Introduction: Realistic Porterhouse Steak Cake
First Prize in the
Deceptive Desserts Contest
Learn how to create a cool realistic looking Porterhouse steak cake! a perfect dessert for meat lovers...
I made the cake originally to my half-Argentinian hubby who l-o-v-e-s porter house steak! that's his favorite meat.
I have added a template that will help you recreate that same cake.
All you need is two 9"X9" square cakes of your preferable flavor (we're chocolate lovers), filling (I used vanilla buttercream with Oreo cookies...Yummy!) chocolate ganache, fondant, and food coloring.
An air brush kit is a plus.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Making the Ganache
We'll start by making the ganache, prior to layering, filling and stacking the cake, because it needs to rest to reach the right consistency.
It's very simple, we are working with 1:2 ratio of heavy cream and dark chocolate.
For that size of a cake we are good with 125ml (1/2 cup) of heavy cream/whipping cream and even a vegan cream will work, and 250g (approximately 0.5 lb) dark chocolate chips.
Heat the cream in a sauce pan. when it's stat to bubble remove from heat (do not bring to boil) and pour into the chocolate, using a heat resistance container.
Do not stir, and let it seat for 5 minutes.
After 5 min, carefully stir the cream into the chocolate, it needs some stokes before it fully incorporated.
Right now, it has a runny consistency, we need to let it rest in room temperature to reach a more thick consistency that will allow us to easily coat our cake when stacked.
Step 2: Layering, Filling, Stacking and Cutting the Cake Into a Steak Shape
So we need to take each of our 9"x9" cakes, (each cake will be used as a layer) level them, to about 3/4"-7/8" thick.
Spread evenly the your chosen filling (you can work with either buttercream, whipped ganache, even add some strawberry slices), stack the second layer on top of of the filling and let it chill in the refrigerator for about 15 min to allow the buttercream harden and stabilize.
During this time, print the "Porterhouse Steak Template" I have attached and cut out around the steak's contour, or create your own. It's best to take a clear tape and laminate it so it will last to the to the next steps.
Take the cut out steak template, place it on to a 9"/10" cake board and transfer the contour of the steak to the board, cut the shape out as well, that will be our cake base board. Note that if the outline is a little wider than the actual cake, that's all right, it should support the ganache coating and the fondant.
Place the template on top of our chilled cake, diagonally, so it will fit to the proportions of the cake, hold it steady in its place, and using a sharp pairing knife, cut around the contour, till you end up with a steak shaped cake.
You can use the yummy left over cake to create delicious cake pops, or just enjoy it as is.
Step 3: Ganache Coating the Cake
Put small amount of ganache on the steak shaped cake board and spread it evenly.
Place the cake exactly on top of the cake board, following its outline.
Place in the fridge for 10-15 min till the ganache is harden and the cake doesn't slide on top of the base board. now it's ready to crumb coating.
Using a spatula spread the ganache evenly on the cake, creating circular motions (like an infinity symbol) and smooth the surface. don't over do it otherwise crumbs from the cake will stick to the ganache and will be ripped out from the cake surface.
At this point you can trim the cake edge on the right hand side corner of the steak if you want to create the illusion of a sliced steak, but you may just leave it the way it is.
Place back into the fridge for another 15 min.
Then, add a second thin coat of ganache and scrape the excess using a bench scraper tool. If you don't own a bench scraper, a metal ruler should do the trick as well, just wash it vigorously with dish soap before using it on the cake!
If the ganache turned to be too thick at this point, place it in the microwave for 3-5 seconds and it will thinner it.
When done with the final coating, place back in the fridge for another 15 min.
Step 4: Creating the Bone Shape
While the cake is chilling, take either a piece of gumpaste or a fondant mixed with small pinch of Tylose powder/CMC, and color it using a drop of ivory food coloring gel paste. I used Wilton's.
Cut the "bone" out of the template.
Roll the gumpaste/fondant into a 1/16" thick using a rolling pin, over a work surface dusted with some corn starch, or use no.1 level on a pasta roller machine.
Place the bone template on top the rolled gumpaste/fondant, use a little shortning to stick it to its place, and with a sharp X-Acto knife, cut around the out line of the bone. put aside and allow to dry for a few minutes.
