Friday, October 19, 2007

Wedding Cakes

This is going to be one looooong post, because I've taken pictures of everyone's wedding cake. We had a 3-day exam this week just on wedding cakes, where we had to make the cake and icing, the fill, ice, build, and decorate before 10AM today. We worked in hot, humid kitchens and had to battle the elements every step of the way. All of our cakes started sweating as soon as we pulled them out of the fridge, making it difficult for some of us to use our original decor plans. One of our fridges actually went on some sort of mini defrost cycle while our cakes were in it. Everyone has put in so much thought and effort into this particular exercise, I thought every single cake should be given its due credit here. The cakes are in in no particular order, but begin with mine.

I got high marks for the decor (molding chocolate belts, tempered chocolate filigree and ball, and painted pastillage flowers), but got sunk on the cake itself. It was built well, but I overbeat the meringue and ended up with a toughy, grainy cake. Not that it tasted bad, but it had a bad texture. The two layers are built out of four cakes that were stacked together, as were all the other two-tier cakes here. Things I learned....stack the cakes BEFORE icing them. I had put on four coats of buttercream on four separate cakes before I went "DUH!" and remembered to stack them together. Do not overwhip the egg whites in a sponge cake. Even decor chocolate will sweat in humid room. Next time I would pipe the filigree larger; they seem out of proportion with the cake. And I would use a less busy-looking buttercream border at the base of each layer. The shell border doesn't seem to fit.
I love the colors and design of this cake, although its maker was not happy with the consistency of the buttercream piping. The flowers are made of painted pastillage, the green belt of marzipan (which also sweats in a room with 90% humidity), and the branches made of colored buttercream.Everyone called this the Tiffany cake. Blue colored buttercream, piped buttercream on the sides, and pastillage flowers.
This was the only square cake, and the only chocolate sponge in the class. The edges were dusted with silver luster to give an interesting sheen to the cake. The chocolate bonbons surrounding the cake are meant to be served with each slice.
Pastillage flowers in psychedellic colors! She did a great job of creating a natural-looking cascade down the cake.
A fall-themed cake here with all decor made out of colored marzipan, except the base on which the pumpkins sit, which is made of tempered chocolate. The humidity was so awful that the chocolate never quite set, but turned sweaty and fudgy instead.
Close-up of the wonderful decor here...

Isn't this one just gorgeous? She spent hours piping the roses out of royal icing last night, and then the green leaves were piped on using buttercream. The humidity got to them, too, causing the buttercream leaves to start sliding down the side of the cake, drooping almost like real leaves.
From our class Philadelphian, a tribute to the City of Brotherly love. She had a lot of trouble with this cake, as the LOVE sign, made of pastillage, broke early this morning. She was able to ressurrect it though, and the cake turned out great!
This calla lily cake was just as stunning in real life, and it tasted good, too. The lilies and leaves are made of our favorite material, pastillage.This cake was the only genoise in the group, and unfortunately it did not rise well. The cake was half as tall as everyone else's. The lifelike fruits were made of marzipan.
This was one of my favorites, because the floral arrangement was so elegant and well-composed, and because the cake tasted the best. The roses were made of white modeling chocolate. She added a few drops of almond flavoring to the cake syrup, and a dash of salt to the buttercream. Small changes, but they made a huge difference when eaten.
Last but not least is this very feminine be-ribboned and be-laced piece. The bow and belt are both made of pastillage, and the "lace" was piped on using buttercream.


greeeenwithenv said...

The talent oozing from you and your classmates... stunning!

lost or found said...

i meant to leave a comment earlier. this is all so amazing. i'm guessing to be a chef means you have to be pretty artistic.

ditto - what talent!!