Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
RebeccaT

Cake decorating help please...

Recommended Posts

I am in charge of birthday cakes in our group of friends, a task that I really enjoy. My dear girlfriend is throwing her first dinner party in honor of her husband's birthday, and she has requested a lemon-flavored birthday cake since that is his favorite. No problem - I will do my favorite white cake recipe (which I actually did for her birthday just last month, with different frosting), fill with lemon curd, and do a lemon cream cheese frosting that I love involving lemonade concentrate. Yum.

But.

How do I make this look like a guy's birthday cake? Everything I can think of involves fruit, flowers, and pastel colors!

Or is there a better lemony birthday-ish cake idea out there that would be easier to make look like a boy?

Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your idea sounds good to me. Why don't you color the frosting green and go for golf, fishing, football, or baseball themes. What does this guy like to do in his spare time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lemon poundcake with confectioners sugar glaze makes a manly (boring) cake..............me, I never assume that the presence of flowers will make a man's testicles shrink. :laugh:

Chrysanthemums in yellow and white around the rim of the cake plate, and tall birthday candles on top?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So make it a graphic design instead of flowers. Go with a checkerboard pattern or bold stripes...something innocuous that won't be seen as "foo-fooey", if that's your concern.

edited to clarify


Edited by Toliver (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to the ideas above here are a few more:

For simple designs you could do a package cake (made to look like a gift with bow and gift tag). You could also do a polka dot pattern and vary the size and color of the dots although if you are using a cream cheese icing the dots may want to slide.

If you have Colette's Cakes there is a really neat fish cake in her book which is actually fairly easy to do if you are comfortable working with fondant. And of course sports balls using any of the shaped pans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another neutral but very effective Colette Peters design is this shell cake. But it's fondant too (me and my good pal Deborah above are fondant gals). I suppose it can be done with buttercream, but an airbrush would be needed to do the shading. You don't even need a shell pan. I carved it from a round pan.

gallery_12248_80_1099448431.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about just decorating with fruit? Raspberries or blackberries would be nice, or even candied lemon slices or strawberries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of great ideas already. Also a monogram is very masculine. I like to do scroll decor for a masculine cake. Not the random pattern scroll cakes popular now but a balanced scroll design - scroll borders & stuff. Wheat design border is very masculine. You could use a tan or light brown color maybe a subtle burnt orange worked in.

Also also also - turning leaves would be perfect for a November guys b-day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bunch of great ideas here. So glad you started this thread.

Zig-zag in his favorite colors -- even guys have those. :wink:

Or a sunburst with yellow center flaring out through fall colors in the rays.

Thinking about the checker(chess?)board suggestion -- use fruits as game pieces.

OMG teepee that shell cake is too pretty to eat -- but I bet it was delicious. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to second the fall theme ideas already mentioned. You can easily pipe fern leaves and maybe adorn it with marzipan acorns or even do real sugared leaves (there are some great colors outside right now).

Also think about shape - guys might prefer a square cake to round.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew ya'll would come through with some great ideas! I wish I were comfortable with fondant, but I have never tried it before. Is it hard? I love the idea of a present cake...

I really like the checkerboard and fall theme ideas as well. I had another friend suggest white chocolate leaves... how would I make those? Can I buy the marzipan acorns already made?

He's an attorney, and his hobbies are movies and music. I feel most comfortable making cakes that look like cakes, and not shapes... I did a cowboy boot last year for this same family's son's birthday, and it about killed me. So anything I can do on top of 3 9" layers is what I'd prefer. Although I do have square pans as well, so I might consider that for something different - good suggestion amyd!

You all have got my wheels turning... any other ideas out there? Cakes for guys are hard!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really like the checkerboard and fall theme ideas as well.  I had another friend suggest white chocolate leaves... how would I make those?  Can I buy the marzipan acorns already made?

He's an attorney, and his hobbies are movies and music.  So anything I can do on top of 3 9" layers is what I'd prefer.  Although I do have square pans as well, so I might consider that for something different - good suggestion amyd!

Rebecca,

Be careful with marzipan, not because it's a difficult medium, but because (IMHO) you can go from accent to too-much really quick. It's almond paste, essentially, so depending on your tastes, that may or may not go with the lemon you've selected.

