Thursday, May 1, 2008

More Polka Dots

I apparently have polka dots on the brain. Just finished with the cheesecake pops and it's time to make a prototype of Shasha's wedding cake. I baked the layers over the course of a week - high school math comes in handy, surprisingly, when you are trying to take a recipe that bakes in 2 - 12" round pans and convert it to square pans - so I baked one 7" layer and one 12" layer (square) out of each batch, then baked 2 - 9" square layers out of the third batch.

The final batch should have had a small third pan as the 9" pans were overfull. But hey, at least I did the math and knew what was going on!
Then, 5 cups of rum syrup, 5 pounds of mascarpone cream cheese frosting, and 5 pounds of whipped chocolate ganache
The assembly was pretty easy with the divider plates and the columns to provide support and a little extra lift - the space between the bottom and middle tiers will be filled with fresh flowers in the wedding version of the cake.
On this one, I decided to do the middle layer with chocolate just for fun after I realized that I didn't have enough cream cheese frosting - in the final product I will have to make even more cream cheese frosting because the entire cake will be white. And I had more than enough chocolate ganache.
The decorations are a shameless theft from the cheesecake pops, but hey, it works! Take some lukewarm molten chocolate, spread it on waxed paper, cover with more waxed paper and smooth out to a thin sheet. Then, when it is just cool enough to peel the paper off, but not brittle, cut rounds out with small cookie cutters. That's it - they stick naturally to the cream cheese frosting with no additional help.
All recipes are from the Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, modified per my little quirks - for example, she likes really bittersweet chocolate - I usually substitute semi-sweet. And for some reason she likes to make white or yellow cakes with either all egg whites or all egg yolks - I usually use whole eggs but just make sure the weight is the same - so her recipe for 11 whites or 9 yolks ends up being 5 whole eggs. This does not make the cake too yellow, and it has the benefit of using up the whole egg, which I consider a plus. Many of her buttercream recipes call for either yolks or whites, so it might all balance out in the scheme of things, but I generally don't use her buttercream recipes, so it makes sense to use the whole egg.
After it was done - probably 30-35 pounds (!), I emptied out the fridge to store it overnight, then took it apart for transport into work. So, happily, the architectural issues and transportation issues are all resolved since I now know I can build it and move it. Tonight I am going to a cake decorating class so the final product is lovely and level!!


kim said...

Lisa I am so impressed! What a cake. How did you ever get that in the refrigerator? Lucky you going to cake decorating class sounds like fun. Too bad I don't live near you, as I adore cake and would have been a happy cake tester if you needed one. I am willing to bet it tasted absolutely delicous!!!

Lisa said...

Thanks! I do need more testers - that was a lot of cake! The middle layer is in the freezer until everyone comes down off the current sugar high. . . . It was quite a trick fitting it in to the fridge. The cake class last night was fabulous - it's so great when someone who knows exactly what they're doing gives you some pointers.