The Kitchen

Blue Moon Gems

There’s a Blue Moon-Super Moon-Blood Moon-Total Lunar Eclipse this week. What a cool thing to look forward to! It is the first time in over 150 years that this combination has taken place. With this coming up, I though it would be delightful to put something cute and new into the blogosphere for people to enjoy.

Blue Moon Gem Cakes– so cute!

I adore the glossy, iridescent sheen they have, don’t you?

Alas, they did not turn out as well as I hoped. I mean, theyre still incredibly cute, and a great first attempt at a recipe concept, but I dont believe they’re OMGee Good.

So, I was talking with my sister, who was awesome enough to come partake in this new endeavor, and we agreed that showing the troubleshooting is every bit, if not more, important as showing a perfect product. Truth be told, I feel like it gives someone more “street cred” than simply pretending to be perfect. And believe me, I am far from perfect, though I like to sum it up saying that I am fabulously flawed.

I was probably doomed to fail from the start. I recommend that you never create a new recipe when you are still trying to regain your sense of smell and taste after a recent cold. It won’t work. Because its a blue moon, my husband asked for blueberry. I’ve been dying for a velvet cake lately, so I created a hybrid. Blueberry and chocolate go surprisingly well together, too!

Homemade blueberry syrup went into the cake. Look at that steaming dark sweetness. Although I cut the sugar back in my velvet recipe, the syrup still added a bit too much sugar to the cake.

You can see from the glossy crumb structure that the sugar content is too high for this sponge. I believe the amount of leavener was too high as well. At this point, however, I was already in it, so I decided to carry it out to the end. I froze them, iced them with a cream cheese icing (actually it was a no bake cheesecake recipe which I love, but let’s be honest, those are practically synonymous). After spending the night in the freezer once more, they were ready for their debut in a glossy, new coat.

Here’s where the troubleshooting really gained momentum. In all our experience baking and decorating cakes for the public, neither my sister nor I had ever used a mirror glaze. Really, it was so straightforward that anyone can do it, but it’s always more fun with great company, don’t you think?

This is what the gorgeous glaze looks like before colors being added. I should also note that this was batch #2. We tossed the first batch. Here is what we learned:

  • Use bright, white sweetened condensed milk. The first can we used looked like dulce de leche. It was caramelized decadence, from which we happily enjoyed leftovers drizzled over sliced fruit as we worked. Sadly, this produced a tan base color for our mirror glaze, which we did not want.
  • Melting candy buttons such as Wilton’s brand truly do work better. They are brighter white than real white chocolate and they have a lower melting point, which is half the reason they are a fool proof for so many applications. We originally used a high quality baking white chocolate, and it not only added to the tan color, but also took forever to emulsify.
  • Shimmer dust does not achieve a good base color; rather, use gel food coloring for the hue you desire and use shimmer dusts for iridescent undertones and finishing accents instead. In addition, it floated back to the surface when it sat to rest.
  • Lastly, no matter how long you have frozen your cakes, buttercream or icing Does Not work as well as fondant would have. It has such a high fat content and low melting point that the over all appearance of a dark cake with light icing was slightly degraded. My only plea is this- do not buy fondant. Always make it yourself if you can. I will provide a tasteworthy recipe for that in the future. Also, in favor of fondant, you wouldn’t have to freeze the covered cakes the night before, which means this could all be done in the same day for a fresher product if desired.

To be fair, this is supremely rewarding to do, even if they weren’t perfect.

And we may have an edible slime recipe in the works for you and your little ones in time for Halloween this year!

Conclusion: No matter how your recipe lacks in gastronomic perfection, as long as you have great company, good music, terrible singing, and scandalous humor, there is no such thing as failure.

We will have the perfected version of Blue Moon Gem cakes perfected for you all to make, with ease, in time for the next blue moon this March. Until then, be sure to prepare for this upcoming lunar nonpariel. Let me know if you have anything exciting planned for it.

You can read about it here: https://qz.com/1189777/a-supermoon-and-total-lunar-eclipse-will-coincide-for-the-first-time-in-152-years/

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