Monday, October 17, 2011

Homemade Funfetti Part II: The Application

I apologize for sucking at blogging. There really is no excuse for leaving you all in sheer suspense about Funfetti Part II except that my schedule has been INSANE. I know you've been dying, checking daily for a new post just in case it failed to come through your newsfeed or Twitter, or the post emails somehow got lost in cyberspace or your junk mail. ....Uh huh. In reality, I hope that you even remember that there was a Part I a few weeks ago....

Anyways, Part II. I stopped right before revealing Not Without Salt's solution for rainbow chips. Drumroll, please: she melted white chocolate, dyed it various colors, poured it into sheets to cool, then chopped into chips - or what I think look more like shards. I was surprised at this idea at first, because while eating the chewy balls, "white chocolate" had never occurred to my inarticulate mind. Were they white chocolate, thinking back? I wished I had some Rainbow Chip frosting on hand to sample again with this knowledge. Alas, I did not, and as I had no other ideas, white chocolate shards it was. 

They were fun to make. I melted almost 3 bags of white chocolate and dyed them green, yellow, blue, red, orange, and purple. 

Then, once cooled, I chopped the sheets into shards...

And then there were rainbow chips/shards....

Not quite chewy balls, but I was happy nonetheless - much better than plain ol' sprinkles.

The cake was a white cake recipe with the homemade rainbow chips mixed in. I was going to do regular sprinkles, as this is what Funfetti uses, but I totally forgot - and am glad I did, as I liked the end-result. This baked up two fluffy 12" square cake layers - so fairly large. The frosting was a vanilla buttercream with some cream cheese mixed in to add a little tang and creaminess. It was on the sweeter side, similar to Rainbow chip, but the sweetness distinguishably came from the white chocolate rainbow chips, not from unidentifiable sugar and preservatives that I typically think of when I taste canned frosting. So, a more quality/homemade version of Rainbow Chip frosting, in my opinion.

After assembling the cake and frosting it, I stared at its vast surface and wondered how the hell I was going to decorate the behemoth. It was about 1:30am, so I was getting a little tired and lightheaded after baking/decorating like a maniac for the last six hours (if all you can recall - I know it was awhile ago - but this order was the same week as the coconut cake and the carrot cupcakes). There were some leftover rainbow chips so I made a border.... which still left a vast bare expanse in the middle. All I wanted was to slip into a sweet, deep sleep, but I knew I had to do something to jazz this up, as a bare cake at a celebration almost screams "Non-congratulations!" "So NOT happy for you!", or, in the case of an engagement party, "Heh... Good luck... We all think you'll need it...". So I pulled it together to whip up some rainbow colored frosting to write "Congrats!" ("Congratulations!" would have been really small in order to fit on the square cake). Oh, and I messed it up three times before being content with it. That's definitely one area I need mucho practice in, despite my attractive actual handwriting. Way different.

Anyways, here it is:

I saw most of the engagement party guests later Friday night at the bar at Notre Dame, and everyone was raving. Always a good sign, although I was hoping it was really the cake and not the alcohol speaking. I asked a few of them for some feedback a couple days later, and here is what I got:

On the positive side (i.e., how it was better than Funfetti), Maureen, Colleen, and others said it had more complex flavors than Funfetti. It was also richer and denser than Funfetti, making a smaller piece more satisfying. It was also very moist and had a great cake-to-frosting ratio (always, duh!). The only negative was that the cake was too big, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but great feedback on scaling for a group. There were about twenty people at the party, and Colleen estimated they probably only needed a third of the cake. I should have followed the Wilton cake-cutting guides, which say a standard size piece of a celebration (read: tall) cake is about 2" by 1". It's very common to make more than necessary since that sounds small to most of us, especially compared to those monstrous pieces served by restaurants (my favorite: the jumbo slice of carrot cake at The Palm. DIVINE). It's not. Had I done the math, I would have determined that an 8" square would have been plenty. Next time. Luckily, an overabundance of cake meant that Colleen could bring me home a piece to critique. (Look at me trying to act all professional - I just wanted a piece of cake...)

So I sat down with my hunk of cake and tasted. Definitely a lot more going on than Funfetti. Sweet but not cloying. Dense and rich, as Maureen said. Buttery smooth. The bit of cream cheese was a nice addition to the frosting, as it gave a little tang but did not taste like my traditional cream-cheesy cream cheese frosting. However, you will not like this if you do not like white chocolate. While I would not say you would classify it as white chocolate cake nor definitely call out that flavor upon first taste, if a person dislikes white chocolate, they will definitely still sense the undertones of it. So be warned, you Funfetti lovers/white chocolate haters, if you exist.

Overall, it was a damn good piece of cake, regardless of how much it did or did not taste like Funfetti. So I'd do it again.


susan said...

You AMAZE me with your skill, creativity and humor! I am definitely NOT a baker and mostly end up with disasters (like my glass pan with red velvet cake exploding into a million pieces in the oven) although I do love the results of good baking! Its a true science and you are a genius!

Anonymous said...

U go girl!