Monday, July 11, 2011

Celebration Cakes!

Hi guys...! This post is a little late because I was very busy at the end of last week with my celebration cake.. But more on that later. Last week I made some brownies. Not just any brownies.. These brownies were special - they were dairy- and gluten-free! You must be thinking that they tasted awful but, although they were not "true" brownies loaded with flour, eggs, chocolate, and butter, they hit the spot. And they had a special ingredient... Can you guess what it is?

Well I am going to tell you because I bet you'll never guess: black beans! They were the substitution for flour and the result was chewy, chocolatey, *healthy* brownies... For the chocolate flavor, I used cocoa powder and some coffee to intensify the chocolatey-ness. My kids devoured them and I was a happy mom!
I love weeks when I have to produce a celebration cake. It makes me so happy.. :-) Saturday was my sweet sister-in-law's graduation party. Her graduation was no minor achievement. This girl graduated with accolades and scholarships aplenty and we are all so proud of her. I've known her since she was barely a year old and now she's off to college.... Sob, sob... (I feel so old)
I asked her what she wanted in her cake - I went through a bunch of flavors, fillings, and frostings and she came up with this: vanilla and chocolate. :-) simple and yum. So I made her a 3-tiered vanilla cake with a chocolate pudding filling frosted with vanilla buttercream. Her high school colors are gold and black, but she hinted that yellow is prettier than gold, so the entire cake was yellow with black accents. The top tier was a graduation cap.

There's a lot of planning that goes into making a cake like this starting with the design, then onto the logistics of the preparation and implimentation of this design. Then comes the week following up to the event, where each day is carefully planned so that nothing is left out. One missed step could be disastrous! There's the shopping list, making and freezing the cakes, preparing the filling, frosting and other coverings and decorations and finally the assembly. Assembly usually happens the day before the event and is the most fun of all. Fun... and stressful.... but slightly more fun which keeps me going.... :-)

This cake was different because I had never done a tiered buttercream-only cake. I usually make these cakes with a layer of fondant. There is more room for error in fondant cakes because you can cover up a boo-boo with fondant, smooth it out and it's perfect! Not the case with buttercream.... But I think this cake came out pretty well.

On Thursday, I had to decide how we would transport the cake - we were driving all the way out to eastern LI from Monmouth, NJ - an almost 2-hour drive. It turned out to be a 3 1/2 hour drive, but that's another story, entirely. I assembled the bottom two tiers and drove dowels through them, then glued the lower tier cake board to another larger cake board. All this for as much stability as my hubbie and I could think of. The top tier (grad cap) was boxed separately and the cupcakes were in their own boxes. I spent the entire trip (remember? 3 1/2 hours) bent over holding the cake on the floor of the car. So much for stability... Thanks, hun for driving as gingerly as you could - I know that was a stretch for you.. ;-)
It was all worth it in the end - my sis-in-law loved it and everyone at the party enjoyed it. That is, of course, why I do this... It's the icing on the cake.

1 comment:

  1. It looks wonderful, Leela! I can't imagine the time it took to finish all the have such patience. And a husband that can remain calm behind the wheel? Priceless...