Thursday, July 7, 2011

Red, White, and Blue Funfetti Cake (Part 2)

It was 10:30 Saturday night and I was standing in my kitchen with my cake that was rapidly defrosting.  I had free-handed a stencil of the United States, cut it out, and had it placed over my cake.  I cut into it with a small paring knife and the knife got stuck.  I kept hacking away at it, following the stencil, and after about 2 minutes it got much easier.  I got a rough shape of the US but something looked quite not right.  I had attached Maine and the tips of Texas and Florida with the left over royal icing from the cookies because anyone who has ever worked with royal icing knows it doubles as a fantastic cement.  I called my mom in and looked at my stencil and realized the region of the Great Lakes was what was throwing me off.  So I cut out both parts of Michigan and cemented those on too.  That looked better.  I covered up the cake and let it defrost until the next morning.
This was the stencil I made, some adjusting
was needed

While I was carving my cake, I absentmindedly was snacking on the pieces I had carved off.  And all of a sudden it hit me - it was actually good!  A recipe that I had made up myself was actually good!  A little dense, but I don't know if that was because I used too much butter or if the butter was too warm or if I used too many eggs or not enough baking soda.  Well, at least now I have my own original cake recipe to work off of...and the one I had come up with still tasted delicious.

The next step was decorating the cake.  I had bought the perfect tips for making the giant stripes and stars (I actually didn't end up using this star tip, but it'll be great for icing cupcakes.  I used this one instead).  I made my buttercream icing using the recipe I had created and dyed them and let them sit in the fridge so the colors could deepen.  I unwrapped the cake, placed it on my turntable, and filled my piping bags.  I know disposable bags are wasteful but I really didn't want the red and blue icing to ruin my featherweight bags; plus you need a disposable bag for the Wilton 789 tip since it is huge!  I made the stripes, stars, and piped a blue border around the outside because the bottom of the cake is always so messy.

The finished product!
Everyone at the party loved the cake and I made sure to get the perfect picture of it to submit to the contest.  I'm happy with the way the cake turned out and I kept telling myself I couldn't be too critical since I did carve the thing by hand and not from a mold.  I'm excited to use this recipe again and adapt it to create other flavors of cake.  There are a lot of birthdays this summer...

The contest?  It looks like I missed the deadline.  The main page on the website said the deadline to submit the application was 7/6/2011 at 12:00pm.  The official rules (which I read) said the deadline was at 7/6/2011 at 11:59pm.  I had the window open all morning with my application and finally submitted it at around 9:30 last night, at which point the Facebook page went kind of screwy and my submission didn't show up in the "view entries" page.  I tried to email someone from Epicurious about the conflicting details, but I highly doubt someone will actually read it.  I waited so long to submit my project because I was being super paranoid and didn't want anyone to see my submission and then adapt it and submit a slightly better version of mine.  It's a huge bummer because after looking at everyone's entries, I think mine definitely stood a chance.  But, it's my own fault, I had the entry ready for 3 days, I should have submitted it yesterday morning when I had the window open.  The prizes weren't to die for, but it would have been pretty awesome to win a contest for something I had created.  Maybe next year...

Now that I have created my own recipe, I understand why other food bloggers constantly credit each other and the original source.  Please remember that if you choose to use the recipes listed on my site to always credit back to this site or, where applicable, the original site from where the recipe may have been adapted from.  Feel free to share the recipes found here and adapt them to your heart's content!

Red, White, and Blue Funfetti Cake
Ali B original
Makes 1 13x9 in. pan

For the cake:
- 2 1/3 c flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 1/3 c sugar
- 3 lg egg whites
- 1 2/3 c milk
- 1/3 c red, white, and blue sprinkles (not sugar crystals)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
The buttercream icing should look fluffy

For the buttercream icing
- 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 c vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 c confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp merengue powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 c milk
- 1/2 tbsp water (may use more or less depending on consistency)

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a 13x9 pan and coat lightly with granulated sugar.  Shake out any excess sugar.

To make the cake, combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside

Put egg whites in a bowl and whip until fluffy, about 3 minutes on high.  Set aside.

With a beater, combine butter and sugar and beat until creamy.  Add half of the milk, combine, then add half of the flour mixture and combine.  Repeat.  Add in the vanilla.  With a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites until they are just incorporated then do the same with the sprinkles.  Be careful not to over-mix. 

Pour cake batter into pan and cook for 30 – 35 minutes, checking often, and removing from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing, combine butter and vegetable shortening in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Add vanilla extract and salt.

Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time and incorporate completely after each addition.  The icing will appear dry after adding all of the sugar.  Add the merengue powder.

Red, white, and blue icing. I added a touch of
black in order to get a navy blue. 
Add milk and beat until light and fluffy, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Scoop into piping bag affixed with desired tip and add water as necessary to make the icing easy to pipe.  Dye icing and decorate as desired.

Note: Because of the milk in the icing, icing should be stored in the refrigerator if not using that day.

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