Friday, February 13, 2009

Spiderman Episode II - Spidey Gets Creamed

In this installment in our Spidey Saga....

Spiderman gets Creamed.

Normally, I am an avid user of Buttercreme. By that statement I mean, French, Italian and Swiss Buttercreme. I don't care for confectioners' sugar based frostings, cause I can taste the cornstarch. But, the Crusting Buttercreams, which are based on Confectioners' sugar, keep their shape better while withstanding higher temperatures and, in this case, as the name implies, form a crust. This is important for episode III

Now since I do not use these that often, I did not have a recipe that I could trust to crust properly, so I went and visited the Cake Oracle/Goddess of BakeSpace (via email, of course, I did not travel to Delphi) ddpie and asked if there was a fool proof Crusting Buttercream that I could use. She, in her infinite wisdom, pointed me to this recipe....

So being a student of cake.... I reveled in my new found knowledge and went on my happy way to go cream Spiderman.
That was, until I go home and realized I was short on vegetable shortening. So I went ahead and used a whole pound of butter instead. Don't get me wrong, I am not actually complaining per se, I prefer butter to hydrogenated oils (That's another Post), but I have found in baking, most of the time, if something calls for shortening instead of butter, there is usually a reason.
Such as:

1. Shortening contains less water (Butter is about 20% water, in the US and 15% in EU: This also means that when using shortening you are consuming more fat. Yeah, yet another post)

2. Shortening has a higher melting point and a higher smoke point (Not that smoke point matters for frosting)

3. Butter facilitates browning, shortening does not (Still not really an issue with frosting)

But, lacking time and motivation to run to the store, I decided to chance with butter. Since I was going to color it all and did not care so much if it was white, (especially since it had butter in it) I went ahead and used 1 tsp Chocolate Extract, 1 tsp Hazelnut Extract and 1/2 tsp Coffee Extract... All from Flavorganics.

Now we get to the coloring part; yes, honestly this is my bane... I am extremely sensitive to the flavor imparted by food dyes, especially Red #3 & #40. I even bought "No Taste" red.... HA!! No taste my behind!! Well, regardless of MY preference for non-dyed foods, Spiderman required Black, Red, Royal Blue and Sky blue.... (sigh)
So be it... Although I thought I would never get the red dark enough... It took a lot of color...

Now onto the creaming of spiderman... !!!

First the Background had to be frosted with the sky blue... Cool, no issues yet... (Or pictures for that matter, cause I was concentrating)

Then the black outlines and webs on his suit had to be done with a writing tip...
OK, So far so good.... (still no pictures)

Next I put his eyes on with more frosting to hold them in place...
Good.... Good ..... (but still no pictures)

Then things got interesting... I forgot how long the "star thing" takes....
Talk about Carpel-Tunnel Syndrome!!! And my Mother use to do this for our childhood Birthday Cakes... with arthritis!! Talk about a labor of love, lemme tell ya. Thanks mom!!

But eventually he was done for and set aside to crust... and now that I am looking at the picture again, I can see a 1 spot where I missed with the black and 1 spot where I missed with the red....

In our final episode...

Spidey Gets Lit

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