Tuesday, August 3, 2010
the cake project
75th birthday cake
FINALLY. I have internet access again. Four frustrating days of waiting and one new wireless router later, I am up and running again. So this is it! A cake with a beach theme for a 75th birthday. The top layer is a treasure chest which I built out of pastillage. I made multiple little gold coins and pearl necklaces to fill it with. The chest lifted up to reveal a mini cake underneath, which I unfortunately didn't have time to take a picture of. It was pretty darn cute, though, I assure you. The cake was a butter cake with vanilla buttercream and vanilla bean custard filling and was covered in fondant. I made beads for around the cake (the gold color looks a little tinny in the pic, but in real life was quite brilliant) and a few white chocolate sea shells as well.
The chest took the most time. I had to make the pastillage in advance and imprint it with the wood texture. Then I had to assemble it and airbrush it. Next, I cut all the detail pieces, like the handles, out of sugar paste, let them dry, airbrushed and attached them. Above is a picture of the box before I added any detail pieces.
After the cake was picked up, I literally didn't know what to do with myself. It was the strangest feeling. I thought of a line from one of my favorite movies, "The Bad and the Beautiful", with Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner. Douglas, who plays a movie producer, says " After I finish a picture, something happens to me. It's a feeling of letdown, emptiness..." A tad melodramtic, but still...
So I had an office day yesterday. Chef wants to put together a document with pictures of each of the desserts we make, a list of their components and ingredients and a notation of whether or not they have gluten, nuts, soy or other common allergens. Allison, who I work with most up on the line, took a good deal of the pictures. She has a beautiful blog http://www.dolcettoconfections.com/blog/ with wonderful recipes and photographs. I then put all the pics in a document, looked up all the recipes and typed everything out. I did it in a Word document which was painful for me since PC's and Word both suck. Really, really suck. It was strange to sit at a desk for a few hours instead of running around the kitchen.
We are starting to make toffee popcorn at work. Will post on this soon because IT IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE.
Also, I am trying to get together with Roger, the sous chef at work and incredibly talented chocolatier, so he can show me a few tricks with bon bons. He just made a blueberry lemon verbena chocolate which is incredibly amazing. Will try to get lots of pictures for this as well.