To get married! Summer weddings seem to be huge, bigger than other seasons. Everyone can be outside enjoying the weather, having fun and relaxing! I was just asked to do a wedding style cake for a co-worker of my mom’s. They were having a surprise “reception” party for her daughter and son-in-law and I got asked to do it! The couple originally got married in winter but didn’t have a full blown reception to celebrate (so I guess my title’s off huh?). Better late than never right? I sketched up a design of my own and I unfortunately tossed that when she changed her ideas so I can’t show you it. It was Tiffany & Co. Blue (gorgeous shade if you’ve ever seen it!) and covered in white gumpaste daisies. It looked beautiful. But then she asked if I could recreate the design on the napkin. I checked it out and it seemed easy enough, I agreed. The added color was black. Interesting! Having all the black icing in the freezer still from last month’s wedding, I just thawed that and piped on my design. What a blessing that was! I had a small heart attack the morning of the party as I was finishing up. The top layer toppled off the cake stand and the icing smeared all over the counter (some flew onto the floor too). If I hadn’t just taken it out of the fridge, it would’ve been a disaster! Thankfully, a bit more icing and it looked like new. The girls loved it and her daughter did as well! Again, I used the High Humidity Icing from Wilton. I posted the recipe in the last blog which you can find here. Enjoy the pictures!
Hey Ya’ll! Sorry about lack of updates! Getting used to being pregnant and all those crazy symptoms, sigh! Anyway, it’s the beginning of June here and a while back I wrote about getting asked to do a friend’s friend’s wedding cake (if that makes sense!). Well after going back and forth, we had some details to go on. Colors were red and black and the flowers changed to calla lilies. It was to feed roughly 150 people (at first around 2-250 and I was concerned). Luckily I had some wonderful helpers to set up with me (and deal with my pregnancy anger! haha) A HUGE thank you to my parents and my wonderful husband for assisting me! We had a few rough spots but the cake turned out lovely in the end. The worst part was coloring the icing enough without trying to dye people’s mouths shades of red and black! Being that it was June, I was worried about humidity (the day called for rain) so I used Wilton’s High Humidity Icing recipe. Here are some pictures of the cake, during and after assembly.
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups (approx. 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar sifted
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; mix well. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar mixture has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. In small bowl, combine milk and cornstarch; stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to icing mixture; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Keep icing covered with damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.
Whoopie Pie. They go by many alias’ so don’t be alarmed if you have no idea what I’m talking about. When I was in college, most of my major (a whole 12 of us ladies) were from PA or outlying areas (NJ mostly). We were set to make whoopie pies one day and a girl from Southern Pa said, “what is THAT, it sounds dirty!?!” After we described it, a big glob of icing smooshed between two cake like cookies, she said, “Oh! You mean a ‘GOB’?”, One New Jersey chimed in, “No, that’s a ‘Black and White’”. So to most of us from Central Pa, they’re a “whoopie pie”, but to you they may be a “Gob”, “Black and White”, “Bob”, or a “BFO” (big fat oreo). Either way, it’s the same treat and yummy where ever you’re located!
I was checking out “the Pioneer Women” just the other day and was happy to find that she used a “cooked” icing on her Red Velvet Sheet Cake. A cooked icing is started by heating milk and flour, whisking until super thick, then cooling. You then take a fat (usually butter or shortening) and cream it with vanilla and sugar. For me, I grew up with a cooked icing recipe and we ALWAYS use it on whoopie pies. As you’d know, I was shocked when she said she’d never made an icing with flour until someone sent the recipe and persuaded her to try it. I know, flour and sugar seems more like a cake recipe than icing, but it is so fluffy and worth it in the end. Which brought me to another shocker the other day, when I checked out a blog and she also said she never made cooked icing until she found a recipe that needed for it. Even then, people see the flour and are super hesitant to try it. Sure you can easily mess it up (my mother did when she first started!). I’ll even say, the first time I made it by myself, I was on the phone with her (so really, she was there…) but still, it’s worth a shot! Maybe its just that I grew up in “Whoopie Pie Country” and my mother makes them literally, all. the. time. that I’ve engraved that icing recipe into my brain and have grown to love it, or maybe just because its delicious? Well, either way, I’ll post the recipe, and ya’ll can decide for yourself! =] And just for future sake, Maine is not where they originated from, they may have a paper trail from 1925 on, but I have recipes and books containing them, passed down from way before that! Plus a former flame’s grandmother was descended from Amish and she showed me her books and loose recipes as well. PA Dutch is where its at! =]
Cheater’s Whoopie Pie
1 cake mix (your choice of flavor)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/4-1/2 cup flour
Mix all ingredients, except flour, together. Add flour, a little at a time until you have a slightly thicker batter that doesn’t run too much.
Drop onto cookie sheets and bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes. Let cool. “Pair” up the cookies to ones of similar size. Fill with icing and wrap in plastic wrap. (If they sit on top of each other without wrap on, the bottom cake and top cake of the other wp will stick-use caution if you’re going on looks)
*Variation* Bake in cake pan as directed (9×13″ or 8-9″ circles). Let cool. Split cake in half, spread in some icing. Replace top of cake, spread on more icing. Enjoy your giant whoopie pie!
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter (you could also use shortening, I find it leaves a “film” though)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a saucepan, whisk together flour and milk. Turn heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick and creamy. Let it cool completely.
Using your mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the thoroughly cooled flour mixture. Beat and beat until the icing is fluffy and no longer grainy.
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