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What I did on my day off



I headed over to Safeway to get 2.5 dozen eggs then back to the house to start baking. All told it was close to noon before the first double batch of cake (in a 14X14X2 square pan) went into the oven. Next batch was 2 rounds (8 inches). Since the cakes took about an hour in the oven for each batch and I wasn't great about making sure then next batch was ready to go in as the previous came out, I was on the 2nd 14X14 when LLT called to tell me that Cas was at the metro needing to be picked up.

Originally LLT was going to get Friday off but by the time she'd gotten the leave slip in there were already too many people in the area taking off. So she had to work but was going to try to get off early. In the way these things worked she ended up not getting off until after 4 so that's how I ended up having to go get Cas.

Before I left I asked our resident expert in the cake design to give me an opinion on how much more cake I needed to bake. frederich got out the tape measure and did some math and said 6 more 8 inch rounds! So on the way back from the metro I stopped at Safeway for 2.5 dozen eggs and a bag of ice.

Finally LLT got home and took Cas off to Resturant Depot and Sams Club. I kept baking and eventually made it through all the cakes. I spent some time peeling some of the eggs I'd been boiling all day to go on the salad for Saturday. LLT and I had bought the eggs last weekend because old eggs boil peel more easily but for some reason these eggs sucked. I decided I was exhausted so lay down for a while before LLT got back. My mind wouldn't shut down so it ended up I just rested with my eyes closed.

When they got back we had chinese food for dinner and then I headed back upstairs to start making the frosting. I should say something about the frosting. I LOVE this stuff, it's my FAVORITE buttercream frosting. Someday I want to feed it to Perrin since he doesn't like buttercream and I want to see if he likes it. On the other hand it takes a full hour to make.

First you start off making a simple syrup with 3.5 cups of sugar with 3/4 cup of water. That needs to come to a soft ball stage at the same time the 13 egg whites you are whipping come to a soft peak stage. Once that happens you put the mixer on high and pour the sugar into the edge of the egg whites. That needs to whip for 30 minutes at which point you lower the mixer to medium and add 3 lbs of room temp butter cut up into pieces. That gets mixed for 10 minutes when you add six tablespoons of extract (in this case lemon) and beat for 5 more minutes. Yeah it takes a while but it's worth it. The good thing is since we have the 30 quart hobart we can do multiple batches at a time. It used to be we had to work in half batches because the recipe just won't fit in a kitchen aid.

Once the frosting was made (about 10:30) LLT and I started working on the base cake. We had originally planned on carving it and then covering it with fondant to make it look like a pillow. Based on the time and how much work we still had to do we decided that the base should just be frosted and that's it. Grrr if I'd known we were going to do that we could have stayed with one layer on that cake. Anyway since Emma's colors are green and gold we decided the base cake should be green. So I mixed some of the buttercream into a nice green shade while LLT crumb coated the cake. Then while she frosted the cake I started stacking the rounds with a layer of buttercream in between each one. frederich made room in the freezer so that once the cakes were all stacked (all 8 layers in one large cake) we stuck it in the freezer for a while. Once the cake had gotten slightly hardened we pulled it out and frederich started carving. Since he knows best what that section of the cake should look like he got to be the carver. Note, no matter what it wouldn't have been me because I have NO interest in carving something and screwing up all the work already done.

When the cake was carved to the right shape I put a layer of buttercream on it while LLT and Frederich started working on the Fondant. For each piece frederich would tell LLT what the shape and size should be and she'd roll and cut. Then he'd tell her where on the cake it should go. After the first piece my job was to put a little bit of water on the edges of the fondant so that the pieces would stick together. Once the cake was covered in fondant (applied in seven seperate pieces in a very specific order) frederich took over adding some detail pieces and then he made little round balls which he cut in half and told LLT where to apply. It was cute, he'd take a toothpick and mark on the cake where the ball would go and she'd put on the piece. While they were doing that I started the painting. I took the coal black cake food coloring and painted it full strength in a specific area and once that was done I moved on to the luster dust. We started with the concept of dry brushing the luster dust but any place where there was water it looked significantly different from the places that we had not wet down. So we quickly decided to go with the wet version of luster dust and I grabbed the vodka. Soon all three of us had a chinese soup spoon with luster dust mixed with vodka. LLT started working with the Moonstone shade and doing the lowlight areas while frederich and I were working with "Nu Silver". Once LLT was done with the low lights she started in on the gold pieces which made up all of the detail pieces. At some point the base of silver was done and I stepped back to watch while frederich took over with touch ups. The last person to finish was LLT and frederich almost had to physically take the paint brush away from her. First he said "put the paintbrush down" but quickly moved to "step away from the crack pipe". At some point he said "really do I have to hide the lighter?" Yes we were all a little punchy at that point.

By the time we finally got her to declare it done it was 2:30 am. frederich said something about possibly cleaning up a bit and I think the reason he's still alive is we were too tired to do anything but hobble to bed. I know I was not awake for very long once my head hit the pillow.

Don't you like how I managed to tell the story about the cake without actually saying what the cake design was? I'm kinda waiting for frederich to upload the pictures before I spill the beans.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
its_just_me
Jul. 15th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
I am awestruck!
moirinknits
Jul. 16th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
Perrin says you're welcome to visit us in Korea and feed him buttercream... :)
spranglady
Jul. 17th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for such a detailed account of the work involved! I think that too many people look at a cake like this and say "Hey, it's a cake!" instead of 'OMG! Would you look at that piece of art someone made that we can eat, once pictures have been taken???'

You did a wonderful job on the cake, and all three of you deserve a round of applause for it. If Henry and Emma didn't kiss your feet, they should'a! :) It's beautiful!!!

I do love the effect of the luster dust painted on like that. Really cool looking! I have a feeling you're going to have to do more of these. LOL I think you're going to be popular for Knighting vigils!!! :)

well done!!!!!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Orlaith Carey
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