Saturday, March 14, 2009
Today I baked a last minute request for a birthday cake. It was a joint birthday of a man and woman, but to be honest I didn't know that there was a woman involved until it was picked up. So my thoughts along the way of making the cake were all about keeping it festive but making a decorated cake chic enough for a man.
I think that cakes for men deserve their own kind of glory, their own kind of sparkle. That's why I thought to make a buttery meringue mocha frosting, and to keep the pale coffee color as the base for the cake. (I have to say, I am really loving the ease and thick texture of meringue buttercream frosting which I have been making lately.) My husband championed the manly combination of dark chocolate cake with mocha, a good sign.
Without time to whip up decorations prior to today, I have to use what I have on hand. Its for these moments that I always try to sculpt extra sugarpaste flowers or gelatin decorations.
Since its a small party, I decide on a 7" cake with a 5" tier on top. Tiers always give me a better foundation for decorations, since they can cascade down the front.
first application of flowers
I decided on metallic flowers, since they are like steel and gold, something not necessarily feminine if you think of it in the reference of buildings, weapons, and plumbing. Here are some pieces drying, although I decided against the silver leaves since the cake felt too small for them. If you notice there is a hue on some of the flowers, this is because they are sculpted out of different colored gumpaste, and although painted silver or gold, you still get hidden bits of color peeping out.
As for inscribing their names, I think a turquoise will complement the beige and metal tones nicely. I have been thinking about those old sterling pieces of jewelry with bright turquoise stones, and how nicely they complement each other. A bit of a cowboy feeling.
I piped the centers of the flowers, but it looked a little too bright, so I toned the turquoise down with some handpainted gold. Without the brushed gold, it looked like plastic beads; a look that I took note mentally to use for another project in the future.
I added beading to the bottom of each tier, as well as the edge of the top tier. I was so in love with the brightness of the turquoise, I gently had to talk myself into putting the piping bag down and to stop.
A more antique, jewelry feeling with this cake. When I heard that the other recipient is a woman, I felt pleased that it had some feeling of masculinity, but it still felt right for both.
Posted by Sarah Magid at 12:46 PM