LAURIE: I’m Laurie Gelman for howdini.com. I’m here at our space shuttle party, complete with a NASA-worthy cake. This ship has a high wow factor, but a low difficulty factor. So lets head over to mission control, also known as the kitchen, where Liv Hansen from Betty Crocker Kitchens will show us how its done. Hey Liv, how are you?
LIV: Hi, Laurie.
LAURIE: We’re going to blast off with this cake?
LIV: We are.
LAURIE: Let’s see it.
LIV: Okay. Well, I’m using a 13 by 9 cake, and what I’m going to do first, is I want this cake to be somewhat level so I’m going to slice off this little dorm that’s formed. So I’m going to use a serrated knife. Sort of like cutting bread, it makes it a lot easier tocut through.
LAURIE: You’re just going level, you’re not digging it at all?
LIV: I’m not digging in. Okay so now, to get even fewer crumbs, we’re going to flip it over, because we haven’t cut on this side.
LIV: Now I’ve made a template to help me out. I’m going to place it down, and I’m going to use a small knife and just cut along. And this will be the main body of the space shuttle. So maybe you could pass that board over to me.
LIV: This is going to be our serving platter.
LIV: And I’m going to place this down right there. And now we’re going to cut off some extra pieces. The first one, I’m going to use this guideline again. Just cut off this little triangle. And I’m going to place this here.
LIV: Just to give it a little bit more –
LIV: Depth and height. And again I’m going to use it as a guideline. First I’m going to cut this off, and then I’m just going to cut this part off, and then cut this extra triangle off. And then a little piece. This will be the back of the space shuttle. Right here. And then this one will be like the fin there.
So now we’re going to start to do a crumb coat on the cake and actually stick all of the pieces together so they don’t slide around. So we’re going to just use some vanilla frosting. I’m going to put a little bit underneath the cake so it doesn’t slide. And I’m also going to adhere the little back part there, and now I’m going to start the crumb coat. I’m going to put a nice big dollop on and start to spread it.
LAURIE: Can I help you?
LIV: Sure. So I like to get a nice, thick coat of frosting on, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like because then I’m going to come back and smooth it all out.
LAURIE: Right, okay.
LIV: I have one ready to go in the freezer. I’ve chilled it for about thirty minutes, and that sets up the frosting really nice, so it’s easier to finish.
LAURIE: Okay. Let’s switch it out.
LAURIE: I’ll take this.
LIV: Okay. So this one’s ready for the final coat. And just like the crumb coat, you want to get a nice smooth layer of frosting all over the cake. Once I have the top covered, I’m going to start covering the sides. And I like to use a nice, loaded spatula. And that will help me cover it with fewer strokes.
So there’s one trick to help getting your frosting nice and smooth, and that’s to have a bowl or a pot of hot water on hand. You just dip your spatula in, and it will melt the frosting. Just make sure that you dry it off afterwards. And the heat will actually melt the frosting a little bit, making it really smooth and getting rid of some of the air bubbles.
Now I have most of my sides done now. And you’ll notice that in a lot of places, it formed a little lip of frosting around.
LIV: So now its time to scrape off the excess. So what I recommend is sort of coming in like an airplane landing, and then again taking off.
LAURIE: Oh, so you push it all forward.
LIV: Push it all forward, and then you can push it back up before you get to the edge there.
LIV: Sometimes when it’s a small area, sometimes instead of doing the sides first you can actually come over, flatten the top a little bit, and then the lip will form over the sides, and then you just slice it down.
LIV: I think we’re ready to decorate.
LAURIE: I think so, too.
LIV: I have some little chocolate candies here. Maybe we could do a little pattern running around the sides, want to do that?
LAURIE: Sure. We’re doing a red, white, and blue theme, huh?
LIV: Yes. While you’re putting the chocolate on, I’m going to do some piping.
LIV: I have pastry cones filled with vanilla frosting that I’ve tinted. I have blue, and red, and white. If you don’t want to use a pastry cone, you can use a decorator’s tube. They have those at grocery store, in the baking aisle.
LIV: And I’m going to do a little pattern up here.
LAURIE: So you’re just going along the sides?
LIV: Going along the sides, but I’m going to add a little bit more. Okay. And some decorations on the side. These are just little jellied rounds. I also have some small red and blue stars, and I’ll put those over here. I also have these candies here, which are kind of fun. They come in little strips.
LAURIE: Oh, yeah.
LIV: And you can peel them off, they kind of look like little stars. You can also add like inscriptions if you want. There you go. And we need a little accent up here, maybe some more of these little blue candies.
LAURIE:Okay. This looks super duper.
LIV: You know what? There’s one final touch.
LIV: Which is very fun. We’re going to have our rocket blast off. We have candles.
LAURIE: Oh my gosh.
LIV: And you can stick them in the back.
LAURIE:Oh, wow. Can we light those?
LAURIE:That’s going to be fantastic. There we go. Oh, what a fantastic looking cake!
LIV: That’s great.
LAURIE: I knew this wasn’t going to be rocket science! Thanks, Liv, so much. I’m Laurie Gelman for howdini.com