Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy birthday, K!

I wanted to post this yesterday...but I came home to a house without power (it had been out for almost 5 hours) and didn't get it back until noon today.  Great fun!  Anyway, this past Wednesday, K turned 3!  She's quite into princesses right now, so last Saturday we had a princess party.
The plan was to have it at the park; but upon arriving, the wind began to whip, even making the pink paper lanterns roll away across the park, and dark clouds rolled in.  We packed everything up just in time because by the time I got back in the car after strapping K into her car seat, it was pouring cats and dogs.  K was NOT a happy princess!  She was screaming "My paaar-tyyyyy!  The paa-aaark!"  Forget that you couldn't see two feet in front of you...she wanted to stay.  Finally we reassured her that we were still having her party and would come to the park later.

Thankfully, Anna offered her house for the party.  When we arrived, we quickly hung the lanterns and balloon wreath.  It was a party set for a princess!

There was pizza, grapes, strawberries...and cheese puffs.  Apparently, those are necessary for a birthday party.  Go figure!

Then K opened presents.  She got lots of fun things and seemed to enjoy herself.  After that was cake time.  I decided to make a castle cake...and then, under inspiration from Sweetnicks, decided to make it a RAINBOW castle!
Much to my delight, the inside turned out great!  I got a bit frustrated when I was making the castle.  The cake itself was made in one of those large cupcake pans.  Then I covered sugar ice cream cones with white chocolate almond bark and put them on top of the cake for turrets.

The frustration came at this point...the smaller turrets kept kicking out...they wouldn't sit flat.  K even came up to me and said "What you need, Claire?"  So sweet!  At that point, I took a deep breath and thought...hello!  Cut out some cake so that it can sit flat!  Perfect!  K loved the cake.  She asked if a princess was inside.  :-)  I did make the cake from scratch and felt that it turned out perfectly.  A little bit denser than your typical cake mix...but it was fresh and nicely flavored.

White Cake from King Arthur
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs whites plus 1 whole large egg
1 cup fat free vanilla yogurt or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare pan with Baking spray (contains flour...this stuff is GREAT!) (two 8" x 2" or 9" x 2" round pans; a 9" x 13" pan; or 2 standard cupcake pans (20 to 24 cupcakes) - I used a large silicone cupcake pan putting half the batter in the bottom and half the batter in the top.).

Mix all of the dry ingredients on slow speed to blend. Add the soft butter and mix until evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. It may form a paste, depending on the temperature of the butter and how much it's mixed.  Add the egg whites one at a time, then the whole egg, beating well after each addition to begin building the structure of the cake. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. 

In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt (or milk) with the vanilla extract. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans. For cupcake pan, bake 45 minutes - check 35 minutes in.  (Bake for 25 to 35 minutes for 8" or 9" rounds; 36 to 42 minutes for a 9" x 13" x 2" sheet cake; or 18 to 20 minutes for cupcakes. A toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean when done.) Remove from the oven, and allow to cool.  Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

*For rainbow cake, divide the batter into equal portions (six for full rainbow) and make desired colors.  If using a cupcake pan, put red, orange, yellow batters into bottom pan (from bottom up) and purple, blue, green in top pan (from tip (small end) up).  To get vibrant colors you will need to use a lot of food coloring.

12 tablespoons butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter in a mixer.  Add in 4 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Add salt.  Then add milk.  The icing was perfect at this point for me.  If you desire it to be thicker, add more sugar.

Castle Cake
Bake cake in a large cupcake pan and allow to cool completely.
Trim cake so that it fits together well.  Apply icing between layers to keep it steady.
Now ice the entire cake.  For turrets, cover sugar ice cream cones with white chocolate candy coating.  Once set, place one cone on the top center of the cake.  Wherever you desire the next turret to be placed, make a small cut into the top of the cake.  You can make the imprint of the cone into the cake so you know exactly how much to cut out.  Place the cone in this cut-out.  To make a small turret, simply cut the tip of a cone off with a sharp knife.  Decorate in your desired colors and with your desired decor!  I did a door, window, and some defensive windows (where you can shoot arrows but not be injured...this was D's suggestion and I liked it!).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you blogged this. When I saw it on your fb, I was looking forward to how you made it. Incredible!