In addition to knitting and crochet, the hobbies I spend the most time on, I also enjoy baking. My project yesterday was trying out my new heart-shaped filling pans to make an ice cream cake. The pan is from Wilton, and I found it over on ThinkGeek:
See the indent in the middle of each pan? The pan on the left creates the bottom of the heart, and the one on the right creates the top. I used Pillsbury chocolate cake mix and Joe and Ross (local brand) chocolate chip ice cream. The first step was to make the batter. It came out kind of thick, so I had to spread it out with a spatula to make sure it got into the bottom of the pan all around and covered up the raised parts in the middle.
The next step was to bake the cakes. The recipe book that came with the pan set said the most of the cakes should bake for 25-30 minutes. However, their chocolate cake recipe had a baking time of 38-42 minutes. I was unsure if this was a typo or if chocolate cakes took longer to bake. I decided to start with 30 minutes, and that seemed about right. While the cakes were baking, I moved the ice cream and the Cool Whip (for the icing) from the freezer to the fridge.
The floor in our kitchen is slanted slightly, enough that it actually can affect cakes and things while they are baking. I once had a pan of brownies where one corner was thin enough to break like peanut brittle, and the opposite corner was very thick. I tried to correct this problem by turning the pans around halfway through, but I must have waited too long because they had already started to rise unevenly.
The one on the right (the top half) had me especially worried, because it looked like there was a small hole in the cake. They looked pretty good once I turned them out of the pan, though.
There was no sticking, because I made sure to use plenty of spray in the pans. I may have even used a little too much. But to get the cakes out, all I needed to do was turn the pans upside-down and tap on them a few times. The next step was the filling. I used a regular spoon to fill the cavities with the ice cream, which had softened very nicely in the hour or so it took to bake and cool the cakes.
It looks like an owl face, doesn't it? The "beak" in the middle is a dollop of ice cream that accidentally dripped onto the rack and melted onto the table:
Anyway, after freezing the cakes for about half an hour to let the ice cream set, it was time to flip the top over onto the bottom and frost the whole thing with Cool Whip. The flipping was the step that had me most worried. Fortunately, it went off without a hitch.
I started frosting by putting a big scoop of Cool Whip in the crevice on top. Cool Whip is much easier to work with than, say, buttercream icing. The cake is sitting on a rotating stand, which I bought when I took Wilton cake classes a couple years ago. It made it very easy to frost it all the way around. I smoothed the Cool Whip with the spatula as best I could.
Not quite ready for the cover of Martha Stewart Living, but not bad either. The cake stand has a tab that can be pulled to lock it in place, so I locked it, covered it with foil, and stuck the whole thing in the freezer.
The only question left is, how did the heart-shaped filling come out? Check back later this week! We are saving the cake for Valentine's Day.