This week’s obsession: Color Hack!
I am so excited to share this color hack that I JUST learned about (and really wish I had known years ago!!) because it fixes an issue that I thought I just had to live with because of my bougie preferences.
Ok, let me back up because I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what you need to know: I am all about using quality ingredients to ensure that my products taste good, therefore I REFUSE to use shortening in my icing. Period. Sure it tastes fine in a grocery store cake, but I’m going for way better than fine. And you get what you pay for. (Also, I am definitely NOT a fan of the slick tongue coating that shortening icing provides whether you like it or not ::shudder::) In that same vein I also use high fat content, European style butter because I was taught by Europeans and well, their appreciation for the finer things definitely rubbed off on me. My highly accomplished chef instructors demonstrated how quality ingredients really do make a difference, which is why I am so particular about the butter that I use.
The caveat is that the high fat butters are VERY yellow, and tend to make my frosting a little discolored. The word that comes to mind (however unappetizing it is) is dingy. And no one wants that in a cake. Well except for my dear friend who had a beautiful, rustic wedding in the mountains, and she LOVED the idea of the natural butter color showing through. (See my photos here!) And I’m pretty sure no one called it dingy. Lol!
So, with all of that in mind, I came across a color hack that I can’t believe I didn’t think of on my own but I’m going to share with you as my tip of the week. To explain, here is an image of a color wheel.
I had to study these in all of my art/design classes because this thing dictates all rules and decisions involving art and color. If you look at colors that are on direct opposite sides of the wheel, you’ll see that they complement each other well. However, they can also cancel each other out which is EXACTLY what I’m going for. Since I was trying to neutralize the yellow hues in my frosting, I mixed in a very small amount of purple food coloring and voila! It negated quite a bit of the yellow and softened the color back to a nice (almost) white color. I did experiment with a little more purple, but it made the frosting look sort of gray. (Read: dingy in a whole other way, which is still NOT appetizing!) So when you dye your frostings, remember that a little goes a long way, especially if your end goal is white!
Now on to this little beauty of a cake. I have been excited about this cake since the order came in two months ago! This is for a little lady’s very first birthday party, and when I was told that it was fairy themed, I was over the moon! And the fact that I got to use sparkles and glitter and little chocolate butterflies and cute tiny dusty rose toad stools really brought it home. All things sparkly and pink make my day. The cake itself is chocolate with a dark chocolate mousse filling and vanilla buttercream. Just what every girl dreams of for her first birthday (or 30th. Or 90th.)
I took a few photos of it before I put the flowers/butterflies/fairies, etc. on top because I was worried that the extra stuff on this gorgeous piece of art would detract somehow, but honestly I think the pre-fairy wonderland cake looks a little naked now. Either way, I still love the way it looks, and I hope you do, too. (I get really self-conscious about my cakes, especially if someone gave me carte blanche for the design concept – just like my client did for this cake – so send me a little love to let me know if you like my design and execution!)
The really cool thing about being a cake artist/pastry chef at home is that after the final product has been delivered/picked up, any leftovers are fair game (I have a suspicion that this is probably the only reason my friends come over)!!! So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat the rest of that dark chocolate mousse while I finish my morning coffee and get my kitchen prepped to make pancakes and bacon for breakfast.
Happy eating, y’all!
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