Why 2018 was the year of the ‘unicorn cake’

Why 2018 was the year of the ‘unicorn cake’

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Extra like “Improbable Beasts and How To Eat Them.”

In keeping with not too long ago launched information from Google, “unicorn cake” was the highest trending seek for meals in 2018. The legendary buttercream pony first trotted out onto the dessert scene just a few years in the past, however it’s galloped throughout social media up to now 12 months, with greater than 585,000 Instagram posts tagged #unicorncake and Pinterest flooded with tutorials on tips on how to make the tall, cylindrical cake that’s embellished to resemble a unicorn head.

Though the precise origins of the frosted unicorn are shrouded in thriller, some say the primary to make it within the kind as we all know it now was Jenna Rae Muffins in Winnipeg, Canada. Jenna Hutchinson, the store’s co-owner and head decorator, began baking the pleasant dessert after a buyer made a particular request in summer time 2016 for slightly lady’s birthday celebration and confirmed Hutchinson an image of a really amateurish try at a unicorn head cake.

“It’s inconceivable to know [if we were the first ones to make it], however we undoubtedly hadn’t seen them round,” Hutchinson tells The Submit.

Jenna Rae’s truffles are sometimes taller than conventional truffles, so Hutchinson began with a tall cylinder constituted of 4 layers of cake and frosted with white buttercream. She used fondant to sculpt a horn and ears, painted on closed eyes with lengthy lashes, piped on a colourful mane and tail of frosting and added some gum balls and mini-meringues for adornment.

She posted an image of the cake to the bakery’s Instagram feed, the place it rapidly went viral.

“It bought a whole lot of engagement, a whole lot of likes and feedback. We [started getting] orders for them fairly constantly each week.”

She credit the web reputation of the cake with the truth that a savvy baker can simply re-create it and add their very own touches.

“Anybody who is aware of tips on how to design a cake can have a look at it and know the steps to take,” she says. “That’s why they’ve sort of exploded.”

At NY Cake within the Flatiron District, co-owner and co-founder Lisa Mansour says it’s been essentially the most requested cake because it reopened in a brand new location in October (beginning at $95 for a buttercream model and $195 for fondant). NY Cake additionally promote horn molds and even affords courses for these wishing to make unicorn truffles themselves. Whereas the lovely, glowing dessert seems to be fairly spectacular, Mansour insists it’s a doable venture for many residence cooks.

“With the precise instruments, it’s not exhausting in any respect,” she says.

Right here, she lays out the method step-by-step.

1. Layer up

Mansour begins by layering 5, 6-inch spherical truffles, frosting in between them with buttercream to create a tall cylinder. Dwelling bakers seeking to maintain issues a bit easier may simply do three taller layers.

2. Easy it out

Mansour frosts across the exterior of your complete cake with buttercream, then coats your complete cake in a layer of fondant icing for a wonderfully easy canvas. In case you haven’t labored with fondant earlier than, Mansour says it isn’t as exhausting as it’d look. She likens it to working with “an edible Play-Doh” and says the secret’s to not push the fondant layer straight down onto the cake. As a substitute, she says, “You truly carry it away from the cake, like material, to stretch it out.”

Nonetheless intimidated? Simply go for a buttercream exterior, which is how Jenna Rae Muffins does its model.

three. Face it

Mansour makes the horn, ears and eyes out of fondant. She suggests utilizing molds to do that, and constructing a toothpick or lollipop stick into the horn and ears that you should utilize to connect them to the cake later. Let the weather air dry, then paint the horn and inside ears with edible glitter blended with lemon extract to kind a paint.

Wish to maintain issues easier? Some on-line tutorials recommend utilizing a sharp ice cream cone for the horn. You can too pipe or paint on the eyes and lashes as an alternative of utilizing fondant.

four. Construct the beast

Stick the horn and ears into the cake and use a dab of clear piping gel (a sticky cornstarch resolution, accessible at baking shops) to connect the eyes and lashes when you used fondant; when you used buttercream, simply stick the eyes and lashes on instantly. Then, use a big star tip and buttercream frosting (pastel colours are conventional for unicorn truffles; for a seasonal twist use purple, white or inexperienced) to pipe on the mane.

The key to profitable piping, Mansour says, is “by no means overfill your pastry bag.” It ought to by no means be greater than midway full. To make a rosette, she says, “simply squeeze when you’re making a lowercase ‘e.’ ” For added selection and texture, you can even use a thinner spherical tip for parts of the mane.

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