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Blog Archive - January 15, 2012

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January 15, 2012 - Double-Heart Cake
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You may have noticed, I already posted one blog about a heart cake on my Mother's Day Heart Cake Blog from last year. With Valentine's Day less than a month away, I started thinking about other Valentine's-Day cake ideas ... something that hadn't been made a thousand times before. Then it struck me: two hearts are better than one:

Double-Heart Cake

To make this cake, you'll need a Cake-Shaping Strip (look here about how to make one), heavy-duty aluminum foil, a sheet pan, prepared cake batter (see the Red-Velvet Yellow-Cake-Mix recipe below or use about 1 box of cake mix), white frosting (see the Cream-Cheese Buttercream Frosting recipe below or use about 2 (16-ounce) containers of store-bought chocolate frosting), and red food dye.

First, make a Cake-Shaping Strip as described here using seven sushi-mat segments. Line a sheet pan with a sheet of aluminum foil. Shape the strip into a shape of a double heart (see below). I tried to overlap the hearts a little bit, and, as you can see in the pictures elsewhere, the final cake showed very little overlap. So, do what I've consistently said for months, and what I somehow have a problem doing: exaggerate the spatial features. Wrap the bottom foil sheet around the strip. Cut the foil or add extra bottom foil strips as needed to wrap around the strip. Press small balls of loosely packed foil into outer corners or edges if you think that the foil didn't wrap around the portion well enough to prevent cake-batter leakage.

Double-Heart Cake

Now prepare your cake batter. I thought that a Red Velvet cake would be a great option for this type of cake. Not only does it have a great, bold color, but it's uncommon enough to make any special guests really think that you gave the cake some extra thoughts. Here are three options for making Red Velvet batter (though I'm sure you can come up with others):

(1) Just make batter from a Red Velvet cake mix and make it according to package instructions. But, if you're like me, you've never thought ahead enough to buy a special mix and thus must relay on the ingredients you have on-hand. If that's your situation, and you're still excited about the Red Velvet possibility, see options 2 and 3:

(2) Convert a yellow or white cake mix into Red Velvet batter by: (1) substituting the water called for on the box of the mix with buttermilk or milk and 1 tablespoon vingear; (2) adding 3 tablespoons cocoa powder; and (3) adding red food dye. Otherwise, follow the package directions for making the batter.

(3) Make a denser version of Option #2 using the recipe below.

The recipe below seemed fitting for the holiday, given it's bright red color. Nevertheless, it's unique enough to look like you really put in some extra effort.

Red-Velvet Yellow-Cake-Mix Cake
Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix (or white cake mix)
1 (3.9.ounce) box vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cups sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Red food dye (gel food dye recommended)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pan with cooking spray.

2. Beat the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, milk, oil, cocoa powder and vinegar together. Add red food dye to turn batter dark pink.

3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.

*****

After separating the cake strip from the cake, this is how it looked:

Double-Heart Cake

As you may know, I decorated my football cake from my last blog with a buttercream frosting. I loved it. So this time around, I opted for another buttercream frosting. This time, no nutella (which would seem to make the color more brown than what I was looking for), and instead - cream cheese.

Cream-Cheese Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
2 pounds (1 bag) powdered sugar

Instructions:
1. Beat together the softened butter ad softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.

2. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar.

*****

Now dye all or part of your frosting as you please. You can make part or all of it pink or red, and, if you so choose, keep part of it white. Consider the fact that you'll have two hearts to frost and two hearts to decorate, so it will likely look nice to use multiple colors. I went with red light pink, and white.

Frost both hearts on the cake with a medium-thick layer of the frosting. Place the cake in the refrigerator, and let the frosting completely dry. Then dampen a knife or icing spatula with water, and smooth over any "wrinkles" in your frosting. This will make your base frosting layer look very smooth.

Once you're done, add some decorations. I piped on a border, some hearts and dots with my pink frosting. Then I added my text "Love" and "You" using some left-over white and red frosting (complementing the base-frosting layer). Next time around, I might do away with the pink frosting and use white frosting for all of the red-heart decorating and red decorations for all of the white-heart decorating. Regardless, don't spend too much time stressing about decorations. Be sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy the special-day event - be it an engagement party, wedding celebration, anniversary celebration, or Valentine's day.

Double-Heart Cake
Red Velvet Cake

 

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