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May 17, 2011 12:11 PM

Guitar Cake Frosting and Chocolate Help

Hi all, I have decided to make a guitar cake based on the following directions.

I will be using Hershey's Cake recipe, but have questions about the frosting. I want to make a sour cream or cream cheese frosting for the vanilla, and make a ganache for the chocolate. My concern is with the mixing, does anyone have experience mixing frostings and do you think this would work? (You have to mix certain amounts of chocolate and vanilla to get new "wood" colors). Also, is there any substitute for yellow food coloring to mix with some frosting, or am I going to have to buy some?

My last question regarding the cake is about the neck. This may be over ambitious, but I want to make chocolate covered cheesecake bars to serve as the neck. I have made plenty of cheesecakes, but have no idea about dipping them. Would simply freezing the bars and then dipping them into melted semi sweet chocolate work, and re-freezing work?. Should I add butter or oil to the chocolate?

Ok, that's all. I will be embarking on this challenge on Thursday when my schedule and the house is free. Any answers/tips or questions of your own appreciated. Thanks.

PS. I am thinking of documenting this for a food blog, although I don't have a food blog so it would just be something in my archives I guess.

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  1. This looks like a great project?

    First, a question - what is your baking experience? Have you done other baking and cake decorating before? If you have, great. If you haven't, I think you'll be successful, but I'd like to encourage you to scale back a bit. In other words, skip the cheesecake bars, and consider more similar frostings. Creating this great guitar will take many steps, and each part will pose its own challenges. Simply getting the cakes cut out, put together on a board and then frosting the cake in an appealing fashion will be enough of a challenge. The piping required for the strings is actually harder than it looks there. Definitely practice it a bit before you do it on the actual cake.

    A sour cream or cream cheese frosting should work for the vanilla. A ganache will work for the chocolate if you get it to the right consistency (not too thin, but also not so cold that it's no longer spreadable). I think it's easier to mix like frostings (e.g. buttercream and buttercream), but it will probably work, especially if you have a mixer at your disposal to help you out.

    If you don't have any food coloring, you will be able to create a nice tan color by mixing chocolate and vanilla. It won't be exactly the color in the photo, but it will be good.

    About the cheesecake bars - I think this is a lot of work, but if you really want to do it, it should be okay. Freezing is a great strategy. I would definitely use chocolate that is thinned with butter or oil (or maybe even a thinner version of the ganache you will be making).

    Please post a photo of your completed project.

    1 Reply
    1. re: milklady

      While I would not consider myself an expert, I am an experienced baker with at least cheesecake and chocolate cake, and for a time I was providing deserts for a local cafe to sell. Although I never did any piping or real decoration, just the basic frosting and they added caramel drizzle when served. I am still considering the neck, I may just keep it simple, but at the same time part of me wants to try it all, possibly the idea in my head is unrealistic. Maybe the cheesecake bars should be saved for their own project, but we will see..

      As far as the frosting go, I have a hand mixer that I think should be able to get the job done. I am still not sure if I should do two circles and cut them out., or use a 9 by 13 and use a template.

      I will keep you updated with pictures, hopefully I will be able to make a small photo album of the project. At worst I will have a tasty Picasso.

    2. Cute cake! You could do a pb frosting, if nuts are not a problem. For the chocolate, I'd consider a chocolate sour cream frosting. I love how easy it is to work with. As the handle goes, cheesecake bars would work. For an easy route, use Twix bars. A little harder, but easier than cheesecake bars, cake pops shaped in rectangles. I'd love to see the project.

      4 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        The peanut butter frosting is a good idea if that's an option for you. It will give you the right color. If not, I would add melted chocolate to a portion of the icing you choose so you are very close in consistency. You can ice the whole top of the cake in the lighter color and refrigerate it until the icing is firm. The darker circle can then be frosted on with a stencil cut from parchment paper. Since those yellow dots are so minor, you can mix some turmeric in white icing. The flavor will be too strong for a large portion, but probably okay for those small dots. Just make sure to taste it before applying it to the cake. I would stick with the Twix rather than mess with cheesecake. My concern would be temperature disparity. I would think the cake needs to sit out longer than the cheesecake, but I suppose that depends on your recipe.

        1. re: maxie

          I never thought of a PB frosting, I think that would be a good color and certainly would not be any allergy problem. The little yellow dots at the base of the strings are going to be Mm's, so the food coloring would just be for lightening the base frosting. The cake would probably have to be assembled once and taken apart if I were to do the cheesecake bars. I know that some people who will be eating this cake (At some point it will be eaten) are not fans of chocolate cake and would much prefer a cheesecake, which is why I'm still hanging on at this point.

          1. re: tennisman03110

            Just remember that you'll need to pipe the strings at the last minute then. If you bake two rounds, you also have an opportunity to make one cake yellow or vanilla.

            1. re: tennisman03110

              You could also bake the cheesecake in a rectangle, and cut it lengthwise to size w/out doing the individual bars. Pour ganache over it and then add the lines w/ a knife, pressing down gently into the ganache. I don't think that would take a lot of time (well, other than the time of making the cheesecake).

              As piping the string goes, how are your piping skills? It would be a shame to do all that work and then not have evenly spaced straight lines (and hard to remove). I'd get a sheet of acetate (from the florist dept of any grocery store--usually they don't charge for it). Draw out straight lines on a long sheet of paper and put under the acetate. Use that to trace the straight lines. When hardened, carefully remove and place on the guitar. If you want to go ahead and pipe on the cake, draw the line towards you, rather than go side to side--it's easier to get a straight line that way.

        2. I've done a different guitar cake and since my child's dream guitar is turquoise, I can't help you with the frosting colors too much. One thing I'll suggest is that if you have problems piping long straight lines, consider using licorice shoe laces for the strings. Also, our guitar became a bass because I made the neck out of cake and it was simply too narrow to place six strings.