Now cut out the outer part of the "bone" template, and repeat the cutting out of the gumpaste/fondant process.
Place the inner gumpaste/ fondant bone on top of the one that includes the outer part of the bone, and using a damped brush, stick the the bones to one another. let it dry a little bit.
Step 5: Covering With Fondant, Adding Texture and Applying the Bone
Adding brown food coloring to a fondant, kneading until fully incorporated will provide us the basic shade of brown to our steak cake.
Roll the fondant into a 1/8" thick using a roller pin over a corn starch dusted work surface. roll it from the center towards the ends, turning in 45 degrees every couple of rolling motions, to reach a smooth, even layer of fondant.
Place the rolled fondant over the cake, and using the palm of your hands tighten the fondant to the top surface of the cake, and top-down, all around the edges. remove the excess fondant using a pizza roller.
Smooth the surface of the fondant using a fondant smoother, in circular motions. it doesn't have to be perfect because we're going to add a rough texture soon.
Attach the "bone" to the top surface of the cake using a damp brush, you can place the remains of the steak template if you want to be accurate.
Cut a strip of the ivory gumpaste/fondant, make adjustments so it will fit the height of the cake, as well as the outer "V'" collar of the top of the bone, cut and adjust, then stick it to the side of the cake, making sure it connects to the "V" collar edges, so it will look like one piece of bone.
Using a sculpting/pottery tool you can get at any arts&crafts store, mark deep dents diagonally on the surface of the steak to create the imitation of the grill net's burn marks, keep more of less even distance between each of the mark, so it will look real. Then, take the round flat side of the tool and gently push the surface of the side of the cake to create the illusion that the side of the steak had shrieked (loosing fluids), and give it a more organic look, rather than perfect sharp edges you would normally try to achieve.
Add small dents all around the surface, to create the texture of the steak"s surface.
Step 6: Coloring the Steak
So once you have reached your desired texture, the steak is ready to be painted.
It is better to work with air brush machine, but you can also apply the food coloring simply by using a brush.
If you chose to go with the trim edge version, to create a effect of a sliced steak, now is a good time to cover that trim edge with a small piece of parchment/wax paper to protect it from absorbing the color. you can stick it to the fondant using a few drops of piping gel. We will paint it as well in the next step.
Starting with a blend of brown and black food coloring, in a thin stream we will air brush/paint brush the dents we have created as the grill's net scorch marks.
Continue contouring around the outline of the bone.
Next, we're going to bronze the steak, creating a blend of brown and copper food coloring (I used Americolor airbrush food coloring), on a wider stream, add shades of bronze to the surface of the cake. it doesn't have to be even.
Next, blending a drop of brown with ivory and white food coloring, airbrush the "bone" surface, including on its side part.
Going back to the brown and black blend of food coloring, we're going to add more shade effect, especially on the sides of the steak, filling those dents of texture we have created.
Let it dry a little before continue to the final touches, otherwise the will start to congest and create dripping of color.
Step 7: Final Finishes
So, if you chose to go with the version of the trim edge+slice of steak, now we're going to create that.
Using a blend of a little brown, ivory, orange and s drop of red, airbrush/paint the center of the trim edge, reducing the amount of color towards the ends, to create a "pinky/bloody medium rare slice of meat".
Then, to make the actual slice, use some left over of the brown fondant add a pinch of Tylos powder/CMC powder, roll it into a 1/8" tick, cut the shape of a rectangular, identical to the proportions of the trim edge we have just colored a moment ago. Using the sculpting tool, create dents to give a texture of a meat, same as before.
Coloring the slice- repeat the same process as the trim edge. Let it dry a little bit on a roller pin of some other narrow cylinder shape that will give it its curve while drying for a few minutes.
Attach the slice to the steak, using a damp brush, complete the airbrushing/painting with the brown blend of food coloring around the seams so it will look like it was actually sliced out of this steak.
When done, let it dry.
If you want to give it a glazing, mix some corn syrup with a little water, and gently brush it on the steak.
Add white sugar sprinkles to create the effect of sea salt, or use black sugar sprinkles to create the effect of grind black pepper.
To give it more realistic touch, I added to mine a gumpaste rosemary branch, but that's a real time consuming, you can totally leave the steak the way it is, trust me! it will totally fool people to believe it's a real steak!
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