Sunday, April 8, 2012

EASTER! A little cake with a lot of stuff!

I called dibs on making the cake for Easter this year.  You'd think that having a baking blog would entitle me to first dibs on all desserts for holidays but no such luck.  I'm not the only caker in this family.  So I wanted to make something simple and sortof small. I made a pretty simple almond cake - just one layer in a 9X13 pan.  And I've been wanting to make sheep cupcakes for a while so I thought it would be cute to have the sheep sortof grazing in a field. So when you wait until the day before Easter to get some supplies, you'll be sorry to find that everyone is making sheep cupcakes and has already snatched up the white miniature marshmallows from your grocery store.  Now anyone could just have settled for the multi-color minis but not this baker.  I recently saw some sheep for the first time (don't judge - I'm more of a city baker) and I know for a fact that they are not pink or mint green.  So I stood glaring at the empty marshmallow shelf for a while and checked out the other carts in aisle so I could start a marshmallow fist fight.  In my day dreaming of throwing down with some granny over one bag of mini-marsh, I had a revelation.  Marshmallows don't grow on trees!  They are made in factory which means I can totally make them at home.  Some phone googling showed me that it's basically just corn syrup, gelatin, sugar and water.  

When I got home, I did a full search and settled on the Smitten Kitchen recipe. I halved it and I used merigue powder instead of just egg whites or egg white powder.  It worked totally fine but the recipe didn't say how much of it to use so for my half recipe I used about 1/4 cup and a half cup of water to whip up into the stiff peaks.   I followed the recipe closely and even busted out my candy thermometer.  The only difference was that instead of pouring the marshmallow onto into a 9X13 pan, I used a piping bag to drop little round mini-marshmallows onto a powdered sugar covered pan.  The half recipe was way more than enough and my minis set in the fridge after only a few hours.  

So then it was just a small task to attach these little guys to cupcakes to make the adorable little sheep.  I just used a white buttercream on a vanilla upwrapped cupcake to make them stick.  

Then I just popped on a white jordon almond for a head and some tootsie roll feet and pink marshmallow ears.  

But sheep on a cake does not make Easter so I covered my original cake with fondant and then busted out a new toy: The Duff Airbrush Machine!

Where else would some sheep hang out except a green field full of flowers?  So first step was to spray the cake green.

Next, use leftover fondant and another new toy!  The Wilton Gum Paste Flowers Set.  The blue flower punches (in FOUR sizes!) from this set are so awesome and easy. Just like a cookie cutter that puts an imprint in the flower and then a little mat comes with it to imprint the other side too.  So fun!  I busted out over 100 flowers in less than an hour!  Then the only thing left to do was paint them.  Since my airbrush was set up and looking for some action I took white flowers to purple, pink and orange to make a fun floral collage.  

I bordered the cake with a thick bead of purple buttercream and stuck the flowers all around along with some large sprinkle dots.   And here it is!

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