Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A piece of cake

So about that cake. I can't tell you how many times I woke up the middle the night thinking "What if I totally screw it up???" I make cakes all the time (part of the reason the brides asked me to make their cake), but when cakes increase in size, so in my mind do the disasters that can ensue. 

But I had Jen of use real butter on my side because I was using her recipe for Perfect Party Cake. But because I am generally unable to follow instructions to the letter, I tweaked her recipe and instructions a bit. Here's what I did:

I added another layer of taste by rolling out sweetened almond paste (not marzipan) as thin as possible and then tracing the outline of the cake pan and cutting out a circle. 

This went on top of every other cake layer, underneath the raspberry filling. 

Here's where we get really tricky. I was having reoccurring nightmares of raspberry filling oozing out the sides of the cake, so I used the Whimsical Bakehouse's trick of piping a thick border around the outside of the layer to hold the filling. This also allowed me to add more filling than I otherwise would. 

Adding the buttercream layer on top of the filling was tricky but manageable because I could anchor the big blob in the middle to the border and then pull the frosting outward.

I was also worried about the cake not being level, so I measured and split layers very carefully. What helped is that this is a fairly dense cake that holds together well even in very thin layers. Chilling the cake before cutting was key, especially since at 10 inches the bottom layer was tricky to split.

I frosted the cake the night before and stored it in the fridge. The next morning, I brought it to room temperature and smoothed things over a bit. For decoration, I used a border of small overlapping leaves from my garden along the bottom and added flowers—hydrangea that were left over from the flower arrangements— on the top of the bottom layer. 

Sorry—I don't have a close-up, but here are the brides cutting the cake,

the brides eating their first bites (served gently, of course),

and the brides with the dork who made the cake.

And even though the cake itself is gone, I'd like to offer a virtual piece of it to an old friend I am so happy to recently have gotten in touch with after almost thirty years through (of all things) Facebook. He remembered me, I remembered him (we went to a homecoming dance together), and I found out he and his partner were recently married. Best wishes to another beautiful couple! 


Jen Yu said...

What a beautiful cake you made for your friends. I hope they were happy with it. The fact that you made it for them is better than any cake they could have ordered and I'm pretty sure it tasted awesome too. I like the bridesmaids on the top of the cake ;)

adozeneggs said...

The cake looks awesome. I've made tons of cakes but never a tiered cake. You're brave!

Deb said...

Gorgeous gorgeous cake! It is making me hungry...

Carla said...


Jennifer H said...

The cake is gorgeous, and looks delicious!

It looks like a happy day, too!

ms. mindless said...

what a cool cake! i am still afraid to try a a cake project that intense.

Heather said...

Cindy, this is such a beautiful cake. I am so impressed.

Rachella said...

Lovely cake -- those pastries on the stand next to it don't look bad either. Congratulation to Gina and Courtney!