Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Contemporary Birthday Cakes

Stepping out of the bridal realm for a post on a contemporary version of the classic birthday or occasion cake. I've never been one who needs an occasion to eat cake but for those of you who do, please allow me to introduce you to the entremet. An entremet (meaning 'between meals' in French, because they needed a word for that whole cake they eat between meals...) is a type of mousse cake that is built in a metal ring and contains layers of multiple different textures and flavors encased in a singular exterior mousse. It is garnished with the purpose of serving it whole to a person or party, who may then slice it up and share it (...or not). Because of the petite size and easily frozen nature of the entremet, you'll find them most frequently in upscale restaurants or bakeries reserved for guests with a special occasion. I just took a whole class devoted to these little gems in pastry school and I thought they were too cute and delicious not to share.

The best part about an entremet is how many different layers of texture you can incorporate into one. A particular flavor can be repeated multiple ways to make a strong statement, or you can build an interesting blend of different ones. Because it is created in a mold, you can use both hard and soft textures with ease without worrying as much about structure. The entremet pictured below has a spicy gingersnap cookie on the bottom, a blueberry jam, an almond cake and a marscarpone mousse on the exterior. The colored band is a decor sponge cake that we 'camouflaged' using brightly dyed cake batter, and there is a raspberry glaze on the top to finish.

Entremets come in all shapes and sizes like this buche de noel mold. The ends are sliced off to reveal the gorgeous layers inside of sugar cookie, blueberry jam, citrus chiffon cake, blueberry compote, basil mousse and lemon mousse. This one is also glazed with a raspberry glaze and garnished with sugar decor items.

Now this one, this one, is modeled after the Take 5 candy bar. Yes. It is a chocolate cookie crust followed by a chocolate pretzel crunch, a caramel cremeux (similar to a mousse), chopped peanuts, a chocolate flour-less cake and a peanut butter mousse. Then the whole thing is en-robed with caramel glaze and garnished with chocolate. It really is as good as it sounds.

I saved my favorite for last though. As much as I love chocolate and peanut butter, the textures and flavors of this last entremet jive with me the most. 

 It is a modern version of the classic carrot cake with a hazelnut cookie crust, raspberry jam, carrot cake, strawberry gelee (almost like a jelly), and cream cheese exterior mousse. To finish this cake I sprayed a hot glaze of white chocolate (dyed orange) onto the frozen cake using a paint spray gun from the hardware store. The warm chocolate sets instantly when it makes contact with the frozen cake and creates a velvety, slightly crunchy texture. It's garnished with chocolate and dried, candied orange slices.

An entremet is the perfect platform to experiment with new flavor/texture combos and really be inventive. They also make a beautiful centerpiece for a birthday or your next special occasion. For your flavor inspiration, any of the mousse flavors listed could be used as a filling in a more traditional type of birthday or wedding cake to make the concept more practical for larger events too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bridal Shower Cupcake Cake

I've been busy working on lots of cakes coming your way soon, but I wanted to check in quickly today with this bridal shower cake I recently made:

The design was simple and functional- two dozen cupcakes arranged in the form of a wedding dress to match the theme of the event but be easy to grab and mingle.

These little cakes are tangy and tender citrus pound cake paired with a lavender cream cheese frosting. The floral scent of the lavender brings out the brightness in the citrus beautifully. I wrapped a white tulle sash around the middle to finish and garnished with delicate yellow flowers for some flare. 

This style of cake makes a sweet centerpiece to shower your favorite bride anytime. This getting married business is definitely an excuse to eat a lot of cake!