An experimental cake to practice the technique of simulating a watercolor effect on fondant using dusting powders and vodka.
A cake for a combined St. Patrick’s Day/anniversary/birthday celebration. The cake combines the Irish themed Celtic crosses and gumpaste shamrocks with fleur-di-lis and fondant pearls, elements from my friends’ wedding cake. It also recreates the flavors of the second tier of their wedding cake, which as harried newlyweds they never got to taste. Homemade fondant covers the almond cake, filled with almond pastry cream and covered with vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream.
I delivered this wedding cake to Front Royal, VA on Tuesday. A towering yet still delicate cake, this simple beauty is fluffy white butter cake with a creamy, vanilla-flavored American buttercream and raspberry filling. Deep purple ribbons are homemade fondant. The design is finished with delicate cascades of wisteria and clusters of white gumpaste roses.
A friend asked me to sponsor the dessert for a fundraiser dinner he was helping to organize for 5 of our local seminarians. Happy to help a good cause, I created this cake. The design was suggested by the vocation of the seminarians, of course, but also harmonized with the venue: the beautiful new banquet hall of Rappahannock Cellars winery, which my talented husband helped to build. The cake was a chocolate fudge cake, sprinkled with a hint of raspberry Chambord simple syrup, filled with whipped chocolate ganache, and covered in a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. The chalice (which was even shinier in person) and grape leaves are gumpaste, but the grapes are piped buttercream.
This project has been a year in the making – a wedding cake for a very dear friend’s much anticipated wedding. My most complicated project to date, the fondant covered cake was decorated with piped scrollwork, gilded fondant ribbons, basketweave embossing, and topped with a profusion of gumpaste flowers – blue and white daisies; gold and white fantasy flowers, complete with golden buds; pink rosebuds; and large open roses. We had to drive the cake more than two hours away – through DC traffic and terrifyingly bumpy perpetual roadwork – but the cake survived its journey. Set up took an hour, as all the gumpaste flowers had to be placed on site. The tiers were lemon ginger with lemon custard buttercream, pumpkin spice with maple buttercream, and chocolate with chocolate custard buttercream and an outer coat of vanilla bean custard buttercream. Congratulations again to Kyle and Betsy! I hope you enjoyed your cake!
Here are a few in-progress shots from my latest cake. More than two weeks of work went into the gumpaste flowers for this project. I thought I had made too many flowers, but it turns out I had made just barely enough.