Chocolate leaves are fairly easy to make (you might even find them premade in some stores). There are a variety of ways to do it. Depends on how much time you have available. You can cut them freehand or using a cookie cut from chocolate sheets or by painting them on super-clean leaves (lemon or non-poisonous).

Here's the painting method we frequently use....

Ingredients:

- 8 oz of baking chocolate, chopped for melting

- 40 or so lemon leaves or alternative (non-poisonous ones, be careful).

Equipment:

- A double-broiler

- An instant read thermometer

- Painting brush

- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil

Method:

1. Wash the leaves, gently pat to dry. Drop them into bowl, cover, and chill in the freezer until ready to work with them.

2. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth and instant-read thermometer inserted into chocolate registers 115°F.

3. Brush chocolate over veined side (underside) of 1 leaf, coating thickly and completely.

4. Arrange chocolate side up on prepared baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining leaves and chocolate, rewarming chocolate if necessary to maintain 115°F temperature.

5. Chill leaves until firm, about 45 minutes.

6. Starting at stem end, carefully pull back green leaf, releasing chocolate leaf;

7. Return leaves to same baking sheet.

(END)

These can be made 2 days ahead. Just keep them chilled and in dry place.

As an alternative... prep the chocolate as I mention above, but instead of painting on leaves, pour it out onto a flat, parchment lined pan and spread thin (1/8" maybe, tops). You should end up with a "sheet" of chocolate that's larger than the surface of your cake. Let this set (use a freezer if needed) until the surface is cloudy... From here, there are a lot of options. Cut the sheet freehand, stamp it with cookie cutter or similar device, use a cutting tool, etc. Whatever you choose, just run the device under hot tap water to warm it up, wipe it dry, and cut. Repeat as often as necessary as the tool should be melting as it cuts to keep a clean line.

If you were to use white chocolate, you can tint and paint the surfaces a variety of different ways (stencils are slick!). Since he likes music, paint music symbols. Football colors work too.

But for me, though, I am partial to decorative fruit topping on my white cakes and raspberries and blueberries go great with lemon.

Hope that helps, and best of luck to ya!

- CSR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did a package cake but I can't get the camera to download - anyhow - you could do that easy in buttercream .

Fondant is kina scary until you try it. I mean have you ever rolled out cookie dough or pie dough?? Same same. As inglorious as it sounds marshmallow fondant is super easy and will give you this package effect. Or or or you can purchase already made fondant. All you do is flavor it - color it if you want it colored - knead food color into it.

Y'know what would be pretty without a learning curve??? What about the package cake idea - but for the ribbon - pipe larger size leaves up & across the cake like it was kina 3-d ribbon - if you can stripe your bag of icing to get the turning colors on there y'know - or even solid color leaves - kina broad & straight like the ribbon??? Then put a blob of icing in the middle & cover it with leaves for the 'bow'

But but but I mean you can use a broad leaf tip to make the straight buttercream ribbon. Then you could use a real loopy ribbon bow if you wanted.

Chocolate leaves are easy - gather healthy leaves - wash & dry - brush with choco - stick in freezer on formers so they curve a little - not just flat - like 3-5 mins - peel off - I think there's more learning curve on choc leaves than fondant ribbons like for a package cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Needshave
      I’m trying to find a recipe to make caramel suitable for varegating or swirling into Ice cream when the ice cream is loaded out of the ice cream maker to the ice cream storage container. When swirled at this stage it crams a nice caramel swirl when dipping.
      I have made several attempts, first attempt tasted great but got stringy and difficult to cut with a spoon. If you wanted to you could pull it out like a Spiders web. A typical caramel sauce will just disappear into the ice cream and seems to break down into the ice cream. Another attempt it got very sandy when cold and had to be hot to be dispensed into the ice cream, causing the base to melt away. 
      Most useable commercial products seem to be heavy with corn syrup. I have tried that without success. Somehow I think that might be the key since the ingredient list for commercial caramel Variegate has it as the first ingredient and sweetened condensed milk the second item.
       
      Appreciate any recipes or formulas for a Variegating caramel creme ripple you might be able to offer or your suggestions.
       
