Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cake Project: "And Baby Makes 3"

It was my aboslute pleasure to attempt, for the first time ever, a really complicated cake. My lovely friends Amanda and Bill Markmann, to whom I was introduced by Meredith, are adding to their family! Additionally it was Amanda's 30th birthday. In my book, those are two VERY important things to celebrate and we celebrated all at once.

I wanted to design a cake that recognized Amanda's unique and individual style in honor of her birthday, but I also wanted the cake to pay tribute to the the PUC (person-under-construction) that Amanda and Bill will soon welcome. Therefore, I stole straight from their lovely invitation featuring a pair of lovebirds and added a little mini bird for effect. Then I took the tiny details on the birds and blew them up as decor for the sides of the cake.

This is not their exact invitation, but it is the same design (From Tiny Prints).
I have been avoiding fondant for awhile now, thinking that it sounds impossible to work with, but absolutely everyone says "fondant is eaaaassyy" (in a taunting, sing-songy voice) and thus I can't back away from a challenge! Thus, a big order was placed to Wilton.com and Eric's skills in logistics were employed.

And here's the rub: this cake was a true exercise in compromise for mine and Eric's relationship. You see, in the kitchen, I am the boss. And he really should be commended for following my constant instruction of "chop this, sautee that". HOWEVER. This cake was a work of art: so what happens when the kitchen boss and the artist come together?

I had the "plan" in my head. Just in my head. And I explained it with lots of hand motions and asked Eric to bring some scalples for cutting out fondant. But that wasn't good enough for the artist. He wanted artistic renderings of "the plan" (I can't draw). He wanted to know exactly how many leaves we needed to cut out (why count? Just use them all!) He wanted a time schedule of which design had to be completed by what time (that went out the window after the first bottle of wine).

In the end, I was so happy with how this turned out and glad that I could contribute to the party and the welcoming of a new person to the world in a meaningful way. Eric and I survivied and contemplated going into a cake business together (until the buzz wore off). But we will take requests for other special events!

Allie Carroll, of Allie Carrol Photography was at the party and took some fabulous shots. Obviously, the more delicious-looking photos on here are her handy work. Take a look at her blog for other shots of the party and a glimpse into her many talents!

Note: a few have asked about the actual cake recipe: I used baking diva Rose Levy Beranbaum's All American Butter Cake from The Cake Bible. It is a dense cake that I return to often for its tiny crumb and reliable structure. The chocolate buttercream recipe was off Wilton's website, which is also incidently where I ordered the fondant.

Allie Carroll Photography

website: alliecarrollphotography.com
blog: alliecarrollphotography.wordpress.com

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