Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

I’ve been up to my armpits baking these past two days. Did I say my friend is getting married next month? I meant THIS month! On the 20th even! Ack!

More coffee please!

Whenever I have a big cake event coming up, I bake the cakes ahead of time, wrap them very, very well in parchment and Saran wrap, and then freeze. When it’s time to frost, I take the cakes out, let them defrost (wrapped) at room temp, and away we go. Not only does this save a HUGE amount of time, it makes the cakes more moist! Just be sure to leave them wrapped when they are defrosting. Unwrapping while they defrost will actually dry them out.

The process has been tedious because I only have one set of square pans, so that means I can only bake one cake in that particular pan at a time. The cake is going to be 4 tiers, square, starting at 12”, and graduating up to 6”. So, why just one set of pans, you ask?

Well, number one, unless I go into the wedding cake making business, the chances of me needing two of each pan is slim-to-none, plus I have the time. Number two, you might be screaming, “Torte, torte, torte!!” But alas, this is where I get all soapbox on your ass.

I have a very simple approach to cake, and well, I want the emphasis to be on the cake. I don’t know where or when it became vogue to have 7 layers of “vanilla-bean-English-lemon-curd-chiffon,” alternating with “pineapple-white-chocolate-mousse,” and enveloped in a “hazelnut-rum-framboise-buttercream.”

Where’s the cake? Show me the cake!!

When I eat cake, I want the frosting or filling to compliment the cake, not overwhelm it. It’s wedding CAKE, right? Not wedding FROSTING or wedding FILLING…although I used to work with a lady who would ask everyone to give her their buttercream from the monthly birthday cakes. She’d eat the buttercream, big, goopy spoonfuls of it, and ditch the cake.

Yech!

I make one filling and two layers, maybe 3 layers max for each cake. The cakes are made 100% from scratch, with tested recipes, and don’t need a lot of “buttercream bling” to make it better, or hide what it’s lacking. They’re not particularly artsy, although pretty. I’d rather spend most of my time on substance, not structure.

So, I say, “Let them eat cake!” and save the frosting for that lady I used to work with.

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