Monday, February 13, 2006


Just last week, I was tasked to create a heart shaped cake. But I didn't have a heart shaped mold nor a heart cookie cutter in my equipment. The thought of having to cut out every cake into a heart didn't appeal to me. So, I set out to make my own version of a valentine "heart" cake.
A note about royal icings. They are very easy to do and you can create almost any drawings with it. They keep well, as long as they're kept at room temp. with a tight fitting lid to prevent them from forming a skin and/or drying out. Water based flavorings can be added while beating the mixture, as well as, water based colors. Use an acetate to place your drawings on, with the desired drawing underneath for you to trace. Let dry, undisturbed, on a draft free area. The finished confection will sweat when placed on a very moist icing, cake or when taken out from the fridge. So, it is best to put the drawing as close to serving time as possible.
I drew little hearts with royal icing, which I tinted with pink blush for the outline and a deeper red for the color flow. To enable the royal icing to flow smoothly, a substantial amount of water is needed and be sure to have them remain covered while working on your drawings, because it dries up pretty easily. Once the outline is filled, the cookie sheet/pan where the drawing is placed should be gently tapped to achieve a smooth finish. I chose to ice the cake with a bright red colored buttercream icing with a mild strawberry flavor. Since ordinary buttercream is stable, it doesn't need to be refrigerated, keeping the heart drawings dry. Coconut specks not only provided a nice contrast in color, but also added a delicious crunch to the cake. To make the hearts stick to the cake, apply a small amount of buttercream underneath them and paste them on top.
Royal Icing
80g egg whites
380 g sifted confectioner's sugar
1/2 t cream of tartar
1. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl (making this by hand would require a lot of effort and time) and mix, using a flat beater on medium speed, 10minutes tops.
2. Color will change from shiny pearl white to dull white (with the help from the cream of tartar). Add desired color and flavor. Keep covered.

No comments: