Maria asked me to make a cake for Isabella's preschool auction and I -- of course -- was thrilled to do so. She wanted a white cake with chocolate frosting and somehow we decided that we should also put in salted caramel buttercream too. I'm happy to say that it came out great -- and when combined with the chocolate frosting -- it was the ultimate pairing. Here are some photos of the salted caramel buttercream in the making:
The trick to making the salted caramel is to get it as dark an amber color as possible without burning it.
I am so excited about the chocolate frosting that I made for this cake. I took two recipes, modifying each one, and then combined them. I'm going to do a separate post to share that recipe because it is a winner.
I made a white cake using King Arthur Flour's Tender White Cake recipe. I made a separate batch of Caramel (Tartine recipe) just to spread between layer of cake, along with the chocolate frosting.
I iced a thin later of chocolate frosting around the whole cake.
Then added one more layer of caramel on the top to seal in the outer layer of chocolate (just seemed like a logical thing to do at the time).
Then I covered the whole cake with the salted caramel buttercream.
So that took care of the tasty, tasty cake. Let's get to the design.
Maria showed me the school's logo...
...which I loved and really wanted to incorporate. Here is what I sketched for the initial design for the cake.
And here is my design come to life:
I covered the cake with a sky blue marshmallow fondant. The willow branches and leaves are also made with fondant. I painted the leaves with a little food coloring and vodka/almond extract to give it a watercolor effect. The vodka/extract evaporates on fondant and just leaves behind the color.
I made the gave the letters a "faux bois" effect so they would look like wood. I also added in the little scroll above the letters because I felt like it needed some green up there and it would help frame the lettering.
Thanks, Maria, for asking me to do this project! I hope everyone enjoyed the cake and I can't wait to hear who bid on the donated cakes too!