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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Fondant Baby Shower Cake | Chocolate Banana Cake

It was one of our close friend's baby shower last week and they are expecting their second baby soon.The baby shower was planned as a surprise for her with all cake,kerala snacks,gifts & games.The idea behind selecting the traditional snacks was to recreate the effect of vayarukaanal chadangu/ prasavathinu vidal (occasion of expectant mother to be sent her mother's place for delivery) where we carry lots of traditional snacks to the groom's house and pregnancy is the time you always miss the traditional ones the most when you are away from home,Isn't it??

My part was the cake-This is my second attempt with fondant and I was quite tensed up doing the same as this was the time I had a  larger group to serve the cake unlike the previous one and so did a lot of home work before preparing the cake.The gender of the baby was already known so had no confusions to select the color,hope u understood:)I made a rough sketch of the cake along with colors to see how the final end product will look like.Decided the icing and this is the first time I prepared a Swiss Meringue Butter Cream frosting from scratch and was very much satisfied with the results.I initially wanted to bake a cake using cake mix but my research to fondant cakes taught me that fondant cake are best covered with a denser cake.(The cake mix cakes always easily gets pressed down  due to the softer texture and so the smoothing may not be perfect).So,finally decided to bake a chocolate banana cake.I prepared two cakes -12*8 & 8*8 cake sizes.Then cut the bigger cake,made 10*8 cake size and joined this portion to the top layer to make the 8*8 cake,a 10*8 cake.The cake was liked by all and everyone enjoyed it !!

My first fondant cake is here,check out if interested :)

for chocolate cake- 12*8" (adapted from here)
all purpose flour 1 3/4 cup
granulated white sugar 2 cups(400gm)
unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 cup
baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
baking soda 1 1/2 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
eggs 2 large
mashed rip banana 1 cup (2 medium sized banana)
warm water 1 cup()240 ml)
vegetable oil 1/2 cup(120 ml)
milk 1/2 cup
vanilla extract 1 1/2 tsp

for 8*8 cake (I just halved the 12*8 cake measures and prepared the cake,worked great.)

For marshmallow fondant
(refer recipe here in my previous fondant post)

for Swiss Meringue Butter Cream Icing-(adapted from here)
egg white 4 oz(1/2 cup or 3-4 large egg whites)
granulated sugar 1 cup
butter 1 lb(4 sticks) at room temperature (refer notes)
vanilla extract 2tsp(refer notes)

for figurines
gum paste- 3/4 pkt (I used Wilton's)
wilton icing gel colors
edible writers
vanilla frosting 1 pk

For Chocolate Banana Cake-
-Preheat Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Set aside. 
-In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour,  cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
-In another large bowl,whisk to gether the eggs,mashed bananas,water,milk,oil and vanilla extract.
-Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingrdients and stir until combined.(The batter will be very thin)
-Pour the cake batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
-Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.Invert the cake after 15 minutes on a parchment paper and let it cool for 1-2 hours before frosting.

In the same way,prepare the smaller cake using half the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.Cool completely in the same manner as above before frosting.

(Last two slices of the cake,just for the view inside :))

For Swiss Meringue Butter Cream Icing(SMBC)-
-Lightly whisk egg whites and sugar in a non greasy bowl preferably the mixing bowl (refer notes)
-Hold the bowl over simmering water on the stove top until the sugar is no more grainy to touch i.e sugar is completely dissolved or the candy thermometer reads 140 degrees F(60 degrees C).
-Pour the egg white and sugar mixture in another bowl and using an electric beater /wire whip  beat until its doubles in volume on medium -high speed.When you stop the mixer,the meringue shouldn't move around in the bowl.(I couldn't click all pics ,but some of them are here)

-In the mean time,cut the butter in 2" pieces and add half of the butter to the meringue.(Make sure the meringue is completely cpooled down,otherwise the butter may melt)
-Pulsate the mixer/beater several times until the butter has covere the butter completely.Add the remaining butter and pulsate.Increase the speed of the mixer until you reach medium-high speed.
-Continue beating until the mixture begins to look light & fluffy.Stop & scrape the bowl.
-Add the flavoring and continue to beat on low speed for 45 seconds.Increase the speed to medium high for another 45-60 seconds and put off.
-I made the icing 2 days before preparing the cake.Refrigerated and thawed to room temperature before use.

For Making Figurines-
(figurines-baby,shoes,rattle,baby bottle,gifts)
Click on the individual figurines listed to check out the referred video & sites to make them-
Baby model ,
Shoes pattern,
I used edible writers to do many things on the dress,the writings the rattle.

