jetsetgreen

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

15 Hours of Sleep Over Four Days

Enough of this no blogging thing, it's time to get back to work. I'm sure you all had lovely Christmases and/or Winter Solstice celebrations, spending time with your loved ones in cozy piles of naps or drowning in nog. Not I, but it was so worth it. I thought I'd give you all a peek into what we were up to at Cent Com.

This is Lisha's wedding cake. She wanted a devil's food with a hazelnut praline filling (what can I say? We're all nuts for filberts.) We discussed ideas for the cake until we came up with something that would be unique and yet fit into the theme of the wedding. I prefer a collaborative method when it comes to cake design. I covered the cake in a white fondant and hand-painted matte blue cherry blossoms all over the tiers, followed by gold branches and pearl dust brushed in the negative space.

We decided on a spun sugar nest for the top of the cake. Dad was tasked with actually spinning the sugar. He's always game for a little kitchen experimentation (none of us had ever actually spun sugar.)

Melt white sugar with a little corn syrup and a touch of vinegar and bring it to hard crack stage. Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and let it cool, but not too much. Using the tines of a fork, or a cut whisk, dip into the caramel and let drip until the stuff is running down the individual tines in a stream. Fling the caramel between two dowels and plenty of newspaper to catch the threads. Marvel at the adorableness, I certainly did.

Could you just die? I nearly did.

We had enough for a good nest and a few back ups, just in case. Dad went back through and pulled out threads that had larger globs with tweezers to keep the threads ethereal. They're even thinner than cellophane noodles (if you are familiar) and almost as thin as thread.

We found a perfect pair of flocked birds with golden tails to sit atop our nest. I sugared white and blue jordan almonds for the nest. Delighted, the mother of the groom wondered if the eggs represented the number of chicks to join their future nest. We whooped (in the most tasteful way) when the eggs added up to ten.



I took a few more sugared almonds and just a handful of tiny white orchids and placed them around the tiers. The effect was breathtaking.

And that's the finished cake. Anne sugared lemons and placed them around the cake (and in the bouquets and on the table tops, but more of that tomorrow.) The catering manager was in a tizzy about the sterling silver mint bowl (snatched from a sideboard when no one was looking) you can spy under the cake. Feign ignorance! Blame anonymous florists who are certainly not your friends!

Dense and thick with a knock-out hazelnut butter cream. Just divine.

More to come...

26 comments:

dalene said...

Divine truly is the only word.

Rory said...

Wow...I'm speechless.

martha corinna said...

Oh.My.
Just perfect.

Sue said...

It's gorgeous.

sara said...

It is just beautiful. I spun sugar once; maybe just for fun? I love the nest. Did you color the melted sugar at all or did it naturally cook to that seemingly golden color? The sugared lemons are great with it. And I'm impressed with how smooth your fondant turned out; I have never been able to smooth it down the sides of tall cakes like that. For some reason watching Ace of Cakes hasn't made me an automatically better cake maker.

Cindy said...

Beautiful! I love the spun sugar and the painting on the sides.

thedoodlegirl said...

W.O.W.!

smart mama said...

how fabulous- looks delish-- I have been menaing to try some sugar work since I clipped a New York Times article/recipe a few years ago but alas i have known it would not be a simple undertaking i could do with my kids running around!

Michelle said...

Oh my! I really wish I had and invite to that wedding...

My birthday's coming up-- I'm thinking the chocolate cake with hazelnut filling?

mszobie said...

Breathtaking!! Astounding!! You are amazing!!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

This is amazing! Absolutely beautiful. And the flavors remind me of my own wedding cake (except I had marzipan filling instead of hazelnut). Of course my FAMILY didn't make it for me! I am in awe.

~j. said...

That cake was . . . like . . . I can't even . . . my tongue got a nap. A nice, warm, long, nap.

AzĂșcar said...

Lisha wanted everything glowing and golden. The caramel turns its signature deep color, of course, and when you fling it, the threads look much lighter and golden. You can add color to the melted sugar, but we didn't.

Kalli Ko said...

and it is GLORIOUS to behold...

i hope rich and lisha name their first born after you... and i really hope we get to see pics of the happy couple.

am so glad, now your blood pressure can return to normal

ps patrick and i have a date this afternoon...

Becca said...

What is your day-job again? I think you have found your calling in life!

That's Ms. Amy to you... said...

That is glorious! That nest with eggs is precious.

b. said...

I come from a family of (local)professional cake designers...THAT my friend is stunning! What a wonderful sister you are!

April said...

Wow. I don't know how handle being that awesome. It's like Peter Parker's uncle said, "With great power comes great responsibility."

Cafe Johnsonia said...

And you saved me a piece, right?

It looks GORGEOUS. You are a marvel.

Kerry said...

what is with everyone posting carbs on their blogs?! y'all are KILLING ME!!!

oh... chocolate.

Brooke said...

wow. i mean, i knew you could do it, but WOW.

Rynell said...

Beautiful and delicious...divine indeed.

KT said...

I want that cake in my mouth right now. Do you ever watch Desperate Housewives? Because there was this one episode where Bree couldn't spin sugar, or do something hard with sugar. Anyway, I thought that if Bree couldn't do it NO ONE could. You've truly impressed me.

Also, I still want that cake in my mouth.

Likely said...

And then you came sugared as well?

Just breathtaking. spun sugar nest? sugared lemons and birds? painted flowers?

You've really out-did yourself this time.

jeri said...

Oh. Wow. You are truly amazing. Some month you'll have to bring that (sans decorating hassle) to cooking club. We will all bow down and worship you.

Adria said...

Are you interested in doing a cake for a Dec wedding? My SIL is looking for someone.