Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Music Themed 80th Birthday Cake (and IMBC Recipe)
For my Great Uncle (mom's uncle) who has been singing in choirs his entire life. The 9" round cake was White Almond Sour Cream (WASC) filled with fresh strawberries and Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC) - Delish! (recipe below). The outside was covered in Vanilla/Almond IMBC, hand-piped black Color Flow and finished off with a red fondant bow and "80".
This was my 1st bow and I was so proud of how real it looked. Thank you Edna (www.DesignMeACake.com) for the wonderful tuturial that you can find here.
IMBC is soft like whipped cream and doesn't crust at all. I love using the upside down method to get tall, straight sides and sharp corners with: I also do this with ganache and regular buttercream cakes too. Put in the fridge to get firm (IMBC is just like butter - hard when cold, soft at room temperature), remove, flip the cake over then put back in the fridge until you are ready to decorate it.
During the entire decorating process, I kept sticking the cake in the fridge for a couple minutes at a time to firm up. Added the red, fondant ribbon around the bottom, put the cake back in the fridge, piped the "Happy", put in fridge, piped "Birthday", put in fridge...repeat, repeat, repeat until all the piping was complete.
I'm not very good at piping and take a very, very long time with each and every letter and music note, carefully fixing each stroke with a wet brush or toothpick. I did try to pipe out all the letters and music notes a few days prior in dark chocolate but I didn't temper it correctly and they had beige swirls all over them. Then I tried to pipe them in Color Flow over wax paper but they cracked as I pealed them off so I had to pipe them directly over the cake - holding my breath with each stroke and being super careful - ay yay yay!
Finished the cake off by adding the red bow and "80" both of which were made from red mmf mixed with tylose a few days prior to allow time to dry. Put the entire cake back in the fridge so it would be firm and stable for the long drive to my Great Uncle's 80th Birthday party. Everyone loved the cake especially the filling and every single slice of it was gone, eaten, enjoyed! Happy Birthday Uncle!
Here is the recipe for IMBC. 1 Recipe (approx. 8 cups) was plenty enough to fill and cover a 9" round plus, when making it, it fits perfectly in a 5Qt mixer (if you need to make more, make it in a separate batch). I included the weight of each ingredient since I prefer to weigh each rather than to measure.
Recipe - IMBC (Whimsical Bakehouse):
1/2 Cup Water (118g)
2-1/4 Cups (500g) Granulated Sugar (500g)
1 Cup Egg Whites (approximately 6-10 eggs, 236 g)
6 Sticks Unsalted Butter (1.5 lbs or 680g), cut into 1" pieces and at room temperature
1 Tspn Pure Vanilla Extract (or any other flavor preferred - I used 1/2 Vanilla and 1/2 Almond)
In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil using a clean brush and cold water to wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan as it is heating (any crystals will ruin/collapse the IMBC). As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, set a timer to 7 minutes and continue to let it boil.
After 5 minutes, whip on high spead the egg whites with a stand mixer until stiff. They will be done when the timer goes off (2 mins). With mixer still on high, slowly (very slowly) pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg whites. Continue to beat on high until the bowl is cool to the touch (about 10-15 mins). After the mixture is cool add the butter, 1 piece at a time. As soon as the buttercream begins to curdle and jump around, reduce the spead to low, add the extract, and continue to mix until buttercream becomes smooth, light and fluffy (approx. 10 mins).
Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the fridge for 1 week, in the freezer for 1 month. Be sure to bring it back down to room temperature before beating it back up fluffy again.
Strawberry Puree for Strawberry IMBC:
1/4 Cup fresh strawberries, diced
1 Tspn granulated sugar
1 Cup IMBC
Spinkle the strawberries with sugar, mix, cover, place in fridge for 1 hour or overnight. Blend the strawberry mixture in a blender, strain out the junks and seeds and fold the strawberry puree into 1 cup of IMBC. Spread between the cake layers and top with fresh strawberries....Enjoy!