Thursday, May 14, 2009
Faux Book 2
And this is the book from which comes forth the great and wonderful Siren's Chocolate Cake recipe. All hail the magnificent Cakes book!
Tania needed the book back because she's making a wedding cake for her daughter. Mari and Jonathan are getting married on May 23, on George's Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands. How's that for a unique location? Scenic too. And you can run around in all the old army bunkers and underground tunnels all day, or get guided tours. Beware the Lady in Black, though! I highly recommend taking a ferry out there for a tour, if you're in the area and have an afternoon free.
Anyhoo, I wanted to thank Tania for letting me borrow her books and for giving me some of her trusty recipes. (Russian down the spine says "Thank you, Tanya!" Even though Tania is different from Tanya, but I wasn't sure how to spell Tania.)
Ok, so the cover isn't exactly the same. The angle of the cake slice is a bit off, I don't have the silver serving piece, and I don't have all the text at the top. Get over it. I also ran out of time for a few other things that you can't see because Paul photographed this from a bunch of different angles, which is always a fine plan.
I actually did leave myself enough time to assemble and decorate this cake because I planned to bring it over on Sunday, which happened to be Mother's Day, because Tania and Valeri were visiting their son's family on Saturday. But plans changed, the son's family came up on Saturday evening, so I intended to drop off the books (and book cake) Saturday afternoon before they arrived. So I compressed decorating into about 3 hours, when I originally had all day and all night (if need be) scheduled. Good practice. I'm sure something like that will happen for the wedding cake final exam, although I'd prefer it doesn't.
Note: Post not available until May 28 because I didn't get the pics until May 21. Thanks, Hon! Great angles, hide those flaws!
Details of the cake:
One batch Siren's Chocolate Cake, one 9" x 13" layer, about 1.6" tall.
Used 4.7 oz. of Lindt 70%, instead of the 4 oz in the recipe, my new standard.
Syruped with 1/4 cup Kahlua.
Used Magi-Cake strips (the Wilton knock-off ones) and rose nail.
Torted into 2 layers.
Total height: about 2.5".
Used 1 batch of Creamy Milk Chocolate Frosting from Baking Illustrated, with 3.5 oz Lindt 70% and the other 6.5 oz Nestle Semi-sweet chips, instead of milk chocolate. Still odd, still true.
Fondant dyed with Wilton's gel colors.
Thin ABS plastic sheet under the entire cover to add stability. (ABS plastic between tiers is much thicker.)
Roses made from apricots, a recipe also in the Cakes book. Painted melted chocolate onto the cover, dusted with cocoa powder (for "inside" of the cake), and sprinkled with slightly crushed, sliced almonds. The actual recipe for the cake on the cover calls for crushed pecans, which I didn't have. Oh well. Not like I actually made the cake on the cover, just the roses.
Fondant made several days before decorating.
Cake made 4 days before serving. Syruped when cool, prior to storage. Wrapped and stored on the kitchen counter.
Cake layers torted and assembled day of serving.
Cake decorated day of serving.
Remember to paint the pages onto the book!
ABS plastic sheet under the whole cover worked well. Only problem was the fondant tore on the corners a bit, so I bolstered them with more fondant. Infortunately, this made all four corners look weird and puffy. Gotta fix that somehow. Maybe cut down the sides slightly and sand the corners a bit?
Same deal as any other ABS sheet: use lots of filling under the plastic (ganache-ish frosting in this case). When the plastic is lifted off, make sure there's still some kind of filling or frosting on the cake.
Metal bench scraper for making the lines still worked well, but I was in such a rush that the lines look a little sad.
Painting fondant is my friend. Far less time consuming than kneading color into a block, and I don't waste extra fondant in a color I can only use once. (Orange, anyone... anyone?)
Still have to practice cakes that sit vertically: carving and fondant. And gold lustre dust for lettering and details. Crap. So much still to do...