Sunday, June 22, 2008
Banana Cake With Fondant
For some reason Chris and I started thinking about decorating cakes with fondant. The cakes made with fondant are very beautiful, and if you watch Ace of Cakes they can make fantastic creations out of the stuff. Every time I watch one of those shows though I always say to myself, sure it looks great, but how does it taste?
My mom was a whiz at decorating cakes with buttercream and pastry bags. Some of the creations she made using those techniques were pretty damn amazing too. However, I don't like the flavor of buttercream much, and the reality is that the buttercream that is the easiest to use for frosting a cake is made with shortening, which tastes even worse than buttercream made with butter.
So, the challenge becomes how to make a cake that tastes great and that can be decorated well. Since I don't like buttercream and my pastry bag skills leave a lot to be desired, we figured we would try fondant. Wilton makes handy, dandy ready-to-use fondant, so all we needed was a cake.
I knew I wanted a layer cake and since I didn't feel like messing with chocolate, and I was pretty much out of citrus fruit, my options were limited. I finally decided on the Dorie banana cake since I had made it before and I knew it was an easy cake with great flavors. I also opted to make a rum sauce to baste the finished layers in since I knew that would help keep the cakes moist. The finished cake had rum, coconut extract and coconut along with the bananas, just to keep things interesting.
Next I wanted something to fill the cake with. I finally opted for the Dorie pastry cream, this time flavored with coconut extract for the filling. The last time I made the chocolate pastry cream it worked well as a frosting so I though we would be able to use it as a crumb coat as well -- but this pastry cream was more pudding-like than anything. Nevertheless, we used it to fill the cake anyway, however, we still needed a crumb coat so I made a standard buttercream for that.
After that, Chris pretty much did all the work. He rolled the fondant out and got it on the cake. We each took a glob and colored it with food coloring and then Chris rolled those out for the cutouts. The fondant was amazingly easy to work with and the finished product was pretty awesome looking as well. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with that part.
Now, the verdict on the flavor. It wasn't actually all bad. The fondant doesn't really taste like much so it pretty much leaves only the flavors of the cake, which in this case was plenty flavorful and interesting. The problem I had was that the texture that made it great to work with, also made it a bit "globby" to eat. Next time we mess with fondant we will definitely roll it thinner. The good news though is that it peels right off which means you can still eat the yummy delicious cake underneath the fondant shell.
No recipes for this post. If you want the recipe for the banana cake go here .