May 15, 2008

"Happy Retirement" Cake


This is a cake that I made for one of my friend's retirement. She worked in the early childhood ed - parent ed industry (at the school where my toddler and I go) and served for about 20 years. Eventhough we were not her colleagues, we thought of honoring her since the last class that she would ever teach was to us. I volunteered to bake the cake and this is the one I made for her.


I took the easy way out by buying a cake mix (yellow moist cake) and some store-bought frostings (#1) and (#2). I baked the cake in an 8" by 3" round baking pan according to package directions (but in the 3" deep pan, I had to bake the cake for about 50 minutes), torted it into three layers and stacked the layers by applying a thin layer of raspberry jam in between the layers. Then I applied a crumb coat on the icing using store bought vanilla frosting (#1). In the meanwhile, I divided the store-bought icing (#2) - Wilton's decorator's icing into a big white stock, and one batch of tinted pink icing and just a bit of tinted green icing. Once the crumb coating was dry (crusted), I frosted the sides with the frosting (#1). I tried to smooth it out as much as possible, but the (#1) kind of frosting is not that good for decorating. I used this because I knew that Wilton's icing (#2) would not be enough to decorate the entire cake. Once it was crusted (it wont be completely dry), I applied #2 (thinned down to spreadable consisitency using milk) on the top of the cake and smoothed out the top. when I saw that I had some left over, I applied a thin layer of #2 icing on the side too. Again, I left the cake in the freezer for quick-drying the icing. Once again the cake top was smoothed, using a paper towel.


While I waited for the frosting to crust, I piped four roses using the tinted pink icing (#2) with the flower petal tip and left them in the freezer to set. (Use a piping bag with a coupler since we will use the same frosting for other decorations too). Changed the tip on the decorator's bag to open star tip. Then I piped a round of shells around the upper rim of the cake and a rim of stars along the bottom rim. Finally I changed the tip to plain round tip to pipe pink dots around the side of the cake.


When the roses are set and somewhat solid, transfer the roses to the top of the cake, arranging as you would like. I piped her name using the plain round tip. Then came the not-so-good idea of piping drop flowers at the intersections of the shell border (**GROAN**). I think it looked better without the drop flowers. I also added a few drop flowers in the space between the roses (since I wanted to try out the new drop flower tip)(**SHEEPISH GRIN**). The leaves were piped using a leaf tip and the tinted green decorator's icing (#2 tinted green).


Finally, I melted some chocolate chips in the microwave, put it into a sandwich bag, snipped off a corner and piped the messages "Happy" and "Retirement" onto a piece of parchment paper. Kept the paper in the freezer to solidify the chocolate. But as you can clearly see the "Retirement" didnt turn out very well, so after I took the pictures, I actually changed the chocolate message and piped "Retirement" using the pink decorator's icing with the round tip #3.


And this is how I finished the "Happy Retirement" cake for our friend Linda (Wohoooo!!). We also got her a card and all the moms signed it. Linda was completely surprised when we presented the cake to her. She was teary eyed when she thanked me for the decorations and the cake and it moved me! I've got her reaction on seeing the cake on video and it was a very satisfying one (GRIN). Hope she has a good time, as a talented teacher who loves to paint!


Hope you all enjoyed reading the instructions. Please do leave comments so that I can improve myself. If you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer them. Happy day to you all !

Tip:

#1 and #2 are just numbers that I put for the two different icings and do not refer to any quality assignments.

#1- Vanilla frosting.
#2 Wilton's decorator's pure white icing.

25 comments:

ranji said...

that is a very sweet and kind gesture Jz....a very beautiful and delcious looking cake..how long do u take to make and decorate one?...really nice:)

Rachel said...

Can I say that was a very secriptive post :D

love the rim pipings..the upper and the lower...

Trupti said...

how sweet of u JZ..cake looks wonderful

Madhuram said...

The cake looks so cute. Lucky Linda.

Shweta said...

That is a very cute, very professional looking cake and it packs a ton of love! That's a very sweet gesture :)

Mansi Desai said...

that looks wonderful JZ! I'm sure Linda must've been happy, both to retire as well as to relish that cake:)

Uma said...

lovely cake! nice gesture.

Cham said...

Looks perfect, how sweet u r...

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

Thanks Ranji. To bake and cool the cake, it would take 2+ hours (incl cooling). Decorating, I guess, would take around 1-2 hours depending on the design.

Thanks Rachel, Trupti and Madhuram!

Thanks, shweta, it was packed with love indeed!

Hey Mansi, thanks and I guess she was!

Thanks Uma and Cham for your lovely comments!

Would love to make one for all of you!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hi.
That is a great cake. Looks so gorgeous. love the color. Nice work.

Divya Vikram said...

cake looks perfect..

sowmya said...

beautiful cake..she must have loved your this gesture..

ranji said...

yes JZ u are more than welcome to put the recipe and the linkback in ur blog...i am very happy to know u liked it:)..and i really appreciate u asking me:)...

arundati said...

such a touching gesture...and lovely looking cake

Swapna said...

Lovely Cake!!!!

Sangeeth said...

luv the cake....the white and pink combo always is a treat to the eyes...

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

Thanks a lot for your compliments and support Sukanya, Divya, Sowmya, Ranji, Arundati, Swapna and Sangeeth!

Hetal said...

nice cake....thats so sweet of u..

easycrafts said...

Nice decorations on the cake

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

Thanks Hetal and EC !!

TBC said...

What a beautiful cake that is! and what a nice gesture!

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

Thanks TBC!

Roopa said...

Thats a very helpful set of instructions for people like me who are novice in cake decorating:)

DK said...

I knew that your presentation skills were exemplary but I somehow missed the fact that you had extended it to even cake decorating until pointed out by Madhu in my post today! Mama mia! Are u by any chance in the restaurant business/pro photographer? If u r , then I am not suprised and if you are Not - GIRL YOU SHOULD START THINKING OF BEING ONE! you have immense talent. Ok ok will stop writing out "bashan"/Speech - I wanted to jus drop a comment but couldnt help letting u know of my admiration :) Great Going girl...Jus drop in some hi-funda tips on cake decorating will u - I am jus starting to go in that line - and not all give the correct tips!

Shubha said...

Very nice dear... it was like a tutorial...:) Hey how to u lift the rose flower from the petal pin and put it on the cake? can u guide. Y dont u give a tutorial on that it will be so helpful..:)