Friday, June 24, 2011

Week 14 - Oliver's Baptism Cake

I still haven’t gotten my act together with these blog posts!  Please bear with me because I have made so many yummy things these past few months.  I have yet to fail my goal of baking a cake a week…it’s posting the results where I fall behind!  I guess it was easier earlier this year when Matt was in Afghanistan.  Now that he is back home, my time isn’t much spent blogging! 

So…here’s what was going on way back in April.  Oliver’s baptism was finally scheduled and our family and friends came down for the big day.  (Side note…Matt broke his hand around 9:30pm the Friday before the baptism!)  So here we are trying to get the house in order for a big party and I was of course trying to get a massive cake prepared.  After all, how could I miss out on this perfect cake baking opportunity!   This was probably the first party I have ever thrown in my life where 99% of the food was not made in my house.  Looking back, thank goodness we planned it that way or else we would have ended up with McDonalds seeing as Matt was down a useful hand!   There needed to be cake though.  At one point I did call my friend Leigh and asked her if it would be ok to just buy one from Wegmans.  Her response was, “Of course it’s ok…but you aren’t going to be happy with that!”  (You know what??? She was right!)

The inside of this cake was the chocolate cake I’ve been baking over and over again.  Beatty’s Chocolate Cake has not let me down yet!  This was the first time that I baked it in a 9x13 pan though.  I used a Wilton flower nail in the middle to help conduct the heat better while it was baking.  I had never done that before and was pleased with the results.  I just happened to stumble on that technique prior to popping the cake in the oven and figure I’d give it a shot!  I baked the cake in advance and had planned all along to cut and decorate it all on Saturday night.  I froze three full cakes earlier that week so it would be all ready to go when I needed it. 

Nothing really went as planned the night before the Christening.  We had lots of family and friends around and there was still much preparation to do.  Matt was pretty much out of commission and I was STRESSING OUT!!  I had the cake design in my head, but had never made a cross before or buttercream flowers for that matter!!!

I spent HOURS Saturday night getting this cake together.  The end result would never have been possible if it had not been for the arrival of my sister-in-law,Emily, on the scene.  She was gracious enough to whip up all of the buttercream that I needed.  And boy oh boy did I use buttercream!!  She must have made about four (maybe more) batches of buttercream.  It was crazy.  We had a blast working on this cake together.  Emily and I in action are quite hysterical.  My mother in law and my sister in law, Tara, pretty much thought that the two of us lost our minds.  We finish each other’s sentences and know exactly what each other needs when in the kitchen.  It’s awesome! 

I ended up teaching myself how to make the roses from watching Wilton’s clip online.  Eventually I finally figured it out.  They weren’t perfect…but I was happy.  I also tried the VIVA paper towel trick with the buttercream.  It really really worked.  I’ll get more into how that works on another post…but the bottom line is that by using the VIVA paper towel on the crusted-over buttercream you can attain an almost fondant look with your cake.  It was amazing.  Emily and I were very excited when we discovered that it worked!
Sometime after midnight early Sunday morning the cake was finished.  I was quite pleased with the end result and truly could not have done it without Emily’s help.  Looking forward to the next time we can bake together.  Only…without the added stress of company!!

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