V-Day is just around the corner. Are you thinking of clicking away to order that bunch of flowers for your sweetie-pie . Stop right now. I got a better idea. How about an entire edible floral arrangement No I am not playing with words here, I am just dropping my two cents on a V-Day cake. Give the red roses a miss, and reach out for the whole garden of sweet blooms on an even sweeter basket. A Basket Weave cake loaded with Spring blooms !!!
Bake a cake of your choice. Whatever flavor would best define you both. Let it cool down properly before you ice it with a thin layer of butter-cream icing. And then spin out some magic. A round cake would be a perfect choice to a make a basket ! I decided to go for my basic Chocolate Cake, as we both love love Chocolate. I know, its old school and super predictable, but then, one doesn't go wrong with chocolate.
Make a large batch of butter cream icing as the basket weave style of piping takes quite a lot. When you are frosting the cake with the first layer of frosting, make sure that its a thin layer,as the basket weave would be thick and dense.
BUTTER CREAM ICING :
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Solid White Vegetable Shortening: 1 cup
Vanilla, Almond or Butter Extract: 1 tsp
Milk or water: 7-8 tsp
Confectioner's Sugar/Icing Sugar: 1 lb/4 cups
Meringue Powder: 1 tbsp (avoid it for a vegetarian version)
Pinch of Salt
Cream shortening, flavoring and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or so, until creamy. Icing can be colored by using icing gel colors or even food colors. Add in colors with a toothpick, as a little goes a long way. Mix it well with a spatula, to get the color uniformly mixed.
Smooth out the initial frosting on a cake, by using a parchment paper and your hands. Or you could also use an angled spatula over the parchment paper to smooth out any spatula lines. Make sure that the icing is set, before you start to smooth it out. I usually bake a day in advance and frost it, and let it cool in the refrigerator, before I start decorating.
Color your butter cream icing in the color you want your basket to be. I wanted it look like a wicker basket, so colored it with a few drops of brown food color and mixed well. Attach Wilton Tip 21, with a coupler to a disposable frosting bag, and fill it with the colored icing in medium consistency.
- Divide your cake into an even number of sections either using the Cake dividing Wheel, or with the help of a normal measuring tape to guide you.
- With steady pressure, pipe a vertical strip beginning at the top of the cake.
- Pipe a horizontal stripe at the bottom edge of the cake.
- Horizontal stripe should begin at the marking before the vertical stripe and end slightly past the marking following the vertical line.
- Mark a spacer dot above end of horizontal stripe.
- Pipe additional horizontal stripes and spacer dots working up the vertical stripe.
- Pipe a vertical stripe over the ends of the horizontal stripes.
- Start next set of horizontal stripes by burying tip under first vertical stripe.
- Use spacer dots between each horizontal strip to help keep basket weave even and straight.
- Repeat vertical stripes and spacer dots to achieve basket weave effect.
You could also use Wilton Tip 47, Wilton Tip 48 to create different types of Basket Weave. In case all that I wrote about is confusing, you could take a look at this style of Basket Weave which I came across later on You Tube. It makes sense to first practice the Basket Weave on some Parchment paper, before starting off on the cake.
Decorate your basket with flowers made of Royal Icing ! The Flowers can be made a week in advance and then all put together on the final cake. Royal Icing dries hard in a day, so make sure that they are completely dry before you start putting them on the cake.
WILTON ROYAL ICING:
Meringue Powder: 3 level tbsp
Confectioners Sugar: 1 lb/4 cups: Sifted
Luke Warm Water: 5-6 tbsp
Place confectioners sugar and meringue powder in a bowl. Stir or mix at a low speed until well blended. Add water and mix 7-10 minutes at low-medium speed until icing loses its sheen. To prevent drying, be sure to cover the bowl with a damp cloth while working with icing. Store in an air tight container for up to two weeks. To re-use, beat on low to restore original texture.
Here's a set of picture cards to guide you through some of the flowers !!! Sorry, I am getting a bit lazy !
So go ahead and make something sweet for your sweetheart !!
Hoping all of you have a sweet V-DAY !!!
Bon Appetit !!!