Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rubik's Cube Birthday

The inspiration:
My brother is a little bit obsessed with Rubik's cubes. I remember the very first time he finished one was at a 3+ hour dinner at Per Se maybe four years ago. Since then, he has probably solved the cube in all different shapes and sizes (is it still called a cube?) tens of thousands of times, and even goes as far as to demand me to purchase ridiculous items such as silicone spray or oils for his cubes. In Hong Kong, we even went on a short pilgrimage to a Rubik's cube specialty store. So yeah, it made sense to make him a Rubik's cube inspired birthday cake. 

I actually made two cakes in separate forms. The first is like a battenburg cake but with a marshmallow fondant, and the second was an actual cube. 

Cake Batter (for 3 8x8x1in loafs)
25 tbsp butter (3 sticks)
2.25 cups sugar
2.25 cups self rising flour 
9 eggs 
~10+ drops per color of food coloring 
1 tbsp Vanilla extract

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, then mix in the beated eggs and vanilla extract. Finally, sift flour into the mixture until there are no lumps. 

Separate the batter into 6 different containers and add food coloring to your liking. 

Then pour the batter into the pans (I just separated the pans in half with foil) and bake for 30-35 minutes. Do not assemble the cake until all  the loaves are cooled. 

Marshmallow Fondant
4 cups mini marshmallows 
2 tbsp water
2 cups confectioner's sugar

Microwave the mini marshmallows and water for about 45 seconds or until marshmallows are melted. Stir the marshmallows until it appears visually smooth (eventually you won't be able to stir at all). Then slowly fold in all the sugar and knead until all the sugar is incorporated. 

Refrigerate if you do not plan on using it immediately, otherwise use a rolling pin to flatten out the fondant to your desired shape, which in our case is a rectangle. (Tip: you should have a greased surface to work on so that the fondant doesn't stick the whatever work area you are using)
 
Disclaimer: Okay, the fondant instructions are deceivingly simple. Yes, it only requires three ingredients, and it doesn't take much time, but let me warn you about HOW STICKY MICROWAVED MARSHMALLOW ARE. At one point the dough was stuck to my hand, and it literally would not shake off. Marshmallows are misleadingly unyielding. So, be patient and prepared with what you're dealing with. This fondant takes a lot of upper body strength to make. 

Assembling Rubik's Cube Cakes 
6 loaves of cake
1 jar of jam

CAKE ONE

Neatly trim off the edges and golden brown parts so you get the brightly portion of the cakes. then slice a few one inch strips of each color, remember you need a total of 9 strips of cake. When stacking each strip of cake, first smother the sides with jam for some fruity tang and for cohesiveness. I used a Le Pain's  mixed fruit preserve, which I highly recommend. 

When the cakes are all neatly stacked, wrap the marshmallow fondant tightly around so that the strips have no room to budge out of their orientation. 
Disclaimer: Remember that cookie post? I told you I'm the worst baker in the world. Sorry this looks quite messy. I really tried. 
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CAKE TWO 

Cut 27 cubes from the remaining loaves of cake. 

Then, stack them all neatly and apply jam to multiple sides of each cube to ensure that the cube stays in one piece!

And there you have it! Two different forms of Rubik's Cube cakes. One for the birthday boy, and one for everyone else to share. Happy 15th birthday! 

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