I'm not a great cake decorator, but she was pleased with my efforts. And the inside of the cake was Cake Man Raven's Red Velvet (recipe at bottom) so she was really, really happy about that. Here are all the ingredients that go into the cake. Note that I use powdered buttermilk instead of the fresh, liquid stuff. I've made hundreds of Red Velvet cakes using both fresh and powdered buttermilk, and honestly I can't tell the difference.
Below is the cake being mixed. The original Cake Man Raven recipe called for mixing with an electric mixer, but for me the combination of red food color and an electric mixer never turned out well so now I just use a whisk. For this cake I baked a double batch, so I ended up with 4, 10" square cakes. But a word of warning: make sure you line your pans with parchment paper. This cake will stick to the bottom of the pan if you don't take precautions. After baking I iced the layers with a crusting cream cheese frosting. (recipe at bottom).
After frosting and stacking the cakes, I placed them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This gets the cakes firm enough to cut and shape. After cutting and shaping comes a thin crumb coat, and then back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Chilling the crumb coat keeps it from sticking to the fondant as you tug, push, and smooth everything into place.
Next comes the fondant. I'm all about making things easy so I used my latest discovery Via Roma Bakery Fondant. This stuff is great. It is soft right out of the box so it doesn't need any kneading or microwaving. It takes color pretty well, but I did noticed a tiny bit of marbling when I tried to make darker colors. No matter how long or how vigorously I kneaded the dark blue fondant it still had faint streaks of lighter blue. My Wilton food colors were also old and a little hard, so I ended up with hard flecks of dried food coloring in the final fondant. I tried to pick them out, but I didn't get them all. I think I'm going to switch to the AmeriColor brand, I'm hoping they don't dry out as much. But regardless of which coloring I use, next time I make a fondant cake I'm going to buy boxes of the pre-colored stuff. No more kneading for me.
I also like the Via Roma Fondant because it rolls so easily. You can even get it down to a paper-thin thickness of 1/24" inch. I don't even bother using guides on the rolling pin. I just roll and roll till the fondant doesn't stretch any more. I also roll using Sweet Wise's The Mat. This is another great time saving tool. With The Mat it is so easy to transfer the fondant to the cake. No creases, folds, tear or tears.
Onto the cake the fondant goes...
Next some red fondant cut into strips for the jersey decorations. I used a Wilton fondant cutter and embosser. It works okay, but it is a little difficult keeping it straight and steady.
Red and yellow stripes on the cake. It is starting to come together.
Next all the lettering. I used the Wilton fondant cutouts for the letters, but in that kit all the letters are capitals. Capital letters are okay for Neymar's name, but the other text (like unicef and beko) should have been in lower case letters. And I didn't know this till later, but apparently unicef, beko, and LFP are the team's sponsors. Nike and Qatar Airlines are also sponsors, but their logos are on the front of the jersey. I should have made a jersey that stood on end and showed both sides.
And finally the finishing touches of thin ribbons of fondant scored to look like stitching. Another Wilton tool: the fondant wheel cutter/embosser. Wilton has a tool for everything.
So my niece was pleased with her birthday present: the Nike Neymar Barcelona Home Jersey 15/16...
And she was also pleased with a cake that kind-of, sort-of, looked like a Neymar Jr jersey...
And all that work --- gone in 60 seconds.
But it sure did taste good.
Happy Baking (and Decorating),
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
( from Cakeman Raven & Southern Red Velvet)
Ingredients:2-1/2 cups Cake Flour
1-1/2 cups Granulated White Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon fine salt ( I use popcorn salt )
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1-1/2 cups Vegetable Oil
1 cup Buttermilk (or the powdered stuff with water)
2 large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Red Food Coloring
1 teaspoon Vinegar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Directions:1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 - Grease and line with parchment paper 3 - 9" round pans. (Note: I like thicker cakes so I usually bake in 2 - 8" pans.)
3 - Sift together all dry ingredients
4 - Combine all wet ingredients
5 - Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, whisk until smooth
6 - Bake 20-30 minutes till a tooth pick comes out moistly clean. These cakes are super moist so don't over bake.
Crusting Cream Cheese Icing
Ingredients:1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 lb (2-8oz bars) cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt ( I use popcorn salt )
3-1/2 lbs (14 cups) sifted Confectioners' Sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
Directions:1 - In a small cup dissolve salt in extract
2 - Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese, and extract mixture
3 - Gradually add confectioner's sugar
This recipe will produce a frosting with a thick consistency. For a thinner consistency use less sugar. This frosting will crust when it dries.
Yield: 4-5 cups
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