Assembling of the cake
-If you are using store brought fondant,skip this step.Otherwise prepare your fondant.Place in an air tight container or ziploc bags and leave at room temperature.(Donot refrigerate)
-After both the cakes are completely cooled,I cut out the 2"part from the length and kept aside.Check the dimension of all sides if equal otherwise trim the edges.If the top of the cake has a bulge in the center,trim that out to make it even.
-Take the cake board,place a  tbsp of frosting in the centre and place the first layer of cake.
-Place the cake with the cake board on a turn table and apply frosting /icing in the center.Smooth it evenly and then place the second cake along with the cut out portion.
-Apply icing again and cover the sides too completely.This is crumb coating.Smooth it out using a off set spatula or knife.
-Now,cover the cake and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.
-Then,remove and add the final coat of frosting to clear out all crumbs shown.I used vanilla frosting for this layer.(store brought)Smooth out all sides,remove excess.
-Cover & refrigerate overnight preferably.
-In the mean time,I prepare the figurines using the gum paste(store brought).Add colors and knead to make it smooth before making.
-Leave out to dry.
-On the day of the party,I thawed the frosted cake to room temperature.Leave on a turn table.
-Remove the desired fondant from bag/can.Keep the rest covered in cling wrap.If you want a colored one.Add icing gel colors,knead to get the desired colors.Mine was white at the base,so skipped this step.Sprinkle confectioners sugar on the clean counter top.(fondant takes up dirt very soon)Knead the fondant to get the smooth texture.Add the confectioners sugar as and when required and roll out the fondant on the mat or counter top as thin as possible.Always measure the length,width and height of the rolled fondant,keep 2-3" extra to cover the cake.
-Using the rolling pin,gently flip it over the cake.Now using a fondant smoother,smooth out the sides ,corners and top.Trim out the excess fondant at the base using a knife.(I was short of time,couldn't click pics of the details,sorry)
-Now make your desired patterns with colored fondant..Always cover the bottom layer with a strip or make pleats or simply roll balls and place the corners.Gives a neat look.
-Place your figurines finally,brush a drop of water underneath the figurine to place and glue it up or place just like that.
-I made a bow with the fondant itself as I din't want it to dry completely.
-I was left out with one last piece when I could click the inside of the cake.

Servings ~ 10*8" 2 layered cake (cut 35-40 pieces)

* You can use lemon extract,orange extract,almond extract or vanilla extract for SMBC icing as per your tastes.
* Always wipe the bowl (that you use for holding egg whites & beating) with vinegar to avoid any greasy touch.Otherwise your egg white may not cream out well.
* The butter used for SMBC icing should be moist outside but cold inside.
* The icing can be stored in an air tight container in freezer upto 3 months.Defrost completely (several hours) and re whip before using(don't over do)
* You can use the equivalent meringue powder(each tbsp of meringue powder mixed with 2 tbsp water is equal to one egg white )or pasteurised egg whites too to avoid contamination.
* You can easily double the ingredients & prepare a larger batch if required.
* Though the cake size was for 13* 9 pan but I used a 12* 8 pan and could get a good cake with the same measurements.
* Always use the same color of fondant base to the icing preferably.
* Don't refrigerate the cake after fondant is applied.Leave covered at room temperature toprevent drying.
* Use the icing that can be left out at room temperature accordingly.


Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

That's quite a lot of work.but everything has come out excellent

Hamaree Rasoi said... Best Blogger Tips

Simply marvelous looking cake. Stunning pics.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

This looks amazing Julie!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks super good and perfect. Baked like professional baker.keep going!!! :-)

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Outstanding and absolutely brilliant work of art. The baby with the party hat, and the shoes look real. Hats off for the efforts.
Love Ash.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Dont have lovely...perect the shapes...

Treat and Trick said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm sure the recipient will appreciate your great work! Thanks for sharing dear..

Roshni said... Best Blogger Tips

i wish I were as creative.. my BF's baby shower is coming up and I am soooo useless :-(

Beena said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome cake dear .... wonderful gift

hotpotcooking said... Best Blogger Tips

WOW!!! Cannot say as 2nd attempt, perfect Julie. Great work

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

What a lovely gesture! Your friend must be really proud of you.... beautiful cake .... well done.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG...I wish I was near you to give you a tight hug and kiss your hands for such a pretty work. You rock!! you rock!! Hugs!! Cant take my eyes off from the cake.


Home Cooked food said... Best Blogger Tips

wow, you are such a good artist. lovely use of fondant.

Soni said... Best Blogger Tips

Ooh looks gorgeous!!I could never do anything like this :)

divya said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG......Your awesome great job dear, beautiful words!!!

Swathi said... Best Blogger Tips

Beautiful cake Julie. I wish you are stayed near to my house when I having my prince and princess.

Mrs.Ahmed said... Best Blogger Tips

aaawww sooo beautiful...!!!

Indrani said... Best Blogger Tips

It's not a cake, it's a piece of art you've created..hat's off dear Julie, your friend is a lucky girl who has friend like u..gr8 gr8 job, wish her all the very best from my side

coralcrue said... Best Blogger Tips


Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

please make me ur student in baking.......

