Red Velvet Rum Cake ft. Cream Cheese Sea Salt Frosting
sampled from: here / here / here / here / here
We're going a little off the beaten track for Mother's Day this year, eschewing the typical floral patterns that usually characterize this spring holiday. Aside from a beautiful flower arrangement and a delicious breakfast in bed, Slate says it best - "a tattoo dedicated to Mom is in fact one of the most iconic American maternal tributes."
When I thought of doing this graphic design for Mother's Day, I had no idea what flavor combinations were appropriate for a tattoo cake. Until I did my research: this cake is an ode to both mothers around the world and the man who is said to have originated the first Mom heart tattoo - a man named Norman Keith Collins but more famously known and remembered as Sailor Jerry.
He was born in California, enlisted in the merchant marines, and traveled through Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Japan where he was influenced by several high-concept tattoo artists. Collins settled in Hawaii where he opened his own shop - an 'upscale operation somewhere between a hair stylist and a dentist.' By the 1960s, clients flew to Honolulu to acquire a 'Sailor Jerry' the way that they bought a 'Warhol."
Many of his tattoos played on nautical and Americana themes, including flags, ships, anchors, Civil War battles, and allegedly the famous ribbon-wrapped 'MOM' tattoo. These tattoos became popular with sailors during World War II as both trophies of achievements and travels, and also as momentos and keepsakes from home.
So this cake is flavored with rum and sea salt as an homage to the Sailor Jerry and the sailors that brought the MOM tattoo to life - and to the mothers that brought all of us into life as well.
red velvet rum cake
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. rum
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease 2 round cake pans with butter or a non-stick spray like PAM. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until well-blended. Add oil, sour cream, and rum and beat on low for 1 minute. In a separate bowl, use a sieve to sift red velvet cake mix, cinnamon, and nutmeg until no clumps or crumbs remain. Slowly add cake mix into wet ingredients and beat on a high speed for 1-2 minute until batter is smooth.
Pour batter into greased pans until each is 2/3 of the way full. Bake according to the times on the back of the mix box, depending on the types of pans you are using. Use a toothpick to check doneness - if the toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cakes, remove from oven and set on cooling rack.
While cakes are still warm in the pans, use a toothpick to prick a dozen holes in the top of each. Run a knife or spatula around the edges to loosen from the pan. Use a pastry brush to paint the rum glaze (see below) onto the tops and sides of the cakes. Repeat until glaze has been used. Cover cakes (still in the pans) with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let soak overnight.
Use a knife or spatula to loosen the cakes and remove from pans. If the cakes are uneven or rounded at the top, use a serrated knife to level each cake so they are about the same thickness and are flat.
1/4 c. rum
1/2 tsp. vanilla
In a small bowl or glass, stir rum and vanilla together. Use a toothpick to prick holes in the top of the cakes after removing from oven and use a pastry brush to paint glaze onto warm cakes. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and let soak overnight.
cream cheese sea salt frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp. shortening or butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. rum
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
4 c. powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, shortening, vanilla, rum, milk, and sea salt until blended. Slowly add in sugar and continue to mix on high until frosting forms. Add more milk if frosting is too thick.
Use a small smudge of frosting to adhere the bottom cake layer to your serving tray or cake circle. Use an offset spatula to spread about 3/4-1 c. of frosting on top of this layer, being careful not to kick up loose cake crumbs from below. This frosting layer should be about 1/2" thick and can overhang the outer edge of the cake.
Place second cake layer on top of the frosting, taking care that the cake layers are aligned and centered on one another. Portion out 3/4-1 c. of frosting for the crumb coat which will seal in all of the loose cakes crumbs. After spreading this thin layer of frosting all over the outside of the cake, refrigerate and color the rest of the frosting accordingly (here, it is red, brown, and 'flesh').
