Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Anniversaries: A Cake Philosophy

Basically this whole saving the top tier of your wedding cake nonsense is bull.  Yes, cake can keep well in the freezer--but for a few weeks, people, not 12 months.  You'll thaw it out, have a couple bites, go eugh, and then throw it away.  WASTE OF CAKE AND MONEY.


For Leah and John's wedding, I told them that we should eat all the cake (we did our best) and I'd make them another one when their anniversary rolled around.  John requested sprinkles, Leah requested lemon, so in the spirit of marriage and compromise I made them one with both.

Admire my gorgeous cake plate, ignore my dirty coffee table.

They were lovely and shared it with us--because let's be real, top tiers of cakes still feed a handful of people, it's a lot to eat by yourself.

So stop freezing your top tiers, people!  Spread the gospel: fresh cake tastes better.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cake testing and re-homing

After searching everywhere for a graham cracker cake recipe and eventually having to build one myself, you can imagine how ridiculous I felt when I opened up my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and there was one staring at me.  I should have checked there first, Deb has everything.

I wanted to test out the recipe but didn't want to end up with an entire cake in my apartment (sitting there, taunting me).  I baked, filled, frosted, and decorated (when in doubt, cover it in ganache and throw sprinkles at it), then put it out to pasture on Facebook until a friend picked it up for another friend's birthday.

Smitten Kitchen's graham cracker cake, with milk chocolate ganache filling, vanilla Swiss buttercream frosting, and more milk chocolate ganache (salted this time) poured on top.  The sprinkles come out this time every year and they are some of my favorite things--little tiny leaves and pumpkins and yellow triangles I've never quite figured out.

Would've loved to eat it all myself but the birthday girl had two slices so I'm guessing it was okay.  Will be pulling the recipe out again for a wedding next month.  Fall baking is the best baking.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jon and Whitney Get Married (With Lots Of Desserts!)

Whew!  August was busy, sorry 'bout that.  A couple friends got married and put me in charge of the dessert table and things got a little out of hand.

This is only a portion.  The football helmets are important.

What started out as "we don't really want cake" evolved into "well maybe just a little cutting cake" evolved into what you see above (and below).  We ended up with a three-tier cake, caramel brownies (bride's choice), lemon bars (groom's choice), and popcorn cookies to go with the cinema theme.  The cake is lemon with lemon curd filling on top, chocolate with raspberry filling in the middle, and vanilla with vanilla buttercream on the bottom, all slathered with a truly absurd amount of vanilla buttercream and decorated with white and dark chocolate film strips.  (Those are a project for a different post.)

Popcorn cookies!  Don't knock 'em til you try 'em, they're actually fantastic.

Even though the wedding was held on what felt like the hottest weekend of the summer, everything got to the venue without incident, the chocolate transfers didn't melt (I was so worried about this that I brought ribbon to wrap around the base of each tier just as an insurance policy--didn't end up needing it, so now I've got some nice silver ribbon sitting around).  There were some little to-go boxes on either side of the dessert table for people to take home leftovers, but there weren't too many, which is how I know I did my job right.  I still have a firm no cupcake policy, but I'd definitely do the brownies or lemon bars thing again.  Good choices all around.

Photos by the team at Unveiled Studio, who were EVERYWHERE at this wedding and did a fast and fantastic job--they had photos up during the reception!