Introduction: The Carrot Walnut Honey Bee Hive Cake
I understand that this contest is an awareness that is being raised towards saving honey bees from the adverse effects of pesticides. Hence, MY VISION in making this cake is A PESTICIDE FREE HOME FOR THE HONEY BEES. Hence, I decided to make a bee hive with natural ingredients wherever possible and make it as healthy as possible.
The base cake is made of honey and absolutely NO sugar. I have also added fresh carrot, home made apple sauce and walnuts.
The top decorative layer called the fondant is made with honey, icing sugar and natural colours (most of the time) viz turmeric (for yellow color) which has great medicinal value unlike the store purchased artificial colours.
MY MOTTO as engraved in the cake is "HONEY IS BEST INSIDE (THE BEEHIVE) WHEN NO PESTICIDE"!!!
It has been an amazing experience which I will cherish throughout my life. The final output looked satisfying to me. I hope you also like it. Please let me know via your comments. Thank you and I wish you all the very best in running the cause through this contest.
Step 1: Make Buttercream Fondant
- Corn Syrup - 1/2 cup
- Vegetable Shortening - 1/2 cup
- Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder - 2 tbsp
- Confectionery Sugar or Icing Sugar - 1lb
- Salt - 1 pinch
- Nutella for brown colour
- Blue colour for thick dirty green/brown colour.
- Coffee powder (You can use nutella but since my nutella got over, I used coffee powder also)
- Mix the corn syrup and vegetable shortening in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer till a smooth consistency.
- Add a pinch salt, vanilla extract and turmeric powder and mix again.
- Gradually mix in confectionery sugar until the dough is stiff to use the hand mixer.
- Knead the dough with your hand till it forms a dough smooth enough to be rolled with a rolling pin.
- If you wish to use it little later, then apply the shortening around the dough ball so that the fondant wont dry out. Then wrap it with cling wrap and set aside.
- For white fondant, repeat steps 1 to 4. Skip including turmeric.
- For brown fondant, repeat steps 1 to 4 but include Nutella in place of turmeric.
- My observation is that if we mix the color while mixing the sugar, the color mixes uniformly and kneading with hand becomes easier.
- If you wish to make a smaller quantity fondant, then use lesser quantity of ingredients.
Step 2: Make Applesauce
- 4 medium size organic apples
- Aluminium foil
- Oven safe container
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F.
- Wash the apples clean.
- Wrap the apples in aluminium foil and place it in a oven safe bowl.
- Place it in the oven for 40mins.
- After 40mins, remove from oven and let it cool down.
- Peel the apples
- Mash the apples to a thin paste without lumps using a mixer.
- The final output is the homemade apple sauce.
- I used the homemade apple sauce as a natural sweetener along with honey in my cake.
- You could use normal apples as per your wish. I preferred organic.
Step 3: Make Carrort Walnut Honey Cake Base (NO SUGAR)
- All Purpose Flour - 4 cups
- Baking Powder - 2tsp
- Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
- Applesauce - 2/3 cup
- Chopped Walnut - 2 cups
- Carrot - 2 cup
- Honey - 2.25 cups
- Eggs - 6 large
- Butter - 2 cup
Appliances / equipments required:
- Hand grater
- Whisk / Spatula / Spoon
- Mixing Bowls - 3
- Hand Mixer
- Preheat the oven to 325 degree F .
- Wash the carrots, use a hand grater and grate carrot and keep aside.
- In a mixing bowl, break the eggs and whisk it till the yolk and egg white mix well. Don't over whisk it. Keep aside.
- In another mixing bowl, use a hand mixer and mix butter and honey to a smooth consistency.
- Pour the egg mixture from step 3 little by little and mix using the hand mixer to a smooth consistency.
- Mix the apple sauce to the output in step 5. Keep aside.
- In another mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients with a whisk. Then mix the grated carrot and chopped walnuts.
- Mix the outputs in step 6 and 7 together with a spoon. Don't over mix. This is your cake mixture.
