Tuesday, January 19, 2010

birthday cake

So it's confession time. My whole life has gone by and today was the very first day I made buttercream icing. I mean, I've made icing for years and years - ok since I'm being honest here, not so much lately. I confess, in recent years, I have bought icing in a can. I know, move myself to the top of the bad mummy list, I have been giving my child canned icing. But my previous recipe (if you can call it that) for icing was what my mother taught me (yes, I'm blaming it on my mother, shame on me!), was icing sugar, a dot of butter, a dribble of vanilla and just enough water to bind it together. And that served me all these years, well, until I discovered the canned stuff.

So what, you may be asking, caused me to have my icing (frosting) epiphany? It goes like this. I bought myself a few cookbooks for an early Christmas present (another confession for another day...) and one of them was American Test Kitchen Cookbook and while rifling through it a few weeks ago, I noticed there were some pages on frosting. So tonight, as I was prepping T's cake for his preschool party tomorrow and having no canned icing in the house, I thought I would look up a recipe for icing and just see what it was. Well people, can I say I was horrified by the amount of butter called for in the recipe - 2 1/2 sticks of butter. Yikes. I read it again and there it was - still 2 1/2 sticks of butter! Ack. Ok, so in the fine print it said, good for a double layer cake. Ok, all I had to ice (frost?) was an 8x8 single layer cake so I used 1 stick of butter and 1 c of icing sugar, 2 tsp of cream and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. And as I was beating it all together it came to me...............buttercream icing........made with butter and cream! Oh, I get it. Now. So I've been doing it all wrong for years. (and years) Stop laughing. But it is gooooooood stuff. I'll be doing this again. My arteries won't thank me for this discovery but I think my guys will.

And here is a picture of T's cake all ready for preschool tomorrow.
Complete with smarties (as requested), white icing (as requested), it's chocolate (as requested) with car and train candles as a surprise and it is gluten-free so his friend C who is wheat intolerant can have some too.

Happy Birthday my dear little boy!

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