Buttercream Frosting: There are many recipes for buttercream frosting and this is Kelly Delaney’s favorite because it is easy to make and tastes great. She highly recommends it for decorating your cakes. Frosting is also available in grocery stores, but if you have the time you may wish to try making your own.

l pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites


1. Whip butter in a 5-quart bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and egg whites in another 5-quart bowl.
3. Set the sugar and egg whites bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (ban marie) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm (testing like a baby’s bottle, warm to touch on your wrist).
4. Remove from stove and whip on electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.
5. Switch the whip attachment to a paddle attachment. Add whipped butter, a little at a time, mixing until well incorporated. (The longer you mix it, the lighter and better the buttercream is to work with.)

Note: The frosting can be made 72 hours in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, 2009.

If it is time to pop the big question or there is an engagement party coming you may want to look into this heart shaped cake, also referred to as an engagement cake.

The secret to this cake is not only its’ shape, but the clever and cute “bride” and “groom” chocolate covered strawberries. The groom is made by dipping the strawberry first in white chocolate, and then twice in dark chocolate to form the front of the tuxedo jacket. Kelly shows how to make a quick and easy parchment paper piping bag that you can use to make a bow tie and buttons to finish the effect.

You start the bride by dipping the strawberry into white chocolate to form the dress. Then, using another parchment piping bag filled with white chocolate, you can make the lace effect along with a string of pearls around the neck.

You will also create a special border around the bottom of the cake with sliced strawberries. For a final flourish around the top of the cake create a series of sideway “S’s” using the dark chocolate piping bag.

So I've got the perfect cake for Valentine's Day. Or, actually, if you know anyone that just got engaged and you're going to have an engagement party, this is a perfect cake as well. This is just a heart shaped cake that we have that you can buy them pan at any craft store.

And it's made by Wilton. We baked our cake. And I filled it with a frosting. And I skim coated it with the frosting on the outside.

We're going to take our strawberries and we're going to slice them and put them around the cake. One the tricks when you're doing the strawberries is you want to cut the top off. And we pull the roughage right up to the top like that. And I squeeze it so the roughage stays together. Using a paring knife I'm just going to slice right down and remove the top.

We're going to be cutting what I like to call the heart of the strawberry. And what that is is we take our strawberry and we're going to cut it the width way rather than the length way because we want them to be fatter than we want them to be longer. So we're going to slice the strawberry break to get the heart centers.

That, to me, is the heart center. Gives it a nice, white, crisp edge with the red on the backside. I went ahead and I pre-cut a bunch of strawberries. And we're going to start by lining them up around the base of the cake.

We have our whole strawberry. And to start, I'm going to grab from the center and I'm going to place it right there against the cake. You always want to use the big ones to start with so it gives it an even pattern. Then I place the other side there. And then there's the smaller one.

So that right there, that's one strawberry. And I got five slices out of it. Now, take the next one and grab the heart center. And I'm going to place it against the edge.

Now, when I'm using these strawberries, I actually didn't wash them ahead of time. A lot of times people think that you need to scrub your strawberry with nice water in order to get it clean. That actually shortens the life span of the strawberry. And it takes away the shine.

So instead of washing it next time, think about grabbing a kitchen towel. You can have it damp if you like. But you just want rub the dirt off. And that will make your strawberry last longer. The strawberry will be more red for a longer period of time. So we have our outline of our strawberries.

For our Valentine's cake or our engagement cake, why not make it a little extra special and make either a tuxedo strawberry or a bride strawberry. It's white chocolate or chocolate that's melted and the strawberry's dipped into it. We're going to make the shirt of the tuxedo.

I'm going to grab the roughage. And I'm going to place the white chocolate on the belly of the strawberry. Upside down we're going to dip the strawberry into the white chocolate. And we're going to pull it out, and we're going to place it on the mat to dry.

I'm using a piece of parchment to place the strawberry on, that way when the chocolate dries, the whole strawberry comes off because parchment lends itself perfectly for dipping strawberries. We're going to dip the bride's strawberry. So we need to make the dress.