Using an offset spatula and the flesh-colored frosting, cover the cake with a 1/4-1/2" layer of frosting, trying to create as smooth a surface as possible. I used a folded piece of paper to create a (symmetrical) heart template, which I carefully laid atop the cake and traced with a toothpick.
Fill a pastry bag with Wilton tip #10 and red frosting, and pipe along the heart outline. Use a small spatula to drag that outer line of frosting inwards to fill the entire heart. The idea is that the heart shape is flush with the flesh layer (aka the 'tattoo is one with the skin') and not sitting on top of it.
I used several other tips to draw in the ribbon, outline, and lettering on top... and then went on to tattoo the whole darn thing.
Happy Mother's Day!
i love mom cupcakes
For cupcake versions, use an ice cream scoop to fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with red velvet cake batter. Bake for 24-28 minutes at 350 degrees, testing doneness with a toothpick. Remove from oven, prick surfaces with a toothpick, and use a pastry brush to paint rum glaze onto warm cupcakes. Let soak overnight.
To decorate, pipe a thick ring of frosting around the outer edge of each cupcake and use a small offset spatula to create a smooth surface. Use Wilton tip #10 to outline and fill a red heart, and use tip #2 to write 'MOM' on each cupcake.
French Vanilla Crepe Cake ft. Cappuccino Mousse + Edible Confetti
sampled from: here / here / here / here / here
This remix is all about the paper. And birthdays. To celebrate Discover Paper's 2nd year of existence on the World Wide Web, blog owner Donaville reached out to see if I would like to collaborate on a remix. Discover Paper spotlights digital and hand-crafted paper products, as well as artists creating beautiful works of art including paper jewelry, upcycled books, and unique alphabets. Donaville also spends a good deal of time compiling an impressive holiday gift guide every year and has been kind enough to feature some of my diptych calendars in the past.
Anyways, it just so happens that Cake Remix is about to celebrate a birthday of its own - numero uno baby! My first Thai Curry remix was posted on April 30, 2012 and here we are - 23 remixes later and I haven't run out of ideas yet. So with paper as the inspiration and without further ado, I am so happy to present the Discover Paper remix:
I decided right away that this would be a crepe cake, also dubbed mille (French for 'thousand') crepe cake. Consisting of alternating layers of crepes and frosting/filling, this cake actually resembles a stack of flaky papers and when sliced, the interior looks like the pages of a book. The cake is relatively easy to make - though, time-consuming to pour and flip all of the crepes. A bit more work than just popping a cake in the oven for 45 minutes but this one looks impressive and hand-crafted, if you will. You can use those valuable seconds in between crepes to be productive - I did push-ups, put away dishes, and then caught up on my celebrity gossip.
Sticking with the theme of good books and curling up with a cup of coffee, I chose a cappuccino mousse to sandwich in between each crepe layer. I used brewed coffee and heavy cream in the recipe, but you could substitute a tablespoon or two of cappuccino or other flavored drink mixes for the coffee instead.
And what would a paper remix be without the paper? I had fun experimenting with edible rice paper for some decorative accents, and scroll down for mini crepe-cupcake versions as well. Happy Birthday Discover Paper - here's for many more to come!
Rice Paper - Two Ways
Edible rice paper or wafer paper is used as a wrapper in Asian dishes, such as spring rolls, and more recently in confectionery sweets such as the one you are currently reading about. Rice paper is not necessarily tasty (think dry and starchy like a Communion wafer), but it is edible so you can use it in a food dish and not have to worry about removing before eating.
The paper is fragile and usually comes wrapped in cellophane to prevent breakage. The paper will also shrivel and crinkle when it gets wet, so be sure to keep it as dry as possible while working.
No party is complete without confetti! And you don't have to worry about cleaning up after this - you can just eat it instead. Mix water and liquid food coloring in a small travel-size spray bottle and shake well. Lightly spray/mist a sheet of rice paper without soaking the paper (which will crinkle and harden when wet). Let paper dry and then use a hole punch to cut out confetti from the colored paper.
