A Passion for Frosting

Everyone in their lifetimes…no matter how long or short, falls in love. That love may differ with the special recipients of that love but falling in love is almost inevitable. Some fall in love with a person, a pet, a vehicle, nature, et cetera.

And at a very young age, I fell in love with baking. All I hoped and dreamed for was to bake…to bring joy to people’s lives and seeking my deepest passion. I remember how excited I would get as a child using an Easy Bake Oven to bake mini cakes or brownies. I honestly felt as if I was a real pastry chef by creating these small edible creations. And as I got older, I became more passionate about my love for baking. I was fascinated by all the desserts that I could learn about and gladly bake. I remember the first time that I made a cake…it was from a cake mix but I was so proud of myself for pursuing such a new territory in my baking journey. As time goes on, I tend to obsess over the baked goods that I will create in the future especially for major holidays or events like Christmas, Graduations, Birthdays, or other sentimental days. I become so filled with anticipation of how the finished product will look or be, much like I did when I was younger. When I finally made my first cake, I was most excited to frost and decorate it. I was able to use a variety of different colored frosting, small candies, and sprinkles to decorate my cake. It was the most amazing experience to finally be able to decorate a cake that I baked with little help from anyone else. And though, my decorating job was not exactly the work of Buddy Valastro, I was still satisfied with my decorating skills at the time given it was my very first attempt at decorating a cake.

But since then, I have had the honor of learning how to properly decorate cakes with an array of different decorations options such as fondant, gumpaste, nonpareils, frosting, airbrush, sugar work, or modelled chocolate. Still, one of the most satisfying things in the baking world is having the ability to frost a cake. The intricate precision is immaculate and the decorations help to create the most appealing masterpiece. The perfect sharp edges that looks so professional as well as the smooth appearance and texture of the frosting that further elevates the overall precision of the cake. There are so many necessary tools that are readily involved in the production of properly frosting a cake. The most used tool is an offset spatula because it allows for continuity in smoothing out all sides of the cake with more agility as it contours to the shape of the cake unlike the straight spatula. But depending on the frosting used for the cake, other options may be needed in order to ensure that your cake has smooth edges like heated the offset spatula before using it by dipping it in hot water then drying it before allowing it to slightly melt the frosting to smooth the texture or edges.

However, there is a new tool that is solely intended to smooth out the frosting on cakes in an easier manner. It is essentially a device that wraps the cake by an angle and smooths the frosting in a quicker and more efficient way. It is a product made entirely of plastic and it’s capable of applying frosting to any cake up to eight inches in height; it is called the ProFroster which only costs $25. Watch below to see how this amazing gadget works effortlessly.

Comment below with your thoughts about this device being readily used in the baking world.

Piece of Cake

If you are like me, then you have had your fair share of cakes…whether it be a Black Forest Cake, an Angel Food Cake, an ice cream cake, or the traditional birthday cake. The first thought that enters my mind when I think of cakes is the layered cakes with overly sweet American Buttercream wedged in between the layers of cake that may have a sentimental message written on top of the cake to commemorate a special event such as a birthday as well as a specific amount of candles to represent the age in which that person is turning on that particular day.

The French word entremets literally means “between servings” and would usually consist of a small dish between courses in French cuisine. It would mark the end of a serving of numerous courses. Now, it is a term that is readily used in the pastry world, an entremet is a cake that is multi-layered mousse-based with various texture contrasts and varying complementary flavor concepts. There are entremet cakes that are traditional to the French pastry cuisine but it varies significantly from the cakes that are readily available in America.

The most important element of entremet cakes is the proper use of food pairings in which the contrasting textures and flavors being utilized still correlate to one another so it will offer a well-balanced mouthfeel. These food pairings can vary from coconut and mango, passionfruit and white chocolate, or chocolate and raspberries.

Entremet cakes are visually appealing as they can take on a myriad of shapes such as domes, pyramids, squares, rounds, et cetera. Typically, the different combinations involved in the production of an entremet cake include a balanced taste concept such as sweet but tangy in flavor but it also means a textural difference which consists of a mousse layer or gelee layer paired with a praline layer or meringue layer to have both a balance of crunch and smooth textures to better satisfy the palate.

a raspberry entremet cake

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

I had the amazing opportunity of creating my own entremet cake, to be able to concept the flavors and textures that I wanted to pair together in order to create a well-balanced cake. I decided to make an entremet cake that had a bottom layer of a dacquoise meringue which is a typical egg white based meringue with chopped almonds and hazelnuts combined into it; that was then topped with a hibiscus coconut mousse that was then topped with a thin layer of genoise cake that was soaked with a coconut rum simple syrup. This was then topped with a layer of mango gelee and coconut mousse and then a thin layer of raspberry gelee. The entire cake was delicately wrapped with a joconde cake which is an almond based cake that was patterned with pink stripes.

The Future of Cake Decorating

the comparison of three cake style

Image by: Bakerella

Everyone has friends, family members, or other loved ones and with these relationships come celebrations that are scattered around our calendars. These celebrations are usually complimented by party favors, decorations i.e. balloons, and refreshments which will probably include a cake. Sometimes, baking a cake at home from scratch can be too time-consuming so we find the closest alternative by purchasing a cake that was already made at the store or supermarket to save time especially for those of us who struggle with baking all together. I thought it would be interesting to share how these cakes are made by these revolutionary machines that eliminate the human error that can occur when making a cake and is used in a high production bakery that have either a large variety of pastries or numerous orders for cakes.

Have you ever wondered how supermarkets or other shops create the perfect cakes that we often purchase for birthdays, graduations, baby showers etc.? The process is extremely simple but the machine that creates these beautiful edible masterpieces is very expensive. With the advancement in technology, it aids in the new machines being created as well as lowering the need for additional labor required for certain jobs. Have you ever looked at a cake in a bakery or supermarket and wished you could mimic the precision of it? While that is achievable, it can be very complex as you are most likely going to be competing with a machine rather than a human hand’s delicate work.

The Unifiller Corporation is a company with a collection of cake decorating machines that will either frost the cakes or decorate them. It is designed to lower the labor of employees by doing all the manual labor of frosting a cake. Each machine costs a few thousand dollars and is not for home bakers because of the energy and space it occupies. But it is still a great learning experience to view how these cakes are easily made by way of this magical machine.

Comment below other desserts that you have always wanted to make but found too complex? Or a time that you struggled with baking something?