Sunday, February 28, 2010

playing with my food

Nudging other projects aside (momentarily), I made a cake for my coworker last week. It was his 30th birthday and he shares the date with my son who is exactly 1 year older. So he benefited from transference as I poured some missing-my-boy energy into the celebration.

Mike is nuts about cars and drifting, so I made a three-layer cake to match his wheels...in a smaller way*:

Still, it's a large cake pan (14" diam) and I ended up tripling the yellow cake recipe (the equivalent of 6-8" layer cakes) because we have a lot of people in our department...and the proportions worked better.

I made the rim template in Illustrator from his photos. I iced the whole cake in the chocolate frosting, laid the template on top and used a toothpick to make the outline. Then, I took some regular butter cream frosting and using my little cake decorating set, drew the outline and then filled it.

The chocolate frosting and yellow cake recipes are from Cook's Illustrated. The frosting uses dutch-processed cocoa (couldn't find Callebaut so I used Droste) and melted chocolate (I used Lindt milk chocolate) and copious amounts of butter as well as confectioners sugar and corn syrup. Seriously, I'll never use another chocolate frosting recipe if I can help it. The taste and texture are decadent.

We also filled his cube with balloons and shrink-wrapped that fucker. I thoroughly enjoy these significant birthdays. Maybe it's the lack of religion with all its ritual that I've supplanted with secular celebrations. Whatever it is, it's fun.

*A word about photographs. I really don't like stopping and taking pictures of my work...all consumed with process as I am and (in this case) sticky hands. Whenever I'm working on something, my dear Barbara will come around like project paparazzi to document. I usually grumble because it means I have to stop, clean off some surfaces and generally fuss about it's not-quite-doneness. Then, when everything is done (in this case--eaten) I am so grateful she took some photos. We've repeated this cycle for over 23 years so you'd think I'd stop grumbling. Let me make this completely clear: she's completely right on this one and I'm so wrong. Thank you, dear woman!

3 comments:

Kim said...

I can't believe you didn't send Gary home with some of that cake for me (he confirms the choco icing was most excellent).

StevensVox said...

OK, now I need that icing recipe! Speaking of birthday cakes... we still need to celebrate St. B's B-Day.

Epiphenita said...

Kim, your husband needs to be a little more forage-y about absconding with a piece of cake. That said, I will be making this icing again and you will benefit.

Steven, I would be glad to give you that recipe...and we'll get together soon!