Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Decorated Cake In A Hurry

Dear Hubby was bragging about my delicious cakes at work and his supervisor asked him if I would make a cake to celebrate PeriAnestheisa Nurse Week.  He comes home all excited and tells me the news.  I say, "Make a cake for peri whosit whatsit week?!"  He excitedly tells me that's what he and his fellow coworkers are called.  I know he works in Same Day Surgery and I know he's an RN, but I didn't know he was a PeriAnestheisa Nurse.  So, I quiz him on what kinds of things they do trying to get a feel for how I should decorate this cake.  I really needed to talk to a woman, because after talking to him I really had no creative ideas for this cake.
I was so uninspired by this cake that I completely forgot I was supposed to make until the day before.  I still had no ideas on how to decorate it.  I thought though that I better get it baked and frosted at the very least and worry about decorating it then.  I did my ususal half yellow and half chocolate.  It covers all bases and still to this day everyone is amazed there are 2 flavors.  It's really not amazing at all.  I take 2 cake mixes (I prefer Duncan Hines).  I mix them both up doing vanilla first, so I don't have to wash the bowl and beater between mixing.  I put the vanilla in a separate bowl.  Then mix the chocolate cake mix.  I then pour both cake mixes at the same time in my prepared cake pan.  I try to make sure they go to the half way line and empty as much as will pour out on it's own.  I then scrape each bowl to their respective sides and bake.
While cake cools I mix up the frosting.  I use the Wilton Buttercream recipe except I double the shortening and don't use butter.  I also in addition to the vanilla extract I also add one teaspoon of Wilton's Butter flavored extract.  This frosting smells so wonderful anyone in the house will start circling your kitchen again, because you've already shooed them out after the cake came out of the oven.

I took a Wilton's Cake Decorating class at my local craft store about 15 years ago and I think the one technique that I learned and still impresses me the most was this large decorating tube.  This one tube probably shaved 1 to 2 hours off my decorating time.  I know longer do a crumb coat.  That step always frustrated me.  Plus I'd have to frost the whole cake and then frost it again.  Now I do it once.
Wilton had use over lap the strips of frosting with the large tube, but personal preference for a tad less frosting makes me space them out a bit.  Above I've filled the cake.  I slice the big sheet cake in half length wise using another handy dandy Wilton tool called the cake levelor.  I used it to level the cake and slice it in half for the filling.  How do I get the top off to fill the cake without breaking it in half.  I use the pan I baked it in.  I slide it on to the bottom of the cake pan.  Then to put it back on I line edges up and slide the cake pan out from under the cake.  It's more or less a controlled fall.  One can still ease it into to place if it falls slightly off kilter.  One thing I must stress is if your cake cracks or breaks frosting is your friend.  Frost covers a multitude of sins.  I've never had anyone say with alarm, "I'm not eating this cake it has a crack in it!"
As you can see the tube frosts a whole side of the cake in a couple seconds.
Then I frost the whole cake.  One doesn't have to be perfect as you will be running a spatula or a plain ole butter knife over the top of the frosting to make sure it's adhered to the cake and smoothed out as best you can.
Again you don't have to smooth it out perfectly either.  After it's smoothed as best as I can get it with a spatula I let it sit and dry for a few minutes.  Then I take a clean paper towel to it.  I lay the paper towel on the cake.  I hold the towel by the edge with my left hand and gently rub the cake threw the paper towel.  Then I lift the towel up.  If it sticks to the cake let it dry a bit longer.  You will reach a stage where the paper towel will not stick.  I proceed to rub the whole cake with the paper towel.  It's amazing how you can smooth and even mold the frosting.  Making it smooth and even giving it the pattern of the paper towel. 
This is another thing people are amazed with... "How did you get the cake so smooth and with that interesting pattern."  My mom used a clean "for cake only" sponge.  That made a nice texture too.

Now the cake was frosted and I had to get creative.  This is usually my favorite part, but since I had no real idea how to decorate it for this occasion I just winged it.  I knew the cake would be extra tasty and they'd forgive my lack of creativity.  One thing my husband kept stressing was how much time the spent on the telephone talking to patient families, doctors and setting up appointments.  So, I knew I'd put a telephone on it.  While mixing the color for the phone I realized it started out a bandaide color.  So, I asked DH do you guys ever use bandaides.  Yes, was the answer.  So, I drew on a couple bandaides before I tweaked the frosting color to brown.  My daughter and I decided blue should be the color of the words.  I wanted to get them on next to make sure I had room for all that writing.  That's when I noticed the medicine syringe had blue writing on it that match my blue frosting perfectly. That is another thing my husband said they did a lot of. Administering medicine by mouth. So, I put a cute little syringe on it.  At this point I felt the decorating balanced out and I was done.  I didn't feel very creative, but I knew know one would throw it away.
DH told me he took the cake in and hid it.  BUT as I mentioned above even wrapped up my frosting smells incredibly good.  The hunt was on.  People were calling DH asking where the cake was, because they could smell it and wanted a piece.  DH was saving it for the boss thinking she should be the one to bring it out and slice it.  DH said had he not hid the cake by the time the boss got in it would have been sliced up.  His boss loved it.  Everyone who initially asked for a small piece came back for seconds.

And BTW this cake took me about 4 hours from baking to delivery.  I wasn't working every minute as things needed to cool and or dry.  Some might pop out to the store for a cake, but I like spending the time and having a delicious cake.


jan said...

Oh, wow, your blog title describes you perfectly. I would have hit the bakery and put some bowls and pans to soak, but that's just me.

CathyR said...

Awesome cake, you are so talented. I love your decorating tip about using a paper towel to smooth out the frosting.

Scraplin said...

Lynne I am way behind in catching up on blog reading. I loved how this cake turned out! It is very clever, and you did a really good job of making it smooth and level. I use VIVA papertowels for that extra smooth look, because they have no pattern on the towel. I also use that large tip to frost my cakes. I cant hardly do without it anymore!