So lately, I’m obsessed with cake. Not eating it–making it, decorating it, reading about it, talking about it and any other things I can do that have to do with cake. I pay way too many visits to the cake decorating supply store. And I’ve been spending a lot of time trying out different recipes, practicing techniques, and rolling out fondant. My Wilton courses have really opened my eyes since I’ve finally been exposed to the variety of styles and decorations out there. But really I owe my real cake educational development to courses I’ve staged and attended at ICE. I also credit a lot of my recent development to reading different books. Reading the Ace of Cakes book, as well as books by Colette Peters and Toba Garrett have both inspired and challenged me to try new techniques and mediums. As inspired as I am, I know it all has to start with good fundamentals, so I’m spending this rainy weekend baking cakes and decorating them for spring and St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll be giving away these cakes, so I want to be sure they’ll taste good, but most of all want them to be beautiful and lovely cakes!
My St. Patrick’s Day cake is a homemade funfetti cake. Basically, I used a white cake recipe I got from school and just added some colorful sprinkles. I figured the colors would be fun for the holiday.
The other two cakes were made from recipes from Toba Garrett’s book, The Well Decorated Cake. That’s a great book with wonderful techniques and most importantly, delicious recipes. I made her chocolate fudge recipe which was delicious!! And I filled it with a banana filling and iced it with mocha buttercream. The bananas made the cake have kind of a caramel taste and kept it really moist. And it was really simple to make! This can be considered kind of a spin off a bananas foster. If you’d like to try it, here’s my recipe for the banana filling.
Yield: just under 2 cups
- 4 bananas, diced (I used bananas that were just ripe enough to eat, but I suspect using underripe bananas would be fine too.)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 ounces butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- pinch fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup good brandy or cognac (I used some Remy Martin I already had around.)
- In a heated medium sized pan, melt the butter.
- Add the sugar and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Add the bananas and cook until very soft, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.
- Add the milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Add the cognac and tilt your pan to ignite. IMMEDIATELY REMOVE FROM THE HEAT! This part is very cool, and VERY DANGEROUS, so BE CAREFUL and DO NOT return pan to the heat until the flames have died. Be sure to have a lid or other pan at the ready to cover this pan if the flames get out of hand. THIS PART IS NOT REQUIRED!!! Just be sure to incorporate everything very well and cook off the alcohol.
- Allow to cool before using to fill your cake.
In case you’re wondering, everything was made from scratch! I made the cakes, fillings, frosting and even the fondant! The last cake I made was the peanut butter & jelly cake from the same publication as the chocolate fudge cake. I didn’t decorate it this weekend though as I’m saving it for my cake decorating class later this week.