Petite Cakes

June 29, 2015

Your daily dose of pretty comes in the form of petite vanilla layer cakes adorned with old rose buttercream roses. This was the first time I attempted to create a buttercream rose garden on top of my cakes and I was pretty chuffed with the outcome. These are still rough around the edges - I didn't get the clean lines I was looking for; nevertheless, a good attempt overall for a newbie.

This was inspired by Miso Bakes' Instagram posts. She makes THE BEST buttercream flowers (and gardens) that I have ever seen (online). The truth is, she came to San Francisco to teach a buttercream intensive workshop a few months ago but I felt guilty about spending a hefty amount on a workshop weekend, what with our apartment move and all. So in my frustration, I attempted to make some of my own buttercream flowers at home.

I've made buttercream roses before but the Swiss meringue buttercream I made was too soft for my liking. I had to work quickly so the flowers won't "wilt" and stick them in the freezer as soon as possible so that they retain their shape. For a newbie like me, it was hard having to work fast because my piping still takes a bit of time. I was tempted to just use good old American buttercream, which is what a rational person would do, but I wanted to make things hard for myself. (What's new? *facepalm*) American buttercream is just a mixture of butter and powdered sugar, and the plainness of it did not appeal to me. I wanted some sort of meringue buttercream and I felt like it was the "right" way to do it. I looked around online and found this stable meringue buttercream recipe, which is what I used for these flowers.

The meringue was too stiff, I think. Whereas my first attempt involved soft buttercream, this one was on the opposite scale. Do you see the crooked, "scallop-y" edges of the rose in the first photo below? That happened because the buttercream had a hard time squeezing out of the piping tip. It kind of looks intentional but it isn't. Hehe.

These cakes turned out pretty good but I still need to practice and find the perfect buttercream recipe. I have to get to one of Miso's workshops so I could get her buttercream recipe and learn her techniques one of these days. Buttercream decoration on cakes is usually associated with old school decorating techniques but man, her creations are definitely modern. I am quite enamored with buttercream for decorating cakes and I hope I do learn more about how to make it properly and decorate with it with a modern twist.

You might ask, why not go the fondant way? We see a lot of fondant and gum paste these days and although the sculptures and decors look awesome, I've had one too many fondant cakes that did not taste good. I remember buying a 6-inch cake from a baker in Manila that cost me nearly Php4,000. It looked very nice but when I had my first bite, I was very, very, very disappointed, I felt like I just wasted money. What is a pretty cake if it is not delicious at all? I would like to work with fondant someday, just not now I suppose.

There are a lot of YouTube videos on how to make buttercream roses (that's how I learned to make mine) but if you're interested in a step-by-step tutorial or video from me, just let me know personally or you can leave a comment at the end of the post. :)

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