So, when I heard plans being made for a graduation party, I immediately wanted to make a cake celebrating her. If Allison were a cake, what would she be? This cake had to be her - feminine but not overly so, with an edge and a little spunk - strong and bold with a soft side.
I found inspiration in one of Collette Peter's books, Cakes to Dream On: A Master Class in Decorating. The Torte of Babylon was exactly what I was looking for.
Making such a large cake takes weeks if you want to maintain your sanity. Doing things in steps, with lots of time in between for things to set and dry as necessary, is crucial. This was the largest cake I've made to date. It served 75-80 people very well and it consisted of 4 tiers - each was 3 layers of cake. The three layers were chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla (a neapolitan cake) sandwiching strawberry jam. Each tier was covered in buttercream and then a layer of fondant. Using strawberry jam instead of buttercream between the layers was a huge success because the cake was not overly sweet. The layers of cake were the stars rather than an overpowering buttercream. In making cakes, it's so very important to regulate the sweetness of the cake through its parts. If a cake is too sweet, it is often hard to eat and takes away from any flavor the cake may have.
I had to empty out a good portion of my refrigerator to fit the assembled cake the night before the party. As you can see, it took up a great deal of space!
This cake had to be taken on a 2-hour trip to Long Island on a very muggy and hot summer day. The top tier was removed for stability during transport. I reassembled the cake successfully once we arrived at the party locale.
We wish you all the best in every endeavor you take from here on in. Reach for the stars! We love you!