Monday, August 24, 2009

Anatomy of a cake

For Dan's birthday, each of us decided on a dish to bring for dinner. I decided that I would make dessert. The plan was to bake a birthday cake knowing that I'm close enough to a few decent bakeries that if I messed it up, I could still bring a cake.

Baking isn't an issue for me. It's the decorating process that I found daunting. Originally my friend Steve was going to be my teacher, but the weekend we were going to have the party was switched so I was on my own. Below are the various stages of the cake.

The recipe was one from Cooks Illustrated Magazine. It was simple but from the ingredients I could tell that the finished product would be moist, thus making a good layer cake. This cake would be a two layer cake.

I decided on a chocolate icing, and a raspberry filling. Below, I've created an outer border of chocolate icing and I'm adding the raspberry preserves.

Layers are stacked and the cake is frosted.

Now the decorating begins. To contrast the chocolate color, I chose a light blue. Slowly I added gel coloring, and this was my final result.

Before actually writing on the cake, I practiced on waxed paper. I had never worked with a decorating bag, I've never written in icing.

Next up was the outer border. I haven't quite mastered the star tip to where I can create the peaks and valleys but I think it looks pretty good. Okay, there's a spot to the right that's kind of messy...

The cake was actually finished at Dan and Luis' house. I had to wait until I placed it on the pedestal to add the blue bottom border. Again, my technique isn't perfected, so it's one big strand.

After a delicious dinner and a walk, Tina and I put the candles on the cake and brought it out.

When we all sat down to eat, I was pleased that the cake was moist, full of flavor and it held together. I don't mean to brag, but it was delicious. It was a lot of work but also great fun, and worth it.


Miss Ginger Grant said...

Beuatiful! Martha Kawalski Stewart would be proud!

Joy said...

You did a good job! It sounds delicious and got the message across!

Dan said...

The cake was outstanding! Even better the next moring in a bowl with milk!!!!