29 August 2009
Ewen turned 4 today. Another baby growing. We've still got another year or two 'baby' years, I think. So we're treasuring it as much as we can. He tries to emulate his big brother, but behind it all he's still very 'manja' (wants to be pampered).
He kept changing his mind about what kind of cake he wanted. We finally settled on a fishbowl shaped one, and he wanted a vanilla cake. It was easy enough to do with the ingredients I had available. And I took the opportunity to try Fluffy Icing. The recipe from an Australian publication and is very much like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream without the butter added. Also a chance to try the meringue powder I bought from home. I dare not try any recipe with raw egg whites as I know the eggs are not pasteurised. The result was great. Soft and fluffy (as promised) and not too sweet. Will be using this recipe instead of buttercream icing in the future, which I find way too sweet. The meringue powder whipped up really nice too.
Egg whites 2 (or make up the equivalent from meringue powder)
Caster sugar 1 cup
Water 1/3 cup
Dissolve the sugar with water, stirring. Bring to the boil, and boil without stirring for 3-5 minutes till syrup is thick. Boil over low heat to avoid burning. If the syrup has turned amber, you will have to start over again. Syrup should reach the soft ball stage. Turn off the heat and allow the bubbles to subside. Once the syrup has started to boil, prepare the egg whites. Whisk in an electric mixer till soft peaks form. Keep on whisking or the whites will deflate. When the bubbles in the syrup has subsided, pour the hot syrup into the whites in a thin stream. If poured too fast, the icing may not set. Pour till all the syrup is used up and continue whisking till the icing is soft, fluffy and glossy. Colour as desired and frost cake. Make the frosting on the day it is to be served. Because this icing is a meringue, it will harden and can't be piped or spread further.
To assemble the fishbowl cake, cut about ¼ across the top of a round cake. Of the remaining cake, spread blue icing on ¾ of the cake and down the sides. Spread white icing on the top ¼ of the cake (the cut side) and down the sides. Sprinkle some cookie crumbs at the bottom of the 'bowl' to resemble sand, dot with some M&M's or jelly beans for small stones. Arrange a few fish shaped crackers in the 'water'. Make small dots with the white icing for the bubbles from the fishes' mouths. If you have available, cut some strips of green tape candy (like sour apple tape) to make seaweed.
Happy Birthday darling. Mom loves you!