Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Cake Decorating hobby - trying to match a frosting color

It's messy, it's sloppy, but making frosting is just all-out fun.

I was challenged the other day to create an African safari theme. My host would be adding toy animals and zebra-striped wrappers, and she wanted a chocolate cupcake with a grassland frosting. This sounded simple; but nothing is ever really easy when it comes to cakes!


First I made up a batch of basic buttercream, and added the raspberry flavoring. Only I had forgotten that raspberry flavoring will tint the entire bowlful slightly pink.

Not Pink! I didn't want PINK!!!* I was going for that dried hay and grassland color (kind of like this) which is definitely NOT pink.

I wanted to fix it but I was worried. I thought about adding color to the pink but I didn't want to ruin the whole batch with a mistake. So I took a cup or so of the frosting out of the main bowl to experiment with. The lady at the cupcake shop had recommended a light brown food dye, so I added a small amount of brown. Only what I didn't realize was that it was a red based brown. The result? This pumpkin-colored mess:

Not too appetizing, right? So I tried again, this time going back to the base pink and adding just yellow - ignoring the brown completely. That came out much better, it wasn't hay but it wasn't orange either. Here's the way it looked in the mixer:

And here's how it looked on the final dessert:

Look out, it's a rhino on his way to his watering hole! :)

I'm proud of myself for doing this; I was able to give the recipient what she wanted; a tasty cupcake that fit her party theme. I created something, and it feels good.

Have you created lately? What gets your pride going?


*This line is actually is a reference to a book called "Pinkalicious" by Victoria Kann. The story is all about a little girl who eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink (her hair, her skin, everything). Her parents aren't particularly thrilled about this. If you are interested, you can check out the book yourself here.


SP said...

Color is a complicated subject
Degas-Self Portrait Oil on Cardboard, 16x13
this is a beautiful example.

How you make one color (a mixture) is a fun project, chopped sprinkles, frozen base, nice projects.
All the mistakes tastes good anyway.
Too sweet? Mashed potato or cooked to death rice or oatmeal.
All those colors!! Blended or placed, not to even mention the flavor possibilities.

Janet said...

SP -

Thank you, I'll have to go find an image and remind myself of that one!

Something I learned when taking my decorating course is that all flavors have color. In the above story the raspberry had 'red' coloring, and I also know that vanilla has a tinge of brown. The other side is that all colors have a bit (even a teeny bit) of flavor. If I add too much food coloring it will affect the taste of the final dessert. And not even burnt rice can cover it up. :)


Janet said...

Is this the one?