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Old 25-01-2006, 01:02 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Bob (this one)
 
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Default Birthday Cake report

-L. wrote:
Wendy wrote:

Looks great. I have not worked with Marzipan myself. I think your cake
looks terrific.
I've taken a few cake decorating courses and loved them. I'm one of the
least artistic people I know so cake decorating is a huge challenge. In one
of my classes I spent lots of energy baking the cakes we were to decorate -
that was the easy part for me. Then I'd sweat buckets over the decorating.
Some of class mates picked up all kinds of prebaked cakes and made them look
beautiful with no effort at all! Wendy



My philosophy is that it needs to taste better than it looks! This
one was pretty tasty - lemon cream cake filled with a
strawberry-apricot filling.


LOL Agree with the taste/beauty relationship. But sometimes you luck out.

My daughter is taking French in school and I'm not above helping her
suck up a bit - good grades are good grades. Over the past two years and
this, we've made baguettes a few times. Brioches. A couple
****aladieres. Fougasse. Croquembouche (She walked into class carrying
it and one kid who didn't see her come through the door and was standing
with the teacher finally saw it and blurted out, "Holy shit." Teacher
laughed so hard she fell into her seat.) Madelaines. Choux swans (filled
with Bavarian cream). A tall Eiffel tower in gingerbread for X-mas that
was wonderful and that she gave to her teacher. Smart kid.

Last evening we made the layers for a dacquoise and assembled it this
morning. Two different meringue layers - one with ground almonds like an
Italian amaretto cookie, the other with cocoa and orange zest. Fillings
were orange mousse and chocolate mousse, finished with mousse on the
sides, ganache on top with finely chopped pistachios sprinkled through a
paper doily onto the chocolate.

She ought to get about 150% for this one. It's gorgeous. Should taste
very good, too. She piped the layers out and, as you'd expect from a
kid, got them all bumpy and irregular. Tried too hard to make it perfect
and, of course, got them spluttery and uneven because of trying too
hard. Showed her a wet spreader/spatula and what a wonderful tool it is.
She made them more or less even and we dried them in preparation for
this morning. Perfect texture, still a bit less than perfect-looking.
But wait, here come the mousses and see how splendidly they mask all
those imperfections. I pointed that out to The Kid and she laughed at
all that worrying. She did the assembly while I made the ganache. I even
peeled a bunch of pistachios, rubbed the skins off and chopped them. How
good a daddy is that?

She beamed when it was done. "It's pretty good, isn't it," she said. I
laughed out loud. Many bakeries I've been in wouldn't have done as
pretty a job as that. Did I remember to take a picture? Why do you ask?
Of course not. Not until we were halfway to school and remembered that
we hadn't. Not that we were giggling like, well, schoolkids or anything...

There's Murphy's Law and Murphy's Dammit Law.

Pastorio