Tag Archives: curd

Mini White Cakes + Citrus Curd + Mousseline Buttercream

My sister is coming from Virginia with her oldest daughter in a couple of days.  They used to be California types like us, but life’s necessities took her family to the East Coast for a few years before they were able to return to the Golden State, and then, opportunities not available here saw them back in Virginia.  Forever.  We stay in touch on Facebook, with occasional emails, and like a few mornings, ago phone calls from the grocery store while she was looking for cake flour.   My lovely, svelte sister is not a baker.  Lucky woman.

I miss her quite a bit these days, wondering if I’m suffering from the realization of not having taken advantage of her being closer when she was here.  There were quite a few years when she and I were each raising a house full of children and like most families, found time to get together for barbeques on birthdays and holidays, but we both had careers, so life was quite busy then.  I have three boys, and she, three girls.  She wanted a boy, and I a girl, but that wasn’t what happened, so I always thought I might get my fix of girls from spending time with hers — as in have sleep overs.  Tea parties.  Dressing up and painting toenails lots of crazy colors.  I guess one of my biggest flaws is idealism.  Silly me.  One can’t exactly have a tea party unless one invites a few tea party goers, can one?

Her youngest daughter– the last of our six boys and girls — is just finishing high school and so both my sister and I are facing very different times in our lives.  Mine has been focused on learning to live in a very quiet house newly void of boys since seeing my youngest off to college this past fall.  She is preparing for a wedding — her oldest daughter is to be married this coming summer.

As much as I missed many chances to get to know her daughters better than I have over the years, I was pleasantly surprised — humbled actually — to have my bride-to-be niece call late last year and ask if I might consider making her wedding cake.

Really?

Sure, I’ve made cakes.  Lots of them. But I’ve never made a wedding cake.

Ever.

I’ve never made anything with fondant, either, choosing instead to watch from afar as others work wonders with it.

The cake is to be round, not square.  Three-tiers of lemon with vanilla buttercream for 100 guests.  White fondant with varied shades of  yellow teardrops cascading down the sides.  Clean, sleek, simple.

And I have to figure out how to get it to L.A. where the wedding will be held.

Thankfully, I have many baking friends willing to share their experiences with fondant with me, as well as other great resources I’ve been learning from.  I’ve also buried myself in my favorite cake book, Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible.  I enjoy it because of the way the recipes are organized including both weight and volume in the ingredients list.

Since we’ve had an amazing variety of citrus to enjoy this winter, I decided to use that to begin my first experiments in wedding cake baking.  Three types of citrus curd and buttercream filling six little square cakes covered with a reasonably edible fondant may seem a bit over zealous for a first attempt, but I have a tendency to be that way in general.  It pushes my thinking while I make an enormous mess in my kitchen.

My next practice session begins today so my niece and sister can sample the flavors when they arrive, then I’ll make necessary adjustments and practice a few more times before the real cake is baked in July.

Wish me luck, and by all means, if you’ve done this before and have any recommendations, I will be more than happy to listen.

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A Pavlova for Tartelette

White Tulips

 

Some of you may know that I was asked to do a guest post for Tartelette.    You know, The Tartelette?

Yes.  I know.

Of course I had a few moments of the puffy ego syndrome after an initial self-indulgent happy dance before I snapped out of it and began to fret about what to make.  Ohhhhhh, the sweet agony of making this particular decision.  I’m a meat and veggie type of person, comfortable with trying a bit of this and a bit of that.  I have a fondness for salad and greens, and a little addiction for the perfect muffin.  But making something special that would look like it belonged up front and center on Tartelette’s site?

Well.  You have no idea the fuss I made over this.  You’d have thought the Queen of England was coming to dinner.  Seriously.  But I had so much fun.  Far more fun than I’d have had if I’d needed to choose a little black dress for an event as swanky as that.

I don’t do little black dresses.  Ever.

But I learned quite a bit making A Pavola for Tartelette — or Helen, who is quite the amazing person if you’re fortunate enough to know her.

I hope you take some time to visit her, read my post,  and decide what you think of my Pavlova — definitely more of a tutu than a little black dress if you ask me.

And no, I don’t do tutus, either.  It just might conjure images of dancing hippos instead of ballerinas.

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Towering Coconut Mango Cake

6-Layer Coconut Mango Cake

It’s been a longer week than I care to think about with life’s semi-usual highs and lows and in this case, I’d say they were one in the same.  Dealing with bronchitis has kept me out of the kitchen and away from food, so I’ve gotten a break of sorts.  Some break.  But it has allowed me to stay put and finally move my blog to where you’re reading right now.  After much trial and error I was finally able to export the files at my old TypePad site, have them split, then imported here.

I’m nearly almost sort of maybe possibly feeling a bit techish over this.  But only a smidgen.

Each time I do something like this I learn so much:  more about technology, and far more about what my patience can tolerate.  Not once did I throw anything.

So I think cake is in order, don’t you?  A sky high cake layered with creamy tropical flavor and an incredibly moist crumb all slathered in whipped cream and sprinkled with coconut.   But before we get to the cake, can I ask a favor?  Please look to the right sidebar and sign up for a feed.  You can choose to receive my food talk either by reader or email which allows you to enjoy it when it suits you best.

Mmm…cake.  If you’ve been searching for a dessert recipe for a special occasion this Spring, this would be it.

This is a six-layer cake inspired by pastry chef Cynthia Wong’s beauty featured in Food & Wine’s “Last Bite.

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