      Thanks in advance!
    • By pastrygirl
      A mistake was made with my Albert Uster order this week and I received it twice.  Since it's shipped from CA, doesn't go bad, and I'll use it eventually, I'm not going to mess with trying to return the second delivery.  But now I have a huge amount of inventory so I thought I'd see if anyone here was looking for Felchlin by the bag. 
       
      Each bag is 2kg (4# 7oz) in the following varieties and prices:
       
      Maracaibo Creole 49%, $48
      Sao Palme 60%, $30
      Arriba 72%, $46
       
      As for shipping, I can fit 2 bags in a medium flat rate box for $14 or 3 bags in a large box for $19 to go anywhere in the USA.  
       
      If you'd like some, PM me with your selection, email, and shipping address.  I'll invoice you via Square and you can pay securely online with a credit card.
       
      Thanks for reading!
    • By Porthos
      @Smithy Your request gave me the imputes to finally word-process the recipe. My DW use Excel, which drives me to distraction.
       
       
      Mom's Apple Raisin Walnut Cranberry Pie
       
      4 baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
      1 cup golden raisins
      1 cup walnuts
      1 cup fresh cranberries
      1/4 cup flour
      1 cup sugar
      2 tablespoons margarine or butter
      2 pie crusts to fit a 9- or 10-inch pie pan
       
      Heat oven to 425F.
      In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients.  In a small bowl, mix the flour and sugar together.  Sprinkle the flour/sugar mixture over the large bowl, mixing lightly with fingers.  Place first pie crust
      into pie pan, pricking with a fork.  Pour the fruit mixture into the pie shell.  Dot with the margarine or butter, then cover with second pie crust, crimping
      edges together and making sure top crust is vented.
       
      Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then turn down oven to 350F for about 45 minutes.
       
      *** I use Braeburn apples ***
    • By Mullinix18
      I dont believe that any English translation of Carêmes works exist. An incomplete version was published in 1842 (I think) but even the that version seems lackluster for the few recipes it does cover. I think it's time the world looks to its past, but I don't speak great French and it's a huge task to undertake. I hopefully plan on publishing this work and anyone who helps me will get a very fair cut, and if we decide not to publish it, I'll put it out on the internet for free. I'm working in Google docs so we can collaborate. I'm first cataloging the index to cross reference the pre-existing incomplete English version to give us a reference of what yet needs to be done, and from there we will go down the list of recipies and Translate them one by one. Simple google translate goes only so far, as it is 1700s French culinary terms and phrases being used. I'd like to preserve as much of Carêmes beautiful and flowery language as possible. Who's with me? 
    • By fanny_the_fairy
      So I'm not sure whether you remember it or not but a few month ago I posted a new thread here because I was slightly scared with an upcoming internship.
       
      Now I am actually an intern at Pierre Hermé and I thought you'd like to have some update.
       
       
      Thanks for all the amazing feedback you guys provided!!!
       
       
      Love
       
       
      - fanny
       
       
      First week: Ispahan, Emotions, Sensations & baked treats
       
       
      Just one week after I arrived from New Zealand I'm already off to Paris for the long awaited internship at Pierre Hermé.
       
       
      After waking up at 4.30, I head towards the 15° arrondissement shop, enter the apparently empty shop sur la pointe des pieds. Where is everyone? Luckily I quickly stumble onto Sebastien, the morning team head chef, who gives me the locker keys. I can finally go downstairs and get changed.
       
       
      Hmmmmm the pâtissier outfit! While I was over-excited when I bought it because it represented the first step towards my dream, this outfit is anything but dreamy. Think oversized jacket, high-waist pied-de-poule pants and Pierre Hermé baseball cap; the most fashionable item being the shoes – white sabots.
       
       
      Honestly, who could look good wearing that? Well ok, some girls do but I don’t. And just in case I still had some hopes, one of the guys said 'oh mais fanny vous etes beaucoup plus belle comme ca, vraiment' [fanny you look way better with these clothes on] when he saw me leaving the building wearing my normal everyday clothes. He looked shocked, trust me!
       
       
      Once this first step is checked and I've understood how pointless it is to look at myself in the mirror, I can actually go upstairs and meet the chefs. Before that, I have to put an apron – well two actually: a cotton one and a plastic one; but this is only an anticipatory action as I know I tend to get quite dirty (and this is a total euphemism) when I cook.
       
