Friday, July 22, 2011

Baby Blocks Cake

Last year two of my friends had babies just weeks apart so we threw a shower for them. Cheri and I used a recipe from Martha Stewart and adapted it just a bit. I've put the recipe on here twice. Our version and then Martha's version.

Our version
Baby Block Cake

Sheet cake made in a 9 x 13 inch pan
Buttercream icing -We used store bought whipped cream cheese icing
Fondant - Cheri got the fondant from Michaels and bought the already colored fondant to make it easier

Cut the cake in half (not horizontally but simply in half while still in the pan). With buttercream icing, ice top of one half of the cake. Place the second half of cake on top. (By now the cake should be out of the pan). Cut into individual squares *measuring so that they come out in actual squares. *Freeze cakes. Divide icing up and color each a different color (we used blue, green and pink). Ice top and sides of each individual cakes. Cut out fondant using small animal or letter cookie cutters. Place fondant cutouts on sides and top of little cakes. --We also cut strips of fondant using a ruler and a pizza cutter.-- Place strips of fondant on edges of little cakes. Step back and admire. Look at Martha's picture and cry.

Martha's version
Baby Block Cake

1 white sheet cake
1 recipe buttercream
2 pounds rolled fondant divided in thirds and tinted green, yellow and white (available at cake decorating supply stores)
One recipe royal icing divided into fourths and tinted blue, green, yellow and pink
Cornstarch for work surface for rolling out fondant

*All these designs were piped with a #3 plain tip using royal icing, which dried hard in about ten minutes. Turn the side you're decorating face up before piping. Wait for the finished design to dry, and then you can lay it face down to do the opposite side.

1. Place sheet cake on clean work surface, top side up. Trim top to make level. Cut cake in half horizontally. Sandwich layer of buttercream between the layers. Trim sides of cake to be square. Cut cake into twelve 2-1/2 inch squares Place each on its own pice of parchment or waxed paper. Ice each with a thin layer of buttercream to help fondant stick to cake. Chill blocks to set the buttercream.

2. Lightly brush cornstarch onto a clean work surface. You'll cover just one block at a time. Remove a 2-inch ball of fondant from one of the larger, tinted pieces (tightly wrap remaining fondant to keep it from hardening). Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a thin circle about 1/8 inch thick and roughly 7 inches in diameter. Don't refrigerate the blocks after you cover them; the fondant will get sticky.

3. Remove cake squares from refrigerator. Center the rolled fondant circle over a block of cake, and place it gently on the cake. Carefully press the fondant against the sides of the block, working on two opposite sides at the same time and smoothing up from the bottom. Repeat for the other pair of sides. Gently pinch the fondant together at the corners, creating flour flaps. Working quickly, so fondant doesn't dry out, fold two flaps toward center of one side, as if wrapping a gift bow; repeat for opposite side. Use a dab of water to help the flaps adhere, if necessary. Trim excess fondant from base of block with a sharp knife.

4. Repeat process for each block, using different-colored fondants, as desired. (If trimmed scraps are free of crumbs, knead together and reuse).

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