Do the Baby Bump!

I was asked to make a Baby Bump cake for a baby shower. I must be out of the loop because the only bump I knew of was from the disco era of “doing the bump” dance. So I googled Baby Bump cake and was amazed at what I saw.  There were so many photos of different styles of bump cakes. This must be a trend for baby showers that I wasn’t aware of.

The Baby Bump Cake, let’s call it BBC, is the torso of a pregnant woman, emphasizing the boobers and of course, the bump. All of the cakes that I viewed were covered in fondant. I am not fond of fondant, I don’t care for the taste, but if this is what the client wants this is what I shall make.

I hadn’t covered a cake in fondant ever, in Pastry Arts school we didn’t even work with fondant as a couverture. So this was going to be a new experience for me.

The colors for the shower were lavender and pink, so I made the dress lavender with pink polka dots. A tip from Wilton.com, when adding color to fondant put the gel paste in the middle of the fondant piece, then fold over to knead in the coloring. When you do this the gel coloring does not get all over your hands.

Dust your work table with powder sugar, I learned that fondant can be very sticky while you are rolling it out, also, rotate the fondant piece to make sure it is not stuck to your work table. I think I used too much powder sugar because the fondant to me looked too dry. I dusted off as much of the sugar as I could and started to enrobe the cake.

I will  have to practice with fondant on a daily basis to learn the proper technique.  As with anything new, the more you do it the easier it gets!

I did learn that buttercream hides a multitude of sins with my fondant experience, any tears in the coverture I covered with a polka dot! As you can see from the photo of the BBC it sure has a lot of polka dots on the dress!

I would love to know techniques you have used to work with fondant, any helpful hints that you could pass on to us beginners!

Oh My, Madeleine!

I was given a great gift for Christmas, my son gave me a Madeleine pan. The molds for these cakes are shell shaped, so they have ridges on them which add texture to the Madeleines. I had forgotten all about this delicious, buttery French spongecake.

There are two versions on the origin of the Madeleine. Some say that they were named after a nineteenth century pastry chef, another version states that they were named for an eighteenth century cook. Whomever they were named for they are an interesting addition to a cookie tray or to enjoy with a cup of tea.

The recipe is quite simple, only a few ingredients that are usually on hand. I made them using vanilla extract, but I am sure lemon, orange or almond extract would be delicious.

Madeleines

  • Softened unsalted butter(for brushing molds)
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract (use the good stuff!)
  • 4 tblsp melted and cooled unsalted butter

Oven 375 degrees

Brush molds with softened butter, dust them with flour.

Beat eggs,sugar and salt on medium high speed for 5 minutes until pale, thick and fluffy, this step is what makes them soft and sponge-like.  Beat in the vanilla, or whatever extract you desire. Sprinkle in the 1/2 Cup of flour and mix on low until incorporated. Fold in by hand the melted butter until combined.

Use 1 tablespoon of batter per Madeleine. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until they spring back when touched.Flip them onto a cooling rack, if any stick, gently push them out with your fingers ( I don’t have a cooling rack, so I use one of my racks from the oven)  When cooled, dust them with powdered sugar.

They were quite yummy, soft, buttery and very vanillally!  Next time I am going to use lemon extract as well as lemon zest. Maybe a drizzle of a lemon glaze would make your friends say “Oh My, Madeleine.”