American Cake Decorating Magazine
Ear of Corn Cake
This cake won Best of Show at the 2003 Iowa State Fair. You will be amazed at how realistically these kernels can be piped.
Sarah Koethe started cake decorating in 2002 by taking Wilton Cake Decorating Courses. Entering decorated cakes for the first time at the 2003 Iowa State Fair, Sarah won 3 first-place ribbons and Best of Show.
Cake created by Sarah Koethe
A jelly roll cake* or tube-shaped pound cake
Sharp serrated knife
2 wooden craft sticks
Firm buttercream icing
Icing colors: Golen yellow and green
Parchment or pastry bags
Small skewer stick
2 large flower formers
Cotton balls or tissue
*Jelly Roll Cake Tips: Bake the cake in a standard 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan, then invert the hot cake onto a towel. Find the center of the 15-inch side and cut the cake in half and make 2 rolls. When cool, fill with only a thin layer of jelly, wrap the rolls tightly, and place them in the freezer. Too much filling will cause the cakes to spread out and lose their shape.
1. Use a sharp, serrated knife to trim straight across one end of the frozen cake and shape the other end to a point. Trim the cake board to fit underneath the cake. (The cake will look more "life-like" if the board is trimmed snuggly along the sides and so it does not show along the tip.) Temporarily tape 2 wooden craft sticks underneath the board at a 90¡ angle to the board-this prevents the cake from rolling away as you decorate.
2. Using tip #5 and yellow buttercream icing, apply a straight line across the cake, lengthwise. Starting at the flat end of the ear, position the tip just above the icing line. Squeeze the bag and pipe toward yourself, over the icing line to form the first kernel; release pressure on the bag. Place the tip above the line again, tight against the first kernel. Squeeze and pull toward yourself again to create the second kernel.
3. Complete the entire first row, making the kernels slightly smaller near the pointed end of the cake. Squeeze a second horizontal line of frosting across the cake underneath the first row of kernels. It should be in contact with the kernels all along the first row.
4. Again, place the tip above the frosting line and squeeze, pulling the tip up, over the frosting line, and down toward yourself. The beginning of each kernel in this row will cover the place where each kernel ended in the first row.
5. Repeat this process to cover the entire cake with rows of kernels. At the narrow "pointed end" of the corn, fill in with small round dots where it is too narrow to continue piping kernels with the described method. Along the bottom edges of the ear, where it is difficult to reach, squeeze balls of frosting to cover the cake and hide the cake board.
6. Frost the flat end of the cake with a knife. Roll out light green gumpaste to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut a small circle the approximate diameter of the flat end of the cake and cover the end of the cake. Place the cake in the freezer to help the kernels firm.
7. For the outside husk, use the light green gumpaste. Roll it out 1/8-inch thick, then cut a long rectangular shape large enough for a cornhusk. Taper one end to a point. Use a veining tool or a skewer to make straight "scratch marks" to simulate texture of a cornhusk. (If available, an actual corn husk could be used to vein the gumpaste. Be sure to wash the husk well, and use a roller to transfer a strong impression.)
8. Place the edges of the husk on a foam pad, then lightly roll a skewer along the edges to thin them. Set 2 large flower formers end-to-end, curved side up, and rest the first husk on top. This husk will lay directly on the serving plate, with the corn cake sitting on top. Make 2 more large husk pieces. Leave them laying flat, but cover them with plastic wrap to keep them moist and flexible.
9. Make 3 smaller husk leaves with darker green gumpaste, vein, then ruffle their edges-this is accomplished by exerting stronger pressure on the skewer as you thin the edges.
10. When all husk pieces are ready, lay the curved, light-green husk on the serving platter. Carefully remove the craft sticks from underneath the cake board. Set the cake (with cake board) down into the husk. Wrap the other 2 large husks around each side of the cake. Trim off any extra gumpaste as necessary toward the flat end of the ear.
11. Use the smaller green husks as accent pieces near the tip of the ear, tucking the straight ends underneath. Use cotton balls or tissue to prop and shape the leaves as desired until dry enough to hold their shape.
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