As each new year approaches, one can’t help but reminisce on the past three hundred and sixty five days. The ups, the downs, the laughter, the adversity. In retrospect, both the good and the bad experiences seem rosier.
We feel nostalgia for the small moments of joy. And for the moments of sorrow and angst, we tell ourselves, What didn’t kill me made me stronger. All is well that ends well.
The first of January is an arbitrary date, yet it remains a metaphor for promise, opportunity, and a clean slate. It allows us to bury treasured memories of the past into our subconscience minds.
One such treasured memory of mine is the “birth” of this blog. It ironically came to fruition on July 4th of 2010. Since that date, my blog has improved immensely and will hopefully continue improving. What better time to have cake and eat it too?!
If you have sensitive eyes, it’s probably not an ideal object to focus on. It’s popping with color, personality, and frosting. In fact, it’s made with Wilton mini cake pans that are designed to provide a hollow at the cake’s center. Thus, there are literally 5 layers of frosting on this thing: the innermost cavern dripping with buttercream, the base fondant and the buttercream layer to which it attaches, and the outermost two fondant layers that comprise the colorful striping work.
Had it been more feasible, I would have tried inserting a confetti contraption inside the cake that burst upon knife contact. I had visions of attaching a dropping ball like the one in New York’s Times Square. There was also the option to substitute candles with sparklers. Then, the notion of silly string entered my mind, followed closely by that of a Pop Rocks frosting filling. I even contemplated making a champagne cake to reflect the typical New Year’s imbibe.
Can you believe this end result cake, a mere 2.25 inches tall and 4 inches across, is toned down?
Mini New Year’s Fondant Cake
Brown Sugar Pound Cake:
(Adapted from Cooking Light)
Yield: 2 Wilton filled mini cake halves plus a couple cupcakes
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup skim milk
Filling and Decoration:
- buttercream frosting
- white, red, yellow, green, and blue fondant
- toothpicks or skewers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two Wilton mini cake pans with cooking spray and place a few liners in a cupcake tin.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- With an electric mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Then add flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix until well-incorporated.
- Fill Wilton mini cake pans a little over 2/3 full and pour remaining batter into cupcake tin. Bake mini cake halves and cupcakes 18-20 minutes, or until done.
- Let cool completely before frosting and/or decorating.
- To begin assembling mini cakes, carefully remove from pans and cut off tops to level if necessary. Fill one with buttercream frosting or other filling of choice. Spread a light layer of frosting almost to edges of cake rim. Fill other cake half with buttercream and quickly place atop other cake half. Frost entire cake with a light layer of buttercream frosting.
- Roll out a 9-inch-diameter circle of white fondant, about 1/8-inch thick. Center over cake and smooth top. To smooth sides, gently pull fondant outwards and smooth the side with your hand. Continue process around entire cake until smooth. Cut off excess fondant with a pizza cutter.
- To make striped sides, roll out pieces of red, yellow, green, and blue fondant 1/8-inch thick. With a pizza cutter, slice fondant into strips 2-1/2 inches long by 1/8 inch wide. Roll out a 2-1/2 inch x 13 inch rectangle of white fondant, about 1/8-inch thick. Place colored fondant strips in order of red, yellow, green, then blue, along length of white fondant rectangle. Carefully press strips down with rolling pin, then roll across several times. Cut to fit cake, then wrap around cake and cut off excess fondant. Brush water on backside of white fondant rectangle and smooth around cake. Let dry.
- Roll pieces of colored fondant between your hands to form balls. Apply balls by brushing undersides with water and pressing onto cake rim. Let dry.
- To form fondant ruffle, roll out a strip of white fondant to at least 2-3 feet long. Bunch fondant together to form ruffles. Brush water onto inside of ruffles and apply to cake. Let dry.
- To make confetti, roll out blue (or other desired color) fondant. Slice into 1/8-inch wide strips. Curl around toothpicks or skewers and let dry.
- Cut into cake and enjoy. Happy New Year!