As much as I wanted to attempt an actual origami rice paper crane, it just wasn't meant to be for this remix. Instead, I opted to cut out flat tangram-esque pieces to form Discover Paper's signature paper crane (or 'flying brachiosaurus' as Donaville calls it). I first drew out my pieces on a piece of graph paper, laid the translucent rice paper on top, and cut out the geometric pieces.
Other Rice Paper Ideas:
Like regular paper, rice paper has infinite possible uses based on how you manipulate the material. I only explored 2 techniques for this remix but the sky is the limit on what you can create (and eat) from it: quilling, dip-dying, marbling, 3D origami, papercutting, folding, snipping, layering, fringing, wrapping, weaving, stencilling...
And I know just the place to find some inspiration.
french vanilla crepe cake (yields 10-12 crepes)
1-1/2 c. vanilla cake mix
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. french vanilla coffee creamer
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Melt butter in the microwave or on the stovetop, and let cool. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk cake mix, water, creamer, eggs, and melted butter until smooth. Transfer to a small pitcher or container with a mouth/spout. Refrigerate batter overnight to remove air bubbles.
When ready to make crepes, you will need a small round frying pan (I used an 8" round pan) and plenty of butter or PAM spray to grease the pan in between every crepe. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and stir once (you don't want to whisk in air bubbles), and bring to room temperature. Heat up pan on medium heat and spray/grease the frying pan for the first crepe.
Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, pour batter in a circle towards the outer edges of pan since the batter will naturally run towards the center. Pick up the pan and swirl/rotate to hit even the edges, not unlike the movements of a Tilt-a-Whirl. Let cook for 1-2 minutes until crepe starts to brown. Now for the fun part - use a fork to lift the thin edges of the crepe and coax your spatula underneath so you are confident the whole crepe will flip when you flip it. Flip crepe to other side, cook for another 1 minute, transfer crepe from pan to a plate for cooling, and grease pan again.
Keep an eye on the heat as you go - the pan will be well heated after a few crepes so they might begin to brown quicker than the first ones.
2 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. brewed coffee
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
Pour heavy cream, powdered sugar, and coffee into small medium mixing bowl. With beaters or an electric mixer, beat mixture for 1 minute on low and then 1 minute on high. Whip for another 10-30 seconds until desired texture is reached.
I doubled the recipe and made 20 crepes for the cake. Once all crepes have been baked and the mousse whipped, use an offset spatula to dab a tablespoon of mousse onto your serving tray or plate and then place down first crepe. Use spatula to spread approximately 1/4 cup of mousse on the first crepe and then repeat until all crepes have been stacked.
Choose the best crepe for the top layer of your cake and serve immediately.
discover paper crepe cupcakesFor cupcake versions, use a round cookie cutter to cut out individual circles from baked crepes. Use an offset spatula to spread a tablespoon of frosting on top of each crepe before adding the next layer on top. Layer 7-8 mini crepes and serve in a cupcake liner.
Pepperjack Cheesecake ft. Tequila Tortilla Crust + Candied Jalapenos + Honey Chili Frosting
sampled from: here / here / here
Like last month's Holi cake, I've been meaning to do this remix for quite some time. Since last March to be specific, when I made John's Santa Fe sandwich birthday cake. But this one is fancy, and savory and sweet and spicy. It's a pepperjack cheese-cake. It even required the purchase of a new baking vessel - the springform cake pan. With a collar that detaches the bottom from the sides, it allows you to remove the cake without performing any acrobatics to flip it out.
I had never made a cheesecake before so after investing in the proper equipment, I then turned to Martha for the perfect basic cheesecake recipe. I halved the recipe, modified the ingredients, and also cut out some of the cream cheese - the end result is a bit lighter and mousse-ier than your typical cheesecake, by replacing some of the cream cheese with sour cream and heavy cream. In order to ensure even cooking and prevent cracking (I sound like an expert, right?), you will be baking the cheesecake in a hot water bath in the oven.
