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Question from the Whimsical Bakehouse Book - Page 2

post #16 of 42
Thanks Rodneyck,

I knew there was a substitute for the cake flour but not the exact amounts of flour to cornstarch. I am going to try that too. I use quite a bit of cake flour and it is expensive. Do you sift then measure the flour?

Cindy
Laughter is the best medicine, chocolate is a close second!!
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Laughter is the best medicine, chocolate is a close second!!
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post #17 of 42
No problem.

Cindy, I follow what the recipe says, because if it is a good recipe, some will tell you to sift first, then measure or vice versa, but many leave this important instruction out.

If they do forget to add it, I take a whisk and briefly whisk inside my flour container just to break the flour up, then measure, then sift my dry ingredients together.

Take care!!!
post #18 of 42
I love The Whimsical Bakehouse . . .it's my current obsession. i tried the Freckled Mocha Cake recipe and coupled it with the Bailey's Irish Cream Mousse. So good!
post #19 of 42
I just got my copy of the WBH today. I am going to spend some time going through it tonight. The recipes do sound wonderful.
post #20 of 42
I LOVE this book. I have made only one cake and made it twice now. It's the chocolate chip cake and I filled it with whipped chocolate ganache and frosted it with Kaye's buttercream. WONDERFUL! I'm making a cake for this weekend and I'm going to try the house buttercream and this will be my first experience with the hi ratio shortening so I'm anxious to see how it turns out. Unfortunatly I'll be using a cake mix since I have them and want to use it up.
post #21 of 42
[quote="ckkerber"]I love The Whimsical Bakehouse . . .it's my current obsession.

This is my current obsession too! I just haven't had any time to actually make anything from it yet. I did go and buy a bunch of chocolate wafers though because I LOVE the chocolate transfers she does.

My question to anyone who uses the House Buttercream: What is the consistency like? Is it the thinner consistency to ice the cake with? Do you have to add more powdered sugar to thicken it to decorate with? This is the one thing I think is missing from her instructions....she doesn't specify if she does anything to the BC so she can make her decorations.

Thanks!
post #22 of 42
I'll let you know tommorrow. I'm making it for the first time tommorrow.
post #23 of 42
Thanks!
post #24 of 42
I really like the flavor of the House Buttercream. It is a softer buttercream so it does not "crust" or harden at all . . . I haven't piped anything as intricate as roses but I have done leaves, shell borders, and simple flowers and they came out fine . . . they end up looking softer than when you use a buttercream that crusts. To pipe flowers, you may need to put your bag in the refrigerator off and on as the buttercream warms and gets too soft . . . or have two decorating bags so as you pipe with one, the other is chilling and then if one gets warm, you swap it for the cooler one so you aren't waiting for your buttercream to firm back up.

I know they talk about making flowers in the Whimsical Bakehouse so if you look at their pictures, that's probably what you can expect (though my flowers have never looked that good no matter WHAT I use!)
post #25 of 42
Piping work takes lots of practice and LOTS of patients, lol

The WBH's piping looks so billowy and thick. I have to be honest and say that as a whole, I think their cakes are the ugliest cakes I have ever seen, lol. I could however understand how others might like them. They just go against my preferred style, which is basically, less is more. I like simple designs, colors matched that don't look like something a circus clown would wear, lol.

What I do like so far about this book is some of the individual techniques that I could use in other ways, more subtle ways, to create some fantastic things, like the piped candy melts mentioned above. I also bought some tonight for a cake I am doing tomorrow. This should be fun.

One of my favorite techniques from the book which I am dying to try is the way they blend multi colors on the sides and tops of the cakes, outstanding. I thought the only way to achieve this kind of look was with airbrushing.

The flaws, besides the few mentioned above, I found are the fact they don't give you any piping tip numbers and their instructions in their piping work are sort of vague. This is ok, I suppose, because there are many books on the subject, but it would have been nice if they had been a bit clearer.

The recipes...wow!! I can't wait to start testing some of these. I also like Kaye's Buttercream recipe, which is an Italian Meringue that includes simple instructions. She gives you times, for example, she states, after the sugar and water start to boil, set a timer for 7 minutes..., etc, no thermometer needed.

