Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 42

If 42 is the Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything and today we worked on cakes, does that mean that cake is the Answer? ...I think it might.

We continued our cake from yesterday by making the buttercream icing.  Since we made Swiss Meringue Buttercream, a meringue had to be made first.

There are 3 types of meringue.  There is French Meringue, or Common Meringue, that is simply made by whisking egg whites and sugar together.  This is the meringue most of us think of but it is the least stable.  The second, and slightly more stable, meringue is Swiss Meringue.  The egg whites and sugar are heated to 110 degrees to dissolve the sugar and warm the egg whites for more volume.  The third and most stable is Italian Merinuge.  This is begun by whipping the egg whites to a soft foam and then adding a heated simple syrup solution (sugar and water) as the whites are being whisked.  While the finished product is the most stable of the three, Italian Meringue is also the most temperamental to make.

Since we made Swiss Meringue, the eggwhites and sugar start by getting heated over a bain marie until the sugar dissolves

The eggwhites then get whipped to a stiff consistency

Since we were making buttercream, the next step was to add the soft this case, 3 pounds of it, in pieces, to the meringue while it was being whipped

Finally, it looks like this (it's actually pure white but my flash was being funny)

When that was done, it was time to start putting the cake together.

First, I cut it in half and tamped simple syrup on each half to keep it moist.  I didn't do very well getting it out of the pan, you can see it's a bit torn up....thank goodness for buttercream!

In goes the filling, the top gets put on and the rest of the cake gets iced

Here's the finished product.  It got scored into 14 pieces (mine's a bit off...damn geometry) and a rosette piped onto each piece

It came out nicely, though the icing was about twice as thick as it should have been

At least it's all pretty level!  Not bad for my first cake in a while

Tomorrow we continue our Fun With Cakes and Buttercream...same Bat Time, same Bat Channel. :-)

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