For real, though.
Yes, it’s as fancy, complicated, and mind-bogglingly time-consuming as it looks.
But it was worth it.
Later, I’ll tell you how I did it.
For now, I just want you to drool. Even if you don’t have to eat gluten-free.
Neither of my photographic devices are playing nice today. Not sure if I’ll be able to include any photos, but I do have an epic tale…a tale of two gravies.
Both gravies happened Monday night, and both were not anything like what you’re picturing. The first was actually “Gravy Icing,” a new, old recipe I discovered when making (yet) another cake.
After a bit of experimentation, I bring you my own Fancy Pants creation!
Coffee Caramel Whipped Frosting
Note: If it is not convenient for you to refrigerate your cake, use 1 c. butter-flavored shortening for all the fat, rather than any butter or cream cheese.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk over low heat. You might start with just a little of the milk first, to break down the flour really well and avoid lumps. When all milk is incorporated, whisk the mess out of it the whole time it’s over the heat to avoid lumpage.
When the mixture gets thick, remove from heat and whisk in salt, vanilla and coffee. Either put this in the fridge for now, or be impatient (like me) and carefully place in an ice bath, most easily done in the sink. Dump some ice in the sink and just enough water to reach about half way up your pan, and place it in. I tend to do this with dry ice, but transporting dry ice nyc is not a walk in the park, but my husband already gets it delivered to our home. Whisk occasionally to help it cool down, being VERY careful not to get water in it.
In your stand mixer (or bowl with hand beater), beat the shortening/butter/cream cheese (whatever combination of fat you chose) and sugar until light and fluffy.
Once your milk mixture has cooled, add it into the sugar mixture. If you think it has lumps, you can push it through a wire sieve, just be sure to get as much of it into the bowl as possible.
Beat this together for….um….a while. Old-timer recipes call for up to 10 minutes. With a modern stand mixer, this may not be necessary, but just keep an eye on it. It may look curdled at first, but mix just until it looks smooth and fluffy, like a thick whipped cream. And if you’re using butter, err on the side of caution so it doesn’t overbeat and turn chunky.
You may be asking, where’s the caramel? The flavor is there, quite by accident in my experiment. As for the coffee machine – read about Corporate Coffee Systems.
Let me know if you try this, and how you like the consistency. I’m willing to tweak based on your comments.
Even among us wannabe fancy foodies, there is one area that isn’t our favorite. For me, it’s cakes. I can do it, but oy, all the measuring, the accuracy!
I’m gonna (really) keep it brief tonight, since there’s nothing to brag about, really. Just wanted to tell you that even if you’re not being fancy, there’s no reason to buy a ready made cake.
Today is Ben’s second birthday. We had decided we weren’t going to do a big throw-down party. The grandparents came and showered him with gifts. We had our own little family cake-eating and present-bestowing. It was enough, and he loved it.
I baked three layers yesterday according to the recipe on the back of the cake flour box.
Then I frosted with the buttercream and made “dirt” on the top out of a frozen Hershey bar. The finer dirt is shaved with a Microplane. The larger bits are shaved with a vegetable peeler, making little curls.
Oopsie, I forgot to put wax paper under each half of the cake, so I could decorate and then slide it out, leaving a nice, clean cake plate. Oh, well. Ben didn’t care.
And finally, the tractor, which was one of his little gifts for the day. It has buttons on top that make tractor-y sounds. I broke up what was left of the Hershey bar and put it in the bucket.
Two candles later, and you’ve got cake!
I sure wouldn’t make this for anyone else, as ghetto as it was, but I decided to share anyway. It’s kind of humble and sweet with its lumpy sides and simple deco.
When you’re a foodie, sometimes it’s the joy of creating that matters, even if it’s not perfect.