Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Floral Fondant Zucchini Carrot Cake

Tuesday was my last day of my Gum Paste and Fondant class with Wilton.  We had to do only one cake for the class --at the very end.  Thank goodness for that since my daughters birthday party nearly knocked me on my rear end.

I researched for a design from the first day of class.  But I hadn't quite decided on what to do until the Sunday before my last class.  I was initially so caught up in trying out a new cake flavor that I sort of put the design on the back burner.  I ended up going with something I knew would be good, in fear I would be left with some disappointing, dry cake.

For me, design always mattered in my cakes but flavor always took the front seat.  I think this is because I've had cakes time and time again at countless weddings, only to be left disappointed.  Lets face it, wedding cake tastes like crap.  Its always dry, the frosting tastes like a spoonful of gritty sugar, (reminiscent of a grocery store cake), and the designs most times remind me of something out of an 80's music video.  I don't get it.  It shouldn't be complicated.  Most times, simple is just better.  And if its good, who really cares?

But I care.  I care about it all.  I want it to look good, and I want it to taste good!

So after leafing through my Wilton instruction book I wasn't completely satisfied and turned to the net.  What did people do before Google?

I found this beautiful cake and while it didn't really provide much instruction at all on what to do, I knew that if I just got the right molds, I could plop myself in front of the Bachelor and just make it work.  A few hours of molding rose petal leaves, I was worried.  I couldn't quite see the big picture.  I wasn't sure how I was going to put these flowers together, and I wasn't sure if I should wait until they were completely dry (something I didn't really have a lot of time for as time was of the essence at this point).  I tried both methods, proving that these needed to be somewhat dry, and somewhat wet.

From the pictures you can't tell that it was my first time as a novice, but I am of course my worse critic and can see many of the mistakes and flaws.  Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome.  I loved the look, I loved the color, I loved it ALL!

After I added the black center, I was super excited to bring these to class, but also hoping I wasn't going to be in trouble for showing up with flowers that weren't shown to us in class.  HA!

My one problem?  Getting these darn flowers to stick...and stay stuck!  The flowers were so heavy it was a bit of an issue.  If anyone has suggestions....I'm certainly open for them.

I have to say, I came home with a big smile on my face.  I really felt I had accomplished something.  I feel like I've finally begun to figure some things out.  This is what I think I was meant to do.  It's taken 29 years.  I guess its better late than never.  Who knew cake could make you feel this good?

The cake was made with homemade marshmallow fondant.  I used this recipe.

The cake is a Zucchini Carrot Cake.

Zucchini Carrot Spice Cake

Recipe by:  Courtney Monigold
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon clove
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2, 8-inch round cake pans with parchment on the bottom and spray with pam and lightly dust with flour.  Put pans on a large baking sheet.  Set aside.
In large bowl #1: Combine flour, baking powder, kosher salt, baking soda, cinnamon, clove, allspice, vanilla powder, and sugar. Whisk together to combine.
In small bowl #2: Combine eggs, vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk to combine.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Just as the flour mixture is combined, add the zucchini and carrots. Mix only until combined. You do NOT want to over mix the batter.
Divide batter into 2 8-inch round pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes and rotate the pans at the half way point (not before). Mine took about 30 minutes.  I usually start checking my cakes about 5 minutes before I think it will be done.  When the cake tester comes out clean, it's done.

The frosting is an Swiss Meringue Buttercream
from Martha Stewart.  I will mention as a side note, that SMB is extremely soft at room temp.  With that said, the filling sometimes can ooze out.  While this is the frosting of choice for me (its SO darn good), It can be extremely difficult to work with when fondant is concerned.  I refrigerated my frosted cake overnight before covering with fondant.  Generally, though refrigerating a cake can dry it out.  Thankfully, this cake, it was not an issue at all.  For the recipe, click here.


Dana said...

This turned out beautiful! Seriously, you put the Wilton cakes to shame! Did you decide if you're going to take the flowers class (again)?

Sweet as Coco said...

Thanks Dana! Your's looked great too--I need to see a final picture!

I may just take the class to get more practice. ;)