Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter....

I hope everyone that celebrates Easter had a great one and everyone that doesn't had a wonderful Sunday.  I spent a great day with both mine and Mr. Lucky's families.

We usually go to a restaurant for Easter with Mr. Lucky's parents so today we had a noon reservation.  For the past few years we have gone Stoneforge Tavern. The food is great, the service is great and most importantly the in-laws like it.  Mr. Lucky went totally off the radar and ordered the Chicken Saltimbocca.  I, of course, had to try it and it was delicious.  I went boring and got steak tips but they were very good too. My in-laws went Easter traditional and had the ham dinner.  They love it, they get it every year.  Because I wanted to be able to see my family, mostly my nephew, I had to leave right from the restaurant to head to my parents' house.  Mr. Lucky went back with his parents to their house and had a wonderful afternoon of Wii golf with his dad.

For the big dinner at my parents' house I made a cake.  I will admit that I use boxed cake mix most of the time.  Don't worry, I do make cakes from scratch every now and again but if I am doing any kind of decorating I focus on that and use a boxed mix.  99% of the time I doctor the mix in some way.  This time I used a white cake mix and used whole eggs (who wants to have extra yolks lying around?  I just can't throw them away!) and I added some of my homemade vanilla extract. I always use the Wilton recipe for my buttercream with a few tweaks. Here is the recipe:

Buttercream Icing

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened (I use salted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract (I have never used clear vanilla extract, I have never had to have a pure white cake and I don't think it tastes the same)
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk 
I also add a drop or two of each orange and lemon oil, I use Lorann. This just adds a little extra flavor.  


About 3 cups of icing.


(Medium Consistency)

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

For this cake I made two 9 inch round cakes and torted (made layers) each of those once. To be sure I had enough, I made 2 1/2 batches of buttercream.  For the top layer filling I mixed some lemon curd with about a cup and a half of the buttercream and did the same with some raspberry jam for the bottom layer.  The middle layer was just plain buttercream. 

This cake was so delicious. If I do say so myself (She says modestly)! 

I had grand decorating plans for this cake but the Boston Bruins' playoff game on Saturday night kinda put an end to that.  Two overtime periods and I couldn't look away.  So, I went with some grass, royal icing flowers and a bird's nest. 

I made the nest out of melted chocolate chips and broken up spaghetti.  I don't know where the idea came from it just popped into my head at some point during the first overtime.  I thought the cake came our really cute.  What do you think?

I will definitely be using this flavor combination again.  I can't wait to make my next cake.


Tina said...

Love this cake! So beautiful :) I really stink at frosting/decorating cakes. That's why I only make cupcakes if I can help it...

JEM said...

Thanks Tina!! I am not the best at smoothing buttercream which is why I love my "grass" tip, it covers any number of sins :-)

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