It has been a while since I did a Foodie Friday. I’ve been a bit lazy this summer, on the blog and in the kitchen. It was my Dad’s 50th birthday this past weekend however, and I wanted to bake him a cake.
My Dad has many different hobbies but his favourite right now it is sailing so I made a simple sailing themed cake.
I will write about how I put this cake together but I am not a professional and I am sure there are better and easier ways. If you know any of them I’d love to hear them because, the cake was delicious but I made a HUGE mess in the process!
First off I used the same chocolate cake recipe that I used for my birthday cake which I then iced with Mocha Cream Frosting (my mother’s recipe) and then topped it off with vanilla Marshmallow Fondant.
The mocha icing is super easy and delicious; great just on its own. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it though if you do not have an electric mixer. The fondant on the other hand is super sticky and a bit of a pain to make but it tastes better than any other fondant recipe and impresses the pants off of pretty much everybody.
Mocha Cream Icing
- 1c Sugar
- 1/2c Shortening
- 1/2c Butter
- 2t. Cocoa (or to taste)
- 2t. Instant Espresso Powder (or to taste)
Beat ingredients together for 15 minutes in an electric mixer until light and fluffy
The fondant is quite literally a bag of marshmallows melted and a bag of icing sugar mixed together. Marshmallow Fondant Recipe link. This is the second time I have made it and I have to say it was a bit easier the second time around. This video on allrecipes.com shows how to make this recipe but in my experience, it has NOT been that easy or tidy, although I did use their trick of mixing most of it with my mixer before transferring it to the counter to knead which made things better. I also realized how much butter you need to use on your hands and counter to keep it from sticking. A downside is that I felt that I wasted a lot of product that stuck when I transferred it from the mixing bowl but in the end you have oodles of fondant and it is not worth the headache of trying to scrape the bowl perfectly.
Two things I would like to improve on, and if you have tips please post them below! One is transferring the rolled fondant to the cake, and the other is getting perfectly smooth fondant.
I always end up ripping the fondant and getting it stuck to the counter the first time I roll it out. I have tried a few methods and I have found that tons of butter on a clean counter is the first step to solving both problems. I have also found that the easiest method to transfer the rolled sheet onto the cake is to lay plastic wrap over the rolled sheet on the counter, then roll the fondant loosely back on itself with the plastic keeping the fondant from sticking to itself. Keep track of where the middle of the sheet is so that you can position the sheet so it is centred on the cake and covers the sides. Keeping in mind where the centre of the sheet of fondant is, gently unroll it onto the cake.
The sheet of fondant should be too big and drape beyond the sides of the cake. Using a sharp knife, trim the excess, trying to avoid getting any of the icing underneath all over your knife and smearing on the fondant. I got icing everywhere so I then took a paper towel to clean up the cake plater and where I had gotten the fondant dirty with the icing.
I then pinched and poked and smoothed to make the cake look the way I wanted and made a fondant rope to hide my less than perfect edge on the bottom! I then used ribbon and craft foam in navy blue to decorate the cake in a sailing theme.
Cakes are a ton of work but I have a lot of fun making them and it was worth it to help my Dad celebrate this milestone in his life.
Bonus: He loved it! a huge compliment from someone who wouldn’t normally list cake as his favorite dessert!
Happy Birthday Daddy, hope you have an awesome 50th year!