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...

at work...
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.


  1. Emma - what of the cake is edible - is pastilage edible or just for decoration? I thought the treasure chest might have been made of chocolate! Your work is truly beautiful - art, I'd say.

  2. Everything is edible! I wanted to make the chest out of chocolate but it's been so hot out I didn't want it to melt.

  3. That's amazing! And it would work for a pirate party too XD haha

  4. my original idea was one single cake---a giant treasure chest. Would have been awesome...

  5. It was an amazing cake. NOt only did it look beautiful but it taste really really good. Truly the highlight of the night!


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