I made this for a friends wedding. This is my second wedding cake and the first time I have used buttercream. It tasted delicious and everyone loved it. I am so glad my friends gave me the opportunity to make the cake. Their only requests were for red velvet, and orchids in burgundy – how brilliant is that, that you get to design and create the cake and that they absolutely loved it in the end. Don’t you want more friends like that :-).
I tried a couple of recipes before I finally settled on Martha Stewarts Red Velvet cake recipe. It is absolutely devine. A couple of tips for making cakes
- Use baking strips to get a flat top (this gave me level cake with very little to cut off the top.
- Once the cake cools, double wrap it with cling film and then put it in the freezer. This helps when you leveling the cake.
- After you have split the cakes (which are still frozen) brush a simple syrup on them. It helps them to retain moisture.
- Your buttercream must be at room temperature.
I settled on making Swiss buttercream because my attempts at making Italian Meringue buttercream just came out to be a goopey mess. I have not given up on it yet. For the fondant covering, I used Satin Ice. Most people do not like fondant but it gives the cake a smooth finish and of most of the fondant’s I have tasted, it is fairly good. A point to note with fondant is that as you start to knead it is just put a little crisco on your hands and it kneads much better.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
For a 9-inch cake (plus filling, or some to spare)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons – for us Americans who get our butter in sticks)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring the water to a gentle simmer. Put your egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl and start whisking. After about 5 mins start to test to see if all the sugar has dissolved. If you rub a little between your fingers you should not feel any sugar granules. Once you have no more granules you are done with this step.
Transfer mixture to your kitchenaid mixer (or your automated mixer) and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites)
Add the vanilla, add the butter a stick at a time and whip. You will be able to see it come together. Use it right away.