, so I went with a jungle scene with edible images of the characters. (I must say, I can draw certain things, but getting down the exact features of some Disney characters gets quite tricky). I iced the square cake in white then spread teal on the sides to create a gradating sky then I also spread yellow, orange and red on the top to create a sunset. Since I don't have an airbrush machine, I was able to get a similar effect with this method. I added the edible images and vines on the side and the trees to the top, and voila!

This was also a hit at the party, and I was excited to make Caleb's second birthday cake! (his first one was the Baby Mickey smash cake).

In other news, I have been reading Bouchon Bakery by Sebastien Rouxel and it is really inspiring.
I want to try making all of the recipes in it! I like the little stories that are intertwined in it. It makes me want to just up and fly to Paris to eat all the bread and pastries I can! I noticed that the ingredients in the recipes are weighed. It's apparently the best way to measure to ensure consistency and a quality product. Thus, the need to get a new kitchen scale. I like the manual one that I have, and it's served me well,  but to tare it is a nightmare. So look out for some fancy recipes coming up. Oui oui!
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