       
      Then I arrive in the laboratoire, wash my hands and shake everyone's hands. At this point, I am completely lost. Who is who? Hmmm names, so many different names. Luckily, I'm quite good with names so after a few minutes I am familiar with everyone just like we've known each others for years. That's totally not true though, and the use of vous is here to remind it.
       
       
      Indeed saying vous instead of tu is like the first basic rule in the pastry shop survival guide.
       
       
      The second one being to say chaud [litteraly: hot] whenever you're carrying something (usually really heavy) and not necessarily hot, as the term suggests, and you don't want anyone to get in the way. Basically, chefs say chaud not to be gross and say 'dégage' although the meanings of both words are really close. Once this rule is mastered, you have to start applying it. And believe me it feels quite weird to yell chaud every other minute. Though, it appears to be quite useful because you don't want to spill 118°C sugar syrup on your boss, do you? Well some of you might - sometimes, but please before doing so you should strongly consider a career change and/or an escape from your country, a face makeover and a name change.
       
       
      By now it's just after 6am and I am awake (holly jetlag). Like not just awake – I am widely concentrated on everyone's moves and there are many many moves. In the morning team, everyone is here to produce all the cakes, entremets, emotions, yeasty treats... with the most dedicated passion.
       
       
      The variety of tasks makes for the most interesting job. While every member of the team is responsible of a specific area, I wander from poste to poste to help the chef do the tasks they can't do because of their super-extra-busy schedules.
       
       
      Thus in one week I got to do many different things: from sorting almonds to prepare candied lemon peels.
       
       
      I started by weighing the ingredients for the crème onctueuse au chocolat. This was straightforward and was the perfect task to give me confidence on the first day.
       
       
      However, I was quite – and happily – surprised when the manager told me to go with Simon to decorate the Ispahan entremets.
       
       
      The Ispahan entremets are definitely one of the it-pastries at Pierre Hermé, so I was really excited to know that I was about to decorate them.
       
       
      This part was overwhelming – first I had to arrange raspberries on the rose-flavoured buttercream, fill with chopped and fragrant litchis, and then decorate the top macaron by piping a drop of glucose on rose petals and then sticking them, along with some raspberries, on the macaron.
       
       
      Assembling the Emotions was also a great job. Emotions are Pierre Hermé's signature desserts presented in glasses and eaten with a spoon - well unless you like to lick your fingers!
       
       
      I had the chance to make both Emotions Mosaic (griotte jelly, pistachio jelly, pistachio mascarpone cream) and Celeste (rhubarb compote, fresh strawberries, passion fruit and mascarpone mousse, passion fruit marshmallows).
       
       

       
       
      These are entertaining to make (basically I piped a fixed quantity of jelly with a piston into glasses - see Sensations below for more details) and are really yummy. I must say I have a weak spot for the passion fruit guimauves, even though it was a really-teeny (don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I am not) pain when I had to separate hundreds of them and roll them in icing sugar.
       
       
      As you might imagine I was happy to get to make so many different things and I was really proud when they actually let me make a whole batch of Sensation Celeste. Sensations are glasses filled with different jellies and generally topped with a macaron.
       
       
      First, I had to make the rhubarb compote: gelatine, rhubarb purée, lemon juice and sugar, pour a fixed quantity of it into small glasses with a piston, and allow to set before doing the same with both strawberry and passion fruit jellies.
       
       
      On the same note, I also piped some banana and strawberry jelly into small round shapes for the entremet Désiré, which is totally delicious by the say.
       
       

       
       
      However, I couldn't do just what I had to and couldn't restrain myself from peeking here and there. Anna, who I didn't really get to work with, is responsible for all the treats that have to go through the oven step. Hence, she makes all the brioches, croissants and other yeasty treats. But she also makes the cannelés and millefeuilles.
       
       
      The cannelés are probably the best ones I've ever had: fresh, soft and fragrant.
       
       

       
       
      As for the millefeuille I picked a Mosaic millefeuille because I love the pistachio-cherry combination. This was a real winner: the slight tanginess of the griottes nicely balances the creaminess of the pistachio cream. I can't wait to work in the dough team because their feuilletage is excellent! Hopefully in two weeks...
       
       

       
       
      Next week: c'est la folie des macarons [it's all about macarons].
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×