So I'm going to grab the roughage of the strawberry. I'm going to take my bowl of white chocolate and angle it so there's more of a pool of white chocolate so when I go to dip my strawberry, the whole strawberry gets covered. Now, often when you're making chocolate strawberries people refer to the chocolate that falls off the strawberry and makes a platform as legs. To avoid the legs, you're just going to let the strawberry sit for a second and then you're just going to push it forward.

Our bride white chocolate is drying. The belly of the tuxedo shirt is all dried. Now, we're to make the tuxedo. So we've got our strawberry and we've got the shirt that's actually dried onto the strawberry. We're going to take the strawberry and now we're going to dip it into the chocolate like a V in order to make a V shape.

Holding the strawberry at an angle, we're going to dip the whole strawberry in from the head to the toe of the strawberry, if you will. So it's one side of the V and then down the other side. And then we're going to place it onto the parchment, and we're going to push it forward.

Now, the next thing we're going to do is we're going to pipe a bow tie and the buttons on it to finish the tuxedo strawberry. I have my parchment bag in order to make my cone. It's a triangle shaped piece of parchment that I'm using to make a disposable bag.

These are great to use. They're quick and easy and inexpensive. Take my chocolate, I'm going to fill my bag up. And then I'm going to fold it over. So I'm going to seal it like this. Fold over one side. Fold over the other side. And seal it down.

I'm going to seal it down. And then I'm going to take my scissors. And then I'm going to slice just a little hole. So a bow tie is two triangles with the tips pointed to each other. So we're going to pipe on triangle like that and then one triangle out this way. And then we're going to fill it in with a little excess chocolate.

Now we're going to pipe on our buttons. When you're decorating, you do things in odd numbers. So you're going to pipe three little dots or three little buttons. Try the other one. And there we have the most adorable tuxedo strawberries.

I've melted my white chocolate. And I'm going to fill it right into my bag. Now, this is for the bride's dress. What we're going to need to do is pipe on some lace. And, of course, every bride needs a pearl necklace. Squeeze some out.

Using our two brides that we have, we're going to just do crisscross patterns of white chocolate starting at the base and going right over. There's a little bit of chocolate on this one so I'm going to go right over it just like that so you don't see it. Now we're going to pipe our pearl necklace. And all that is, much like the men's tuxedo, is just little dots of white chocolate, not next to each other. They're spaced in between to give it the look of a pearl necklace.

So I've been busy making a bunch of tuxedo strawberries and dried strawberries. After you make them, you need to let them chill to let the chocolate harden and then they're ready to be placed onto the cake. So starting with the tuxedos, we're going to place them. Pick them up and place them like a heart shape outlining the cake.

I'm going to stop that one there. Then we're going to do the bride's side. We're going to take the bride's strawberry. And as you notice, my bride strawberries are slightly smaller than the tuxedo strawberries.

So we've got the brides and we have some tuxedo. And then, for the center, I'm going to do one bride and one groom. OK, so just to jazz this cake up just a little bit more, I'm going to pipe of chocolate border around the side.

I have the melted chocolate from when we did our strawberries and when we piped on our tuxedo. The border I'm going to do is I'm going to pipe sideways S's. So if you think about when you're drawing an S, you're going to start here and you're going to pipe an S.

Now, the next trick you're going to want to do is since I started my S at the top, this next S I'm going to start backwards. So I'll start here and I'll go that way. Believe it or not, making a small change like that when you're decorating gives your cake that added extra touch.

I'm going to go right around the cake just like that. It's just about different textures, just adding just your own personal touch and making something look just a little bit more than it is. So just by adding these few simple touches, you've now just taken a beautiful heart cake, which by the way, this cake here is a nine inch heart. And I've put about a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries or tuxedo strawberries on it. And this was going to serve roughly about 20 people. Absolutely gorgeous.

Engagement Cake
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