Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Whippet Cake

This weekend a family friend celebrated his birthday and I got to make the cake! I always find coming up with a concept for cakes a bit challenging because it's so hard to capture and represent a person and what they love in a cake. That being said, after brainstorming with my family, I knew Whippet cookies were the way to go! This turned out to be a great idea, everyone at the party was so excited about the Whippets!
I started by making two 14 inch cakes with my go-to chocolate cake recipe. You can find that recipe here! This cake was being made to feed 50+ people, so I tripled my chocolate cake recipe and split it evenly between two 14 inch cake pans. You'll notice that I lined my cake pan with parchment paper, I did this because I hate trying to pull cakes out of their pan and it seems that no matter how carefully I grease the pan, the cake always sticks! The parchment paper leaves little indents in the sides of the cake which is not a problem if you'll be icing over the cake because the icing smooths out the indents.
Next, I made I double recipe of my favorite buttercream frosting. Here's my recipe: Mix together 2 cups of softened butter and 6 tablespoons of vanilla extract using an electric mixer. Once the butter and vanilla are well combined add in 8 cups of icing sugar, mixing with the electric mixer between every cup. Next, whip in 2-4 tablespoons of milk and continue to whip for about a minute to add air to the icing.
I didn't take any pictures of how I assemble the cake because my hands were otherwise occupied :) But, I place the first layer of cake in the center of the board that will hold the cake. Then, I ice that layer. Because it will be the middle of the cake I am not cautious at all about how it looks, I'm just careful to put about a 1/2 inch layer of icing all over the cake so that it doesn't end up lopsided. Then I place the 2nd cake on top of the iced bottom layer, being careful to keep everything centered.
Once my cakes are stacked, I do a crumb layer of icing. This helps me to not have crumbs of chocolate cake in my top layer of icing. The crumb layer is extremely thin and I spread it using a regular knife.
I usually let the crumb layer sit for about 5 minutes. I don't think letting it sit does anything, I just think the longer I let it sit the more crumbs will get locked in - hahaha! I put on a second layer of icing quite generously, being careful to cover ALL of the crumb layer.

Once the second layer of icing is on (this is like the 'top coat'), I use a bench knife to even the icing out and try to make it as smooth as possible. At this point, a lot of icing comes of on the bench knife and I try to re-distribute it over the cake where it is needed. On this particular day, it was ridiculously humid, so my icing was not smoothing out as nicely as it usually does, I recommend keeping all of your work tools as cold and dry as possible while you are working.

I whipped up a little chocolate buttercream frosting to pipe along the edges. I also used the chocolate frosting to stick on the whippets. I recommend keeping the whippets in the fridge until you are ready to work with them - it makes them easier to secure onto the cake! I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this cake, it looked great and it tasted even better!