Monday, March 29, 2010

Hello Kitty Cake: A Strawberry, Custard, & Whipped Cream Extravaganza!

My boyfriend gets to approve every cake that leaves the cakegrrl kitchen. This is a picture of his sample of the Hello Kitty cake I did this past weekend. A two-day construction that lasted Thursday and Friday. One day gets set aside for baking and making the buttercream and fondant and creating the different colors I need. The next day is set aside for making things with a shorter shelf life, such as any fillings that might go in the cake and then actually constructing and decorating the cake.

Here is the base of the cake. The final project was a double 12 X 18 X 3 on the bottom layer and the Kitty head was carved from a double layer of a 9 X 13 X 3 pan. The bottom layer was double chocolate, and filled with a layer of vanilla bean custard, whipped cream and a thin layer of strawberry jam.

Here is the custard recipe I used. (It makes quite a lot--this was enough to fill the cake, big enough to serve 50 people, so you might want to half or even quarter your recipe):
1 c. sugar
12 tbsp. cornstarch
8 c. milk
12 egg yolks, slightly beaten
Contents of 2 vanilla beans

In 1 quart sauce pan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Add slightly beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly; bring to boil over medium - low heat and boil 1 minute. Remove. Stir in vanilla bean. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool. Warning: Do not heat too quickly, you WILL have scrambled eggs. Strain the final custard to remove skin and any clumps from the cornstarch. This custard is good on cake or by itself. Do yourself a favor and use a high quality vanilla (or vanilla bean), and do not add it until you have removed the mixture from the heat.

Then I added a layer of fresh strawberries.

The Kitty head was filled the same way. I always put an icing "wall" all around the border so that the filling does not bulge out the sides.

Then I gave the Kitty head a crumb coat of buttercream frosting, to adhere the fondant layer. Then it was time to decorate and make the character come to life!

This cake was definitely a labor of love, one reason being is I love the Hello Kitty character. It was one of my most expensive cakes to make because of all the eggs and milk and butter, etc I used. I spent a lot of time trying to get everything just right, down to the 3 lemon gumdrops I used to make her little nose. I make an edible metallic paint with a product called lustre dust that makes the surface of the fondant shimmer when it dries.

I hope Alexis liked her birthday cake!

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