Like I said, this book is packed with lots of great ideas, if you do them YOUR way, not theirs, lol. I am so bad.
post #26 of 42
I do like the cakes in the book . . . while most are outlandish, I find that like you said, doing it your way and toning it down a bit can make for a great cake. I love simple and elegant cakes but sometimes something fun fits the bill, too. I have found that I like to work with softer colors because the bold, vivid colors just seem to make everyone's teeth and lips turn colors . . . my son's third birthday cake left everyone with blue teeth and lips in half of our pictures. But this book has been a tremendous inspiration.

I LOVE working with piped chocolate. I have had so much fun with it already. I think it tastes better than color flow with royal icing and I love how you can "feather" and layer the colors with paintbrushes.

Regarding the recipes, I have only tried a few . . . and a few posts I have read have said that some of them do not turn out well (crumbly cakes, etc . . . ) but I do really like the House Buttercream and the few cakes / fillings I have tried.

I love the word "billowy" to describe the piping work . . . it's exactly right.
post #27 of 42
Okay, I just got done making and frosting (haven't decorated yet) my cakes with the House Buttercream (not to be confused with Kaye's Buttercream). DELICIOUS!! I did use Hi ratio shortening and I added 1 tsp of real vanilla extract and also 1 tsp of creme bouquet. I waited until my water/sugar mixture cooled a bit before adding the flavorings so the alcohol and flavor of the vanilla wouldn't evaporate. While I was putting my cake together I put the frosting in the frig. and it is easy to work with once it's cooled a bit (not too much though or it gets too hard). Yes, it is soft and similiar to IMB but without the "butter" taste. I think it smoothes easily and I think if you keep it "cool" it will be very easy to decorate with. The flavor is light but sweeter than IMB, but not too sweet. I love the creme bouquet in it...makes it taste like the store frosting. This is my new favorite frosting. I had issues with the IMB at a baby shower I had. Using raw egg whites in the IMB was questionable for saftey issues for the mom to be. I learned a lesson on that one. I'll be decorating later and will let you know how it goes.
post #28 of 42
I just got that book too.
I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes.
I love her sunflower cake and the butterfies.
keep me posted on how all of your cake turn out
post #29 of 42
I just wanted to mention that I heard a few tips for piping with chocolate that i didn't know before. I went to a Sugar Arts Guild meeting (a group that meets in St. Louis) and someone did a demonstration from this book. This may be common knowledge to everyone but since it was new to me I figured I'd share.

First of all, if you use parchment triangles for the melted chocolate, you can cut the triangles in half or quarters (if you're only piping a little of one color) because you really don't need a lot of chocolate and there's no reason for big, full size parchment triangles.

Secondly, I have an old electric skillet that I plug in and put a kitchen towel on to keep my chocolate warm while I'm working. I put it at the lowest setting (I don't think you want to go over 100 degrees when working with chocolate) and the towel acts as a buffer so the chocolate isn't directly on the heat. But this way, I can take my time and all of my colors are always ready to go. Also, you can reheat the chocolate once it gets to room temperature and hardens up . . . you can pop the parchment triangles back in the microwave or I've just set them on my skillet again on the low setting and gotten it soft again. So for projects that you start and can't finish in one sitting. you can set the chocolate bags aside and work with them again and not worry about remixing your colors. BIG time saver.

Third, and this is my favorite tip, if you pipe on cellophane instead of on waxed paper, your chocolate will be shiny like the cellophane. It gives it a much glossier, polished look that I think makes a big difference. If you try to pipe something on waxed paper and then pipe something on cellophane, hold them side by side to see the difference. (I didn't have cellophane at home so I did what I saw someone else do . . . I used a report cover that I had in a binder and it worked perfectly. I would imagine there are all sorts of surfaces you can use . . . for some reason with chocolate, the chocolate tends to pick up the finish of whatever surface it's on).

I'm having so much fun with all of this chocolate. I am with my whole family in K.C. this weekend at my parents house (all of my siblings, all of the grandkids . . . first time we're all together) and I'm making a cake with a chocolate piped image of each of the grandkids to put on a cake that we're having tomorrow. They turned out so well . . . I can't wait to put the cake together and see this image that I have in my head come to fruition!
post #30 of 42
Okay, my cake is finally done. It's being transported to a party so I didn't stack it so instead I photoshoped it so this is they way it will look once it is stacked. I love the House buttercream and as long as I kept is chilled it piped great!

Jacqui
LL
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