- Grease the pan/oven safe glass bowl with butter and pour the cake mixture from step 8 to the greased pans.
- Place the pans with cake mixture in the oven for 45 mins.
- After 45 mins, insert a fork inside the cake and check if done. If the cake mixture does not stick to the fork, then its done.
- If done, then remove the pans and let it cool.
- Once cooled, remove the cake from the pan.
- The base cake for our bee hive cake is now ready.
- If you are using a oven safe glass vessel to bake cake, please maintain a little lower temperature. I used 325 degree F for 45mins.
- If you are using a normal cake pan, then you can use 350 degree F for 35-40 mins.
- The temperature in different ovens might vary, so after 35 mins please check with a fork if the cake is done.
Step 4: Make Honey Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 cups confectionery sugar or icing sugar
- 1 tbs Turmeric powder
- 2 tbs coffee powder
- Blue color
- Add butter, honey and icing sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Mix well using a hand mixer or a spatula until very smooth consistency.
- The honey butter cream frosting is ready.
- For yellow frosting, add turmeric powder in the honey butter cream frosting and mix well to get the yellow frosting.
- For brown frosting, boil coffee powder in little water, then add this decaution to the white frosting and mix well.
- For dirty green frosting, add blue color to the brown frosting and mix well.
- Use a zilog bag and put the respective frostings needed for piping. Make a tiny home at the edge of the ziplog bag.
- Make sure butter is in room temperature.
- If the consistency is too thick, you could add a few drops of honey/milk.
Step 5: Stacking the Base Cakes in the Form of a Bee Hive
- The four round cakes we prepared earlier.
- Apply little butter frosting on the center of the cake stand so that the cake does not slide.
- Place the biggest round cake on the applied butter frosting.
- Apply butter frosting on this cake layer all around it.
- Cut the second round layer so that its little smaller than the first layer from the bottom.
- Place it on top of the bottom most layer.
- Similarly, apply butter frosting on all the layers and place one layer above the other.
- The bee hive cake is now ready without the decoration.
- Since we have to apply fondant on top of this cake, I did not apply the butter frosting liberally.
Step 6: Decorating the Base Cake - Final Step!
Steps to apply yellow fondant on the 4 layer cake:
- Take a portion of the yellow fondant.
- Apply icing sugar and little corn starch on the work surface.
- Roll it using a rolling pin till about half an inch thick.
- Wrap it around the rolling pin.
- Lift it slowly and unwrap it on the 4 layer cake.
- This might not wrap the whole cake so repeat the above steps till the whole cake is covered with a layer of the yellow fondant.
- Use yellow butter cream frosting to smoothen the cracks/edges.
Steps to make the hexagon piping on the cake to give it a hive look:
- Place the yellow buttercream frosting in a piping bag. I used a ziplog bag and made a tiny hole in the corner.
- And make hexagon shapes all over the cake.
- It didn't really look like a hive, so I again used brown buttercream frosting and piped it again.
Steps to make bees:
- To make the body of the bee, use the yellow fondant and make tiny oval shaped balls.
- To make the wings of the bee, use the white fondant and make very tiney round balls. Then hold it in between you thumb and forefinger and press so it becomes flatter. Then give it s a kind of oval shap. Then apply water at the edge and stick it to the yellow body.
- To make eyes, make extremely tiny round balls with the dark dirty brown fondant and use water and stick it to the yellow body.
- To make strips on the body, use the dark dirty brown fondant and make a thin rope by rolling between fingers. Use water and stick to the center of the yellow body.
- Repeat the above steps and make more bees.
- The bees are ready.
Steps for the final decoration:
- Place the bees on the various layers of the cake. You could use tooth picks if required. I didn't use any.
- Use the dirty green buttercream frosting to write the motto on the cake base and to make the outer borders for the cake.
- The 4 layer Carrot Walnut Honey Bee Hive Cake is now ready.