Blossom (Momoko) Birthday Cake

My daughter asked me to post her birthday cake that I made for her a few months back.    I promised her I would but I keep forgetting about it, when I posted the coconut bread, I saw this picture and then I remembered my promise to her..

This cake was her 10th birthday cake, she loves Blossom or Momoko of Powerpuff Girls Z (anime).  She’s obssessed with Momoko and bugged me weeks before her birthday to make her a cake with Blossom on it.  I  readily agreed even though I have no idea how to make it but since I like cake decorating, I took the challenge.   I don’t know how to make gumpaste or fondant figure, I have made roses before but that was  easy, making a figure -an anime character no less- is far more complicated.  

I made Momoko without using any special tools, just my hands and a sharp small knife for detailing the hair and cutting the gumpaste, I don’t even have a fondant roller, I used a dowel;  I bought cutters for the hearts though.  Momoko/Blossom was supposed to stand on top of the cake but I forgot to put wire or toothpick while the figure was still soft  by the time I realized it, it was too late,  the gumpaste already hardened.

It wasn’t easy making this cake, but I enjoyed it.  It was also the first time I’ve used Italian Meringue Buttercream, I learned how to make that through Louise’s blog, Cakejournal [she’s really, really good at caking, wish I could be as good as her someday:)] although mine  melted a little, it was really hot and humid that day, as you can see on the cupcakes, the color started to separate as the frosting began to melt.

blossom_momoko_powerpuff_girl_z_cake

For the cake, I  used Dorie Greenspan’s perfect party cake recipe, I forgot who’s blog is it from. The cake was delicious, no one wants to cut or eat Momoko though, so I  gently took her; cleaned her, she lost her hair and an earing but she’s still pretty…I kept her and I plan to give it back to my daughter on her 18th birthday (hope it will last that long :)

RECIPE FOR PERFECT PARTY CAKE
Courtesy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours (page 250)

For the Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

Getting Ready
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.

Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.

Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up.

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RECIPE FOR ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
Makes 8 cups

1/2 cup of cold water (120ml)
2 1/4 cups of caster sugar (530ml)
1 cup of eggwhites (10) I use pasturized eggwhites only!
1 1/2 pound of soft unsalted butter (680gr)

1 tsp of vanilla extract
Kitchen stand mixer

First set the timer on 7 mins & pour the eggwhites into the kitchen mixer with whisk attachment.

Step 1:
Place sugar & water in a casserole and bring it to the boil and start the timer.

Step 2:
When the sugar syrup has been boiling for 5 mins. Start the kitchen mixer on full speed and whisk the eggwhites for the last 2 mins. When the timer is up the sugar syrup is done. With the mixer still going on high speed slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl.
Be carefull not to get burned.

Step 3:
When all sugar syrup has been added it should look like thick cream. Stop the mixer and change for the paddle attachment. To avoid meringue splatter all over your kitchen place a clean tea towel over the mixer. Set the timer on 10 mins and beat on high speed. This is how long it takes in my mixer for the mixing bowl to be cool to the touch.

Step 4:
Now its time to add the butter. Start the mixer on high speed and with a knife cut pieces of the butter and add it to the meringue. When all butter is added it will not take long for mixture to turn into nice thick smoothe buttercream. When that happend slow down the mixer and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and start again. I do this two times. You should now have a bowl full of lovely Italian meringue buttercream.

Louise’s Note: If the IMBC wont combine just continue to whip whip whip. It will eventually get smooth. If you are still having problems, put the whole bowl with paddle attachment into the fridge and let it “cool” down a bit and then whip it again.

Also if you have taken it out from the fridge or freezer then bring it back to room temprature and whip it smooth before use.

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