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Amirah Kassem - How to Decorate A Christmas Tree Cake

Amirah Kassem - How to Decorate A Christmas Tree Cake
Amirah Kassem makes a special Christmas version of her her rainbow explosion cake.
A Christmas Tree Cake
Course:
Dessert
Seasonal Event:
Christmas
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2¼ cups (335 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (315 g) granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups (310 ml) milk
  • Food coloring: rainbow colors
  • Cooking spray

FROSTING:

  • 8 ounces (1 cup/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 16 ounces (455 g) cream cheese, cold
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 32 ounces (910 g) powdered or confectioners’ sugar

STACKING CAKES:

  • 6 cake layers
  • 1 ¾ cup (1 lb.) sprinkles for explosion

NEEDS:

  • Rainbow explosion cake
  • Green frosting
  • Serrated knife
  • Midi hole punch
  • # Star tip
  • Piping bag
  • #804 round piping tip
  • Meteors
  • Melted white chocolate
  • Flat star mold #90-4073
  • Edible gold paint
  • Small offset spatula

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Fill the star mold with white chocolate and level with an offset spatula. Place in the freezer to set.
  2. Score the top/center of the cake with the midi hole punch.
  3. Using the knife carve the cake from the outer edge of the circle down to the 3rd layer. The cake she be in the shape of a fat/stubby christmas tree.
  4. Crumb coat the cake using green frosting and set in the fridge.
  5. Pull out the stars and demold. Clean off the edge using your warm hands. Paint them gold back and front.
  6. Pull out the cake and begin piping the tree “fir” from bottom to top making sure not to leave any void spots.
  7. Quickly and gently scatter the meteors throughout the cake so they look like lights.
  8. Place the gold star on the top.

Vanilla Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°f (175°c) and put the oven rack in the middle of the oven. If you are using a convection oven, set it to 325°f (165°c).
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until they are really mixed together. You have to mix all the dry ingredients together first, so that there are no clumps in your batter, which will create white spots.
  • Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to blend the butter and sugar together, until they become fluffy. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula so it’s all mixed in from the sides.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter-sugar mixture, with the mixer on
  • Medium speed. Again, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the vanilla to the milk and set it aside.
  • Mix about one-third of your dry ingredients into the butter-sugar-egg mixture, then blend in half of the milk, always mixing on medium speed.
  • Mix in the second third of the dry ingredients, then the remaining milk mixture.
  • Stop the mixer for a few seconds and use a spatula to push down anything
  • Sticking to the sides of the bowl as you go, then mix in the last of the flour mixture. Make sure it’s all mixed in from the sides and everything is smooth.
  • You don’t want any lumps, but don’t overmix it—stop the mixer as soon as the batter is smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly into six portions. They don’t have to be exactly identical, but you want them to be close: you can use any small bowls that are all the same size: just slowly pour the batter into each of the bowls a little at a time until they are all at the same height. (it’s about 1 cup/250 g of batter per Bowl.)
  • Color the batter individually in desired colors: we use purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and pink for the six-layer cake. Start with a tiny drop of food coloring, stir it in completely, then add more until it is your desired color.
  • Spray six 6-inch (15-cm) round baking pans with cooking spray, then pour the colored batter into the greased pans.
  • Bake the cakes two at a time for 8 minutes without opening the oven door.
  • Then rotate each pan so the front faces the back. Bake for another 8 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it into the middle of the cake. (cakes are very sensitive. The less you open your oven, the better your cake will come out! I don’t know exactly why, but i know it.)
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes. (when they’re warm,
  • They’re really fragile, and that’s when they tend to break.) Then flip them over onto a baking sheet or cooling rack and let them cool completely before you frost them.

Frosting:

  • Use an electric mixer on medium speed to blend the butter until it is smooth. Add the cream cheese and blend it together until there are no lumps. Then add the vanilla. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to push down anything sticking to the sides of the bowl, making sure it’s all mixed in from the sides and everything is smooth.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time on the lowest speed—otherwise it will fly everywhere! Make sure it is smooth. Use the spatula to push down anything sticking to the sides of the bowl, making sure it’s all mixed in from the sides and everything is smooth.
  • Use right away. Technically the frosting will last at least a week in the refrigerator, but fresh frosting is key! It tastes and feels so much better.

Stacking Cakes:

  1. Once your cakes are baked and completely cool, lay them out with the tops facing up. (the top is what you see when the cake comes out of the oven, and the bottom is the part of the cake touching the pan.)
  2. Use a 2-inch (5-cm) round cookie cutter to cut the center out of every cake but the top one. Never cut a hole in your top layer of cake! In this particular case, the top is the pink layer.
  3. Some of the cake might stay on the ring, so wipe it in between each cut so you don’t transfer one cake color to the others, and you get a nice, clean center after you cut it open. Just be very, very careful to try to get the center every time, or else your layers won’t line up when you stack them all together.
  4. Before you assemble your cake, you’ll need a base to build it on. You can use an 8” cardboard cake round.
  5. You start to build a six-layer cake by putting a small ring of frosting directly on top of the board in roughly the same shape as the cake ring. This is so that the cake really sticks to the base and isn’t sliding around while you’re working.
  6. Put the first layer of cake directly on top of the frosting. In this case, the bottom layer is purple.
  7. Cover the top of the cake with an even layer of frosting. Using a piping bag, make sure to squeeze on the same amount of frosting for every layer: you just add on the same number of rings every time. We use 3 rings.
  8. Add the second layer of cake - blue. Eyeball it from the top after you do, to make sure the holes line up. It’s easier to adjust as you go, rather than to fix a tilting six-layer cake at the end.
  9. Add another layer of frosting.
  10. Repeat with the next layers - green, yellow, and orange making sure to top each layer with an even layer of frosting.
  11. Now, pour the sprinkles down into the center of the hole! A measuring cup with a spout works perfectly. You’ll need about 1¾ cups (1 pound/455 g) of sprinkles to fill this cake.
  12. Now add the sixth and final layer of the rainbow! Flip it upside-down first, so you have a flat surface to frost on the top of the cake. Refrigerate the cake to set the layers and frosting.
  13. Now frost the outside of the whole cake. You can use a spatula or the dull side of a butter knife to apply the frosting, or an offset spatula made just for this purpose. This is even easier if you have your cake set on some kind of rotating cake stand, because you can smooth and spin, smooth and spin.
  14. Lastly, wipe the board clean with a damp cloth.