Sunday, January 10, 2010

What's all the BUZZ about?

This is the cake I made for the Orange Bowl this year.  Apparently, I should have delivered it to our team for inspiration...

The great news about this cake is I took more pictures of the whole process  (which is something I'll also try to do in future posts), so you'll be able to see the construction from beginning to end!

For this cake, I knew I wanted to practice image transfer and putting Buzz, the Georgia Tech mascot, on the cake seemed like a great opportunity to do so. 

In thinking about the cake, I thought I'd make the inside color scheme match the outside.  I decided to do yellow cake with ganache filling-- very similar to the Yellow Jacket colors!

Let's start at the beginning.  I decided to try this yellow cake recipe: David's Yellow Cake
For the record, I used unsalted butter, and a low-protein all purpose flour rather than cake flour.  I probably should have made a proper substitution (you use a little less all purpose flour and a little corn starch) but we'll leave that for next time.

Look how LEVEL they are!!!  I was very excited.

So excited, in fact, that I forgot to wrap them up in a timely fashion because I was busy looking at them.  I think the cake got stale, but by the time I tried some it tasted pretty dry.  I remedied this by pouring on a capful of Kahlua when serving.  I will have to try this recipe again and see if it really is on the dry side or if I just used too much flour or let them sit out too long.

The next step was to create Buzz.  I found a picture of Buzz that I liked and re-sized it appropriately, then printed it.  I decided to try the image transfer by piping Buzz on parchment paper using royal icing, and then carefully removing him after the icing solidified.  I taped down the parchment paper over my printout, and got to it!  I did this using a damming and flooding approach: I piped the outline in a stiffer black icing, then filled in the colors with thinned out icing, using the outlines to contrain the flow.

Shiny.... :)

Now for the Cake Assembly Slide show!

Put your bottom layer on the cake board with a little buttercream to hold it in place.

Pipe a Dam in the color of the outside frosting.  Apply delicious filling-- this is ganache. 

Put on the top layer-- trim the edge if necessary.

Crumb coat!  Then put it in the fridge for a few so it crusts over.

While it's in the fridge, clean up the carnage.  I decided that in my blog, I'm gonna try to keep it real-- I make a MESS.  So if you do too... it's cool.  And if you don't, I'm jealous.  Tell me your secret!

Applying the second coat.  And smooth.  And smooth.  And smooth a little more.  Let crust a little.

Then, I took a Kleenex Viva paper towel (no texture) and gently smoothed out the remaining grooves.

Smooth....  I don't worry about the edge too much since I know I'll be piping a border.

Carefully remove Buzz from the parchment, and place on the cake using  a little buttercream.   It worked, but you can see his antennae broke.   No worries!  Just re-affix with a little leftover royal icing.

A parchment cone.  We have a love/hate relationship. 

More on this in the future, just wanted you to see one.  
You fill it with icing, and fold in the top.  Then you trim the tip to the appropriate size opening.

The finished product!

Top border:  Shells, Tip #18
Bottom border: Shells, Tip #32
Swags, Tip #18-- my first attempt at such!  In the future, I'll divide the cake more carefully, this time I just compensated with a little GT symbol.  

The polka dots are just thinned royal icing piped into a mound on a sil-pat.  Let them dry and just pop them off like little buttons!  Apply with some royal icing.

That's all folks!  


  1. Very nice! I love the way your mascot turned out!!

    I found your blog today when searching for "modeling chocolate". Your post on that is great, too. I hope you use it more soon. :)

    Anyway, I love your stuff.

  2. Thank you so much! I'll be sure to use some more modeling chocolate in the near future. :)