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Friday, December 3, 2010

Booze Cakes: Cookbook Post/Modeling Chocolate Rose Attempt

I got the book "Booze Cakes" by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone and couldn't wait to start baking. I normally add booze to most of my baked goods, so this book was perfect for me. The book's website can be found here:, and there is a facebook page as well:!/pages/Booze-Cakes/259212436541
After my first perusal of the book the first recipe I was dying to try was the Pink Champagne Cake, which the book's publisher has been kind enough to allow me to share:

For this cake you will need:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter- softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 egg whites
a few drops red food coloring
2 cups Champagne

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, Grease and flour two 9" cake pans
                                                      (I used the baking spray with flour in it and used a 3' deep 8" pan)
2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl beat butter and sugar 3 to5
         minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat in egg whites one at a time

Weighing my Ingredients
O.k.; I will admit to usually just ignoring it when recipes say add eggs/egg whites one at a time because it just means more dirty dishes, but since I was going to be writing about this one I dutifully lined up six little bowls with an egg white each 
I usually cook up the extra yolks for the doggies. From what I have read, dogs can't get salmonella poisoning, but you shouldn't feed them raw eggs anyway because some enzyme or something blocks their absorption of biotin
Of course I am still left with the shells. I try to be as environmentally friendly as I can (re-usable shopping bags which I sometimes even remember to bring to the store, natural cleaners, I bring recyclables I can't recycle in my county to my mom's house where they can be, etc... But I really have no interest in composting. So my compromise is to save all my biodegradables and just chuck them into the back 40 at our house (I live in the country). It is actually pretty fun to hurl potatoes, cabbage, apples etc... out the back door- though my throwing skills are quite pathetic.
But I digress...Where were we? Ah yes, the butter, sugar, egg whites and vanilla are happily mixing away in the Kitchen Aid

3. Mix in food coloring. Beat in flour mixture and Champagne in three alternating additions, starting and ending with flour to prevent curdling (mine curdles anyway) Pour batter into pans and bake 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

After setting aside Champagne for the cake batter and frosting, I had a little leftover, which I poured myself in the closest thing I have to a champagne flute:

For the frosting you will need:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup Champagne
1/4 cup whole milk
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
a few drops red food coloring

4. For the frosting: In a mixing bowl, beat butter 1 minute. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, Champagne, milk, vanilla, and food coloring; beat until smooth and creamy

Sifting the powdered sugar
I might have added or measured something wrong, but I needed to add a lot more powdered sugar to get the correct consistency. Personally, I think this would be excellent with a cream cheese frosting instead.

5. Once cake has cooled completely, place bottom layer on a cake plate and spread half the frosting overtop. Add top layer and cover with frosting.

Now for the decorating. This cake was for the mother of my friend I had made the Ramones cake for. They share the same birthday and both cakes were for the same day. I decided to try my hand at modeling chocolate roses. I decided to try 3 different methods. first up: using the 3 petal cutters in the Wilton Gum Paste Flower Cutter/Book; to start, I kneaded my modeling chocolate and rolled it out as thin as I could
Then cut petals, some of each size:
Once again, I wasn't very good about taking enough pictures, This Wilton gum paste rose tutorial shows the basic process I followed (just in their instructions they use a single cutter and divide into three petals)

Meh, It looked o.k. (I'd have to say this picture looks better than the real thing); but because it was modeling chocolate I kept mushing things together because of the heat of my hands)
Next up, another Wilton product, that just as with the Flower Set, I had purchased years ago and never used til recently: the Step-Saving Rose Bouquet Cutter Kit. This technique uses a five-petal shaped cutter to start:
You cut indentations to further separate the petals:
Then, ruffle the edges with a ball tool, and cup the center with a dog-bone tool. For more pictures of the process, here's a tutorial I found on the Sew Can Do blog.
You slide the petals up on a support (I used spaghetti) that has a cone of modeling chocolate for the rose center. Then you fold up the petals around it:
Finished rose #2, again, I thought these were pretty fugly in real life, though they seemed to photograph well enough

Lastly, I tried a technique from this video tutorial from the Chocolate Addict. Definitely the most artistic tutorial I've seen. Check out her blog, I know I'll be going back for more chocolate techniques.
As in the tutorial, you start this rose with a bunch of circles:

Then, run a spoon around the edges to flatten the edges, (I also pulled the circle out a bit on one side first for a more petal-y look); Then start wrapping them around each other to form a rose

After I had done my three roses, I was going to give them a little dusting with luster dust, but I accidentally grabbed the brush I had dipped into cocoa powder to "antique" the bricks in the Ramones cake, resulting in a god-awful looking rose. I tried dusting the others with a pinky-shimmer color (also resulting in much ugliness). In the end I tossed the fuglies and decided to go with just rose petals, using the circle petal technique. For some color contrast I also cut out some green leaves
And, voila! It's o.k. is all I can say.

But, it tasted wonderful, and the birthday girl seemed to like it, so it counts as a win!
Can't wait to try more recipes from Booze Cakes, too bad I can't think of an appetizing way to cake-i-tize a gin and tonic.

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