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Reshmi Mahesh said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome work dear and nice detailed post..Great effort and perfection...

jasna varcakovic said... Best Blogger Tips

...great creation!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

great work ........ keep it on GIRL !!!!!!

Sangeetha Priya said... Best Blogger Tips

Very well done n explained well dear!!! u Rock :-)

Sravs said... Best Blogger Tips

Super dear !! Wonderful and great work !!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

So much of handwork in this cake.. very very pretty and weldone!

sojo said... Best Blogger Tips

thats beautiful, creative and u r so large hearted to share it in detail... mwah for the hardwork

Familycook said... Best Blogger Tips

Julie, it looks very professional! You must make the fondant cakes more frequently now:)

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Wonderful work done...

Anisha said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome work with the fondant... U r like a professional baker n decorator... Thanks a lot for all the links n explanations... Very helpful...

Babitha said... Best Blogger Tips

Great effort,u have more patience

Asiya Omar said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow! Great and looks yummy.

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Sangeetha Nambi said... Best Blogger Tips

U prepared it !! OMG !!! That's a fabulous job and the outcome was tooooooooo perfect...

Mélange said... Best Blogger Tips

Nicely done Julie..The perfection just like professional..Love to grab the shoes...SO cute.

Faseela said... Best Blogger Tips

Julie, your great effort is seen on the cake, cant take the eyes off from the clicks, fabulous work dear and a very detailed post. lovely cake

Rosh said... Best Blogger Tips

That's one stunning cake! Looks professional Julie :)

Divya A said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow that was such a cute cake Julie... Awesome!!! Your friend is def lucky to have u :)
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Manju @ Manjus Eating Delights said... Best Blogger Tips

What should I say Julie? Hats off many little little details, I loved it!! and the cake is full of youth and cuteness.

That chocolate banana cake is awesome alle, I used same cake for my Crib Cake and Appu's b'day cake.

Ethra divasam eduthu to complete the entire fondant figurines and assemble the cake?

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

That is so professional and so beautiful!! love all your explanations and detailed notes you have provided!!

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simran said... Best Blogger Tips

awesome!!!!love the cake and you've explained it so very well.

Ganga Sreekanth said... Best Blogger Tips

great work julie. . .nalla bangi undu kaanan

Kaveri Venkatesh said... Best Blogger Tips

Just too good Julie....I love the small boots and the baby..they are so cute..Very Nice!

Vimitha Durai said... Best Blogger Tips

Beautifully done Julie... Wishes to ur friend...

Shabbu said... Best Blogger Tips

Beautiful and perfect cake dear...Thanks for sharing, well explained..

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

awesome work julie :)

What's Baking?? said... Best Blogger Tips

A beautiful cake. Perfectly done.

Archana said... Best Blogger Tips

My what a lot of hard work.
Looks beautiful.
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virunthu unna vaanga said... Best Blogger Tips

wow awesome cake and marvelous work Julie... lovely...

Jayanthy Kumaran said... Best Blogger Tips

this is awesome...hats off to your dedication n perfection julie..:)
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Priya Suresh said... Best Blogger Tips

Mindblowing shower cake Julie, you have done an amazing job..Loads of efforts dear.

Suja Manoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Great job dear, the cake pretty

Suhaina said... Best Blogger Tips


Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Really wnderful out of wrds...Do show ur decorating style in my event...

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Shylaja said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow. Looks fantastic..Hats off to your hard work dear....

Absolutely a master piece

farah saleem said... Best Blogger Tips

oh wow! sweating here thinking of all the work u did! congrats awesome job!

Hema said... Best Blogger Tips

Such a cute cake, you have done it so well Julie..

Binys Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

omg!!!!so creative of u dear.....its gorgeous

Rita said... Best Blogger Tips

You are a culinary artist! Stunning; hope everyone enjoyed the shower.

Suja said... Best Blogger Tips

it looks so great and you had a lot of patience to make such a wondeful cake... great work Julie..

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

That is such a cute looking cake, your friend must have been happy.

Vidya Chandrahas said... Best Blogger Tips

Gorgeous cake...excellent work..keep it up dear.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

now a days very busy and not able to visit your blog frequently dear...Awsome cake and you have put in lots of effort to make your loved ones happy. Very nice art work especialy the shoe and the feeding bottle wow...hats off to you dear....

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

The cake is absolutely stunning and looks like a professional piece of work. You've done such an excellent job of explaining the steps...can't say enough about how good it looks!!

misha said... Best Blogger Tips

Hats off Julie, u have done an excellent job....ur ake looks fab

Jannet Loves to Experiment said... Best Blogger Tips

That is amazing. Excellent work Juliee....

Teena said... Best Blogger Tips

You have made it with lot of perfection!! Hats off to you Julie!!! Eagerly waiting to see more of your creative fondant cakes :)

Ambreen (Simply Sweet n Savory) said... Best Blogger Tips

Marvelous work, Julie! I'm so so impressed. Cake looks soft & moist too!