I recently got engaged (yay!) and instead of looking for venues or a dress, I started researching quilt patterns and scrolling through quilt-related Instagram hashtags. This was stemming from the fact that a few months earlier I'd mentioned to my parents that the best wedding gifts I could image were homemade cutting boards from my dad and and a homemade quilt from my mom. So now that a wedding is on it's way, my mom wanted to pick out a pattern and some fabric..which led to my current quilt obsession. Quilting might seem old fashioned and country-ish to some, but those people just haven't seen all the gorgeous and creative modern quilts people are making these days. Look at them! Loooooook!
After my Pinterest/Instagram quilt-gawking-spree I was left wanting to do something quilt-related..except I don't know how to sew (side-note: why do so many people assume that knowing how to bake= knowing how to sew? Baking a cake has given me no insight on how one might baste a quilt or hem a skirt.) Anyways, to satisfy my desire to play around with shapes and colours, I chose a quilt pattern to use for fondant cut outs to make a quilt inspired cake
I decided I'd try using the wax-paper transfer method for the fondant pieces, and then paint the cake (instead of tinting the fondant) to give the design a little texture similar to when people chose fabrics with patterns for their quilts.
I started to project off by baking some six inch layers of my favorite no fail ultra-moist one bowl chocolate cake, then crumb coated them with a mocha-rum frosting made with Stirling's Churn84 butter. I let the whole chocolaty shebang chill in the fridge overnight before whipping up a batch of vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and smoothing it over the entire cake
The iced cake went back into the fridge and I set up my kitchen table to make/decorate the marshmallow fondant transfer which went something like this:
1. Tape printed pattern to table (pattern from this lovely website). Tape piece of wax paper on top and grease with shortening so that the design will stick to the wax paper for transferring to the cake
2. Gather rolling pin, bench scraper (or a knife), gel food colouring, vodka (to thin out the gel colours), and small paint brushes
3. Roll out and paint a test piece of fondant to get an idea of what colour combo you'll be using. Each number on the pattern gets assigned a colour, sort of like an edible paint-by-the-numbers. In hindsight, I could have saved time by just painting small patches of colour on a few triangles to see if I liked them.. but no. I wanted to paint an entire test piece.
When it came time to roll out and paint the real deal, I rolled out the fondant on a piece of wax paper greased with shortening, then used the bench scraper to press along the lines of the pattern leaving an indentation on the fondant to use as a cutting guide.
Initially, I had planned on folding the top layer of triangles onto the top of the cake, but after transferring the design over I decided to remove that layer and keep the top edge clean.
Sharing the buttercream recipe because it's my favorite one I've tried so far. This time I used Stirling's Churn84 unsalted for it instead of their regular unsalted and I liked the way it turned out.
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Courtesy of Sensational Buttercream Decorating: 50 Projects for Cakes, Mini-
Cakes & Cupcakes by Carey Madden, 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.
Makes about 5 cups (1.25 L)
This meringue-based icing is sweet but not too sweet and light without being insubstantial, and it pairs well with just about any cake. The neutral vanilla flavor allows you to add flavorings as desired, to match (or contrast) the flavor of your icing to the flavor of your cake. This luscious confection is not only the icing on the cake but also the artist’s medium. Swiss meringue buttercream has a particular ability to stretch and bend, and a pliable firmness that allows for the creation of multidimensional decorations.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup large egg whites (about 7)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups unsalted butter, softened (1 lb/ 454g) - I used Stirling's Churn84
1. In the top of a double boiler, over gently simmer water, whisk together sugar, salt, and egg whites. Heat, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 140F (60C) or is uncomfortably hot to the touch
2. Pour egg mixture into stand mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form and the mixture is cooled to room temperature. Beat in vanilla.
3. Meanwhile, cut the butter into small cubes, about 1/4 inch (5mm) in size.
4. Add butter cubes to the cooled egg mixtures, two or three at a time beating until all of the butter is incorporated and the icing is smooth and satiny.
5. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and store at a cool room temperature for up to 24 hours
Full Disclosure: Stirling sent me butter, but I use it in my baking because I find the quality makes a difference. I did not receive payment for this post