Thursday, July 31, 2014

Petal Cake with Description

Repost from 8/26/13
Petal Cake for 85th Birthdays
Jon's parents celebrated their 85th birthdays last week and we wanted to make them a special cake.  I found a photo of a similar cake online and thought it was beautiful and a little different than a standard border piped "Happy Birthday" number.  With a little further research, I found that it was called a petal cake, after flower petals and it was quite easy to do.  The main trick is to use stiff frosting, so that it will hold peaks.  Some bakers alternate colors, like on a rainbow, but we wanted to do an "ombre" or gradient of Jon's mother's favorite colors.
There are some wonderful tutorials and directions out there, but of course, we modified ours to fit our needs.  Here are some links for those: Culinary Culture blog has a beautiful blue ombre tutorial, Bird on a Cake has an elegant all white version, and the Boy who Bakes has a video on youtube.
Attached is our version...
We used piping bags because I have them and am comfortable with them, but you don't need them.  You can make piping triangles rolling a piece of parchment into a cone or you could simply fill plastic quart sandwich bags with frosting, sealing them and snipping a hole in the side.  If you can pipe a dollop or dab, you can make this cake.

We started with 3 layers of cake (2 marble and a chocolate middle.  We filled buttercream frosting between layers.

Then we did a crumb coat (meaning we used enough frosting to coat the cake, but wasn't concerned with appearance).  We set the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to set and the we were ready to decorate.
We made a double batch of buttercream frosting and tinted four shades of orange - from yellow orange to deep orange. I was careful to put the tiniest of orange in the yellow, just so the colors would coordinate.  I left the white pure...
 Then, we started our process.  It was long and drawn out, but produced great results for a special occasion. I piped dollops or dabs up the cake and across the radius of the top.
 Then, Ashley went to work, smooshing and smudging each dab.  She started at the bottom and worked her way up, cleaning the spoon in between each smoosh.  We used a baby spoon because our dabs were tiny, but you can do this with any size dab, just use a similar size spoon to the dab.
We went all the way around the cake, leaving the top unfinished.
The big question was, "how are we going to do that last row?"
It was simple.... I just piped dabs on top of the previous tail and Ash made the tiniest of indentations to suggest a tail.  It blended surprisingly well.

 The cake was a hit... Everyone loved it.  They all wanted to know how we did it. I couldn't keep it a secret, but they didn't seem to believe that it was really that easy.  Time consuming, yes, but not complicated.

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