Magic Cakes

These are yummy little petit fours type cakes - bigger, grapefruit flavored, and perfect for mother's day or a kid's birthday. I would be thrilled if someone spent the time to make these for me! But, as usual, I made them! And I love love love them. They are so pretty. I got the recipe from a book called "Wacky Cakes and Cooky Cookies". It's a pretty unusual book, which is what I love about it.

The original recipe called for a layer of marzipan on top. I could not find marzipan at my grocery store, couldn't figure out how to make it, and in the end was just too lazy to try my idea of almond extract flavored fondant (which I make w/marshmallows and an extremely sturdy stand-mixer). It was no loss on my part, these still taste wonderful and the almond flavor would have overshadowed the grapefruit too much. The "fondant icing" the recipe called for was also out of my realm of expertise. I do not like to buy store bought fondant...I know, I know...I'm such a snob! I don't think homemade fondant would "melt" as directed unless I made it in a more traditional way, sans marshmallows. I've never done this and today was not the day to start (although it's on my checklist now).

So...this is basically a long way of saying that I found a really great alternative recipe on that worked out just as perfectly. I added some grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice since I also altered the original Lemon Victoria Sponge to be a Grapefruit Victoria Sponge. It was really another happy accident since the only citrus fruit I had on hand was grapefruit. I'm not the type to run to the store for special ingredients...I'm more of a MacGyver in the kitchen. Unfortunately I was sick and out of a camera for the weekend. Thus, I was able to take a few pictures of the first cakes. I then made the rest and they sat for a couple days before I could photograph them. Hence the shiny and not so shiny pics. It's all good. Just make sure you serve these when they're fresh as the frosting will harden and loose its sheen.

Grapefruit Victoria Sponge

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
14 tbl (1 3/4 sticks) salted butter at room temp
zest of 1 grapefruit
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
4 medium or 3 jumbo eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 18"x11"x1" baking sheet by buttering the bottom and sides, lining the bottom with parchment paper, buttering the parchment paper, and dusting the entire thing with flour (tap out the excess). Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, grapefruit zest, and salt together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, another 3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend for another 30 seconds. In a medium bowl beat the eggs together. With the stand mixer on low speed, slowly add in the egg mixture one tablespoon at a time, beating until each tablespoon is incorporated.
Using a large metal spoon or rubber scraper, fold in the flour mixture in three batches until incorporated. Pour into the prepared baking sheet and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes (do not worry if the cake browns, this is normal).  Remove from the oven and cool in the baking sheet for 30 minutes before dropping the cake out onto a wire rack.

Making Magic Cakes

2 tbl lemon juice
1 tbl raspberry jam
3 tbl apricot preserves
fondant icing in different colors (recipe follows)
royal icing in different colors (recipe at bottom of link page)

Brush the top of the cooled sponge cake with lemon juice (this will compensate for the sweetness of the frosting by giving the cake a tart bite). Next, microwave the jam and preserves together until liquidy, about 30 seconds. Strain the mixture. Brush the top of the sponge cake with all of the raspberry-apricot mixture. Slice the sponge cake, using a ruler, into 35 mini cakes. Refrigerate for an hour before going on to the next step. Make the fondant icing while the cakes cool.

When the cakes are done cooling, replace onto a wire rack fitted with a tray underneath. Pour icing over cakes to cover. Let cool and harden for at least 1 hour before decorating with royal icing.

Fondant Icing

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
juice of 1/2 grapefruit
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups powdered sugar, as needed
various food coloring and shimmer dust
In a large saucepan whisk together the granulated sugar, water, and cream of tartar over medium-high heat until dissolved. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches 220 to 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and add grapefruit juice and powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture reaches a good consistency for pouring. Keep in mind that the mixture will also thicken as it cools. Divide into bowls and color as desired.

Cake recipe adapted from Wacky Cakes and Cooky Cookies, Fondat Frosting adapted from

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