My favorite part is the jalapeno syrup. You don't even have to put the actual jalapeno peppers into the cake if you don't want to (though that is what makes it resemble actual pepperjack cheese and the peppers aren't as intimidating once you remove the seeds), but replacing the 'sugar' of the typical cheesecake recipe with the jalapeno syrup ensures a kick with each bite. Like a friend (read: taste tester) said - 'it tastes like a jalapeno popper.' YUM. That's what I'll call the cupcake versions - poppers.
The springform-less trial version had the flavor but not the appearance I was going for, so I was much happier when I popped the collar of my second attempt - not bad for a cheesecake n00b. Drawing from my favorite desert color palette, the cake graphic is meant to convey the chevron and triangle patterns found in many a southwestern quilt. Though I totally meant to put a cactus on it as well....
tequila tortilla crust
1 c. fine tortilla chip crumbs
1 tsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. tequila
Crush chips in a large Ziploc bag until broken up and food process until crumbs are fine. In a large bowl, whisk tortilla crumbs and chili powder until well mixed. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and stir in tequila. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour butter/tequila liquid into the bowl of tortilla crumbs and use a rubber spatula to press mixture until all crumbs have been wetted - use the food processor again to mix well, if you want.
Press into greased springform pan - I focused on the bottom, creating a bottom crust about 1/2" thick and then I pressed the remainder up the sides of the pan about an inch. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 15 mins, remove from oven, and let cool completely.
pepperjack cheesecake (yields 6"-round cheesecake)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c. jalapeno syrup (see below)
1/2 c. sour cream
1/3 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. diced candied jalapeno peppers (see below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cut cream cheese into chunks and beat for 1 minute until creamy. Pour in jalapeno syrup and mix for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add egg one at a time, mixing well after each. Add in sour cream and heavy cream, mix for 1 minute until well-blended. You can add the jalapenos into the cheesecake batter at this point and they will be mixed in, or if you want them to be more visible, you can drop them on top once you've poured the batter into the pan.
Fill a large roasting or baking pan with 2-3" of boiling water. Use a large square of aluminum foil to completely wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan, and then repeat so there are two layers of foil covering the pan - this is to prevent water from leaking into the pan while baking.
Make sure the sides of the springform pan are well-greased with PAM spray or butter, and pour the cheesecake batter into the pan on top of the tortilla crust. Set cake pan in water-filled roasting pan, bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes, and then turn the heat off and let the cake cool for an hour with the oven door cracked. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover top with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Remove pan from refrigerator, remove all foil pieces, and use a hair dryer to warm the outside edges of the cake pan for 30 seconds. Run an offset spatula around the edge of the cheesecake to help separate it from the pan sides. Open the collar of the springform pan and carefully remove the sides from the bottom.
candied jalapenos + jalapeno syrup
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. water
2 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and cut into 1/4" thick slices
In a small saucepan on the stovetop, mix water, sugar, and jalapeno slices over lmedium heat, stirring for 6-8 minutes until the most of the water has evaporated and foamy bubbles form. Remove from heat and let cool for 3-4 minutes until syrup forms. Pour mixture into a strainer to separate jalapenos from syrup. Let jalapenos dry/crystallize and then dice into small pieces, and use the syrup in cheesecake batter (see above).
honey chili frosting
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 c. shortening or butter*
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
food coloring (optional)
In a small saucepan over the stove, heat the honey and chili powder for 3-4 minutes until slightly melted and powder is well-incorporated (or heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds). In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and honey mixture until blended. Slowly add in sugar and continue to mix on high until frosting forms.
santa fe cupcakesFor cupcake versions, press wet tortilla crumb-butter-tequila mix into paper liners in a cupcake tray. Bake crusts for 5 mins on 350 degrees F. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the liners with cheesecake 'batter.' Bake for 15 minutes on 325 degrees, remove from oven, and let cool.