Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring Wedding Cake Preview

I'm still recovering from a busy weekend of cake baking, decorating and delivering, but in the meantime, here are a few to preview my wedding cake this weekend at Oak Ridge Estates in Arrington, Virginia:

Freshly picked lavender from our yard to flavor the lavender cake.

Adding the lavender to the cake batter.

 Lavender cake tier in the oven.

Ready to start the decorating phase! From left, buttercream, raspberry mousse filling and dark chocolate cake layers.

In addition to a tiered cake, this wedding had three extra sheet cakes to cover the guest count. This one is pink lemonade that has just been frosted with citrus cream cheese filling.

A close up shot of the fondant lace detailing on the top and bottom cake tiers.

Check back for many more pictures and details later this week!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wedding Cake Day Playlist

Many things are important in the process of creating a wedding cake. There's the tasting, the sketching, the planning, the stalking of wedding blogs and videos for examples - and that is all before the dust even comes close to coming off of my kitchen aid. When I really think about it though, one of the most important things that goes into a successful Wedding Cake Day is the playlist. Whenever I've accomplished anything particularly notable in life, there's always a solid playlist on in the background. Be it running, studying or piping homework, the second that my iPod dies is the second that productivity goes out of the window.

Next weekend is Memorial Day and I have possibly the most exciting wedding cake I've ever made coming up for Molly and Michael. So this weekend I'm finishing up all preparations to make this cake day go off without a hitch, and the playlist is on the top of my list! When baking, I need a good mix of 'positive vibes', 'heart pounding' and 'sing-your-heart-out-into-a-whisk' kinds of music. Here's what I have so far for next weekend:

  1. I Would Walk 500 Miles: Kenny and the Scots (Stuck in our heads during bakeshop these days)
  2. Mirrors: Justin Timberlake (Okay, so the rest of his new album too...)
  3. Stir It Up: Bob Marley (Should have seen that one coming)
  4. Crystalize: Linsey Stirling (Girl KILLS it on the violin)
  5. Sweet: Dave Matthews Band (A pick me up)
  6. Radioactive: Imagine Dragons (Jammin' out while decorating)
  7. Only You: Ellie Goulding (Latest obsession)
  8. Brown Sugar: The Rolling Stones (Never hurts to hear this one while baking)
  9. Stronger: Britney Spears (One that is sacred to the bride and I)
  10. A few selections from the Julie and Julia soundtrack for good measure.
What do you like to listen to when you bake/cook? Check back this week for updates on how this cake is coming together!

Classic Raspberry Linzer Torte

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sculpted Bunny Cake

If you remember back on my first week at the CIA I met Derek Corsino, head chef and owner of Corsino Cakes, a gourmet cake bakery out of Wappingers Falls, NY. Derek graduated from the bachelor's program at the CIA in 2009 and has gone on to not only start his own successful business, but also appear on Food Network Challenge three times. He was so approachable the day I met him at the cake competition here that I emailed him to set up a workshop for classmates and I to supplement our CIA experience. I will take classes on cakes here, but we don't use fondant or gumpaste until after I return from my externship, and sculpting is not in the curriculum at all. Since cake decorating is obviously a huge interest of mine, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Derek and I designed a sculpted cake workshop for my class together over email. And then four of my classmates and I made the short trip to his bakery one Monday to sculpt and decorate a bunny cake at his direction.

We started out by talking about the different structural support that he uses and what we were using for the bunny cake. It was a pretty simple sculpted cake, but making the ears stand up required some hardware. Attached to the cake board were a male and female receptor to hold the PVC pipe vertically, and then wire was attached to the pipe with putty to form the ears.

We sliced his high-ratio (high fat content) vanilla cake and stacked it with Italian buttercream to make the head shape.

 From this step we carved into the stack to shape the head, and then put a crumb coating of  buttercream on to smooth the surface.

Next, he showed us his method for covering a cake in fondant and adding texture to make it look realistic.

We rolled out fondant to make the ears, eyes, mouth and nose, and he finished his with green grass.

His finished product.

My finished product.

Katie and Carlie with their bunny.

The whole crew!