Yeah, that’s gross, don’t think things like that.
^The beginning of Swiss buttercream^
My co-worker, Carmen, wanted a small cake for her boyfriend’s birthday. And I was all like, “Hells, yeah, I’ll do it.” It was pretty easy. Vanilla bean cake with vanilla frosting, for maybe six people, max. An afternoon project.
I was a bit disappointed when my cake supply store ran out of vanilla bean paste. So much more economical than buying whole vanilla beans. But sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and buy the bean… It smells damn good anyway.
I guess at some point every baker should slit open a vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.
The hardest part was painting the logo of the birthday boy’s basketball team:
…And NO, not because I’m a Heat fan or whatever.
Frankly, I dislike sports in general. Except soccer… Soccer’s hot. And rugby. Watching rugby is like watching Brokeback Mountain. Times ten.
I mean painting a logo with food coloring was a bit challenging. But it reminded me that I still got some painting skills left.
The logo was entirely edible, made of rolled out marzipan, and painted with food coloring gel. Yaaay meee.
I used this recipe for the buttercream (and dyed it robin’s egg blue, birthday boy’s favorite color).
I always feel a little odd using Martha Stewart recipes. Makes me feel dislocated.
But that buttercream was damn good.
(That’s gold dust on there by the way… Looks odd in the photo, pretty in person.)
And birthday boy enjoyed his cake very much. He said it actually had flavor, as opposed to many other special-order cakes.
The following week, I was called upon for a larger project…
A cake that would feed forty people.
Yup. A wedding cake.
At first I thought, “I can’t do a freakin’ wedding cake!”
And then I thought, “Well, actually… I am pretty boss…”
To make it easier, I used the kitchen at work, seeing as how our oven, mixer, workspace, and fridge are much larger. I can’t imagine trying to accomplish this in my tiny kitchen at home.
Fortunately, the client wanted a rather simple, traditional cake– French vanilla with buttercream, so I actually was able to use the same recipes I made for Carmen’s boyfriend. Felt like second nature. Aw, hell, most baking that I do feels like second nature. Boss. As I worked on the cake, I would show off the progress to my co-workers and regular customers. I gave away scraps of cake and leftover frosting. You’d think I’d be nervous, but I felt pretty good about this.
The most daunting task? Transportation of the cake. Especially in 90+ degree weather. Bleeeech. The layers did suffer a bit of damage, but nothing I couldn’t fix onsite. That’s why we bring back up frosting and piping bags. My client had roses and blue orchids for the finishing touches.
Actually, I kinda find it dorkably old-fashioned.
But it’s nice to say I’ve done a wedding cake :)