Monday, July 1, 2013

Independence Day Desserts!

Everyone likes to get festive for the Fourth of July! I live just outside of Boston, so revolutionary war history (and Independence day in particular), is a big deal in our area. My family always has a big party, so I thought I'd share some of my dessert ideas here, from the simple to the show-stopping. Click on the links for recipes:

"As American As..." New England Apple Pie
 "I cannot tell a lie" Cherry Pie

Hidden Flag Cake - Next time I make this cake, I plan to make it a more accurate representation of the flag, with 13 stripes. Anyway, this was not difficult but it does require some precision and time. I can't take credit for the idea; other bloggers did it first. I got the idea from Cake Central
How to do it:
One recipe of my Moist White Cake can make all the layers you need here, or use any white cake.
1) Make three 8" pans of white cake dyed red (or red velvet cake).
2) Make one thick 6" layer of white cake dyed blue (fill the pan a little over halfway full) if you have them, use "bake even" strips for the blue to get a nice flat top.
3) Torte each red cake into three thin layers (Cut it horizontally - I use a ruler to measure where I am cutting - see my post on Leveling Cake Layers for how to torte a cake)
4) Make white buttercream frosting (this will be the white stripes).
5) Cut the dome off of your blue cake (if there is one) and measure how thick it is. This will tell you how many stripes you can stack your red and white before adding the blue.
6) After measuring how many stripes thick the blue field is going to be, (for example, 2 inches thick might equal 5 stripes), you can start assembling the cake.
7) Put down a red layer, frost it with white frosting, repeat. Go up a little more than halfway, or however far it is until you will be adding the blue.
8) Take your other red layers and stack them, frosting in between layers. Set this part of the cake aside.
9) Decide how big of a circle you want your blue cake to be and cut it with a cookie cutter (I think I used a 4" circle to cut mine out).
10) Cut a circle in the center of your assembled top striped layers. Put these layers on the cake. You should have a hole where the blue will go.
11) Add your blue to the center, gently pressing it into the rest of the cake. 
12) Frost as you would like. When you cut it, each slice should look like the flag :)
Cake with edible fondant flag on top
Take your favorite cake and top it with an edible flag: Use white fondant rolled out and cut into a rectangle. Measure out lines for your 13 stripes with a ruler so they will be even, and mark lightly with a toothpick so you will know where to paint. Count down seven stripes from the top and mark a spot that is slightly more than 1/3 of the width - that is where your blue field of stars will go. Using gel food colors (available at craft stores or cake supply shops) paint the blue field and the red stripes directly onto the fondant with a fine tip brush. (Leave the white fondant bare for the white stripes) Add tiny dots of white Royal Icing to represent stars. Before the flag is dry, set it on your cake either flat or slightly waved. (Once it is dry it will not be pliable).

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