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Tony Grist

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Cake Day [Jul. 29th, 2007|09:36 am]
Tony Grist

I know the rule is "i before e except after c", but it never looks right does it? The word niece for example, what a monster that is.

Anyway, that's just the preamble. The thing is our niece Nicola is getting married and my sister-in-law, in a moment of madness, volunteered herself and Ailz to make the cake. 

Do you know what it costs to get one of those things made by a professional?  £600-£700.

Mind you, this won't be your conventional cake. Nic has a very specific vision. Firstly it's going to be chocolate, secondly it's going to have four tiers, thirdly the tiers aren't going to be supported on nice, little neoclassical columns, but will rest on one another- like it was the step pyramid of Sakkara,  fourthly the whole, huge monument is going to to be coated- evenly- in white chocolate, fifthly it's going to be decorated with chocolate curls (whatever they are) and have real roses on top. 

Do Ruth and Ailz have experience of making enormous cakes?

Erm..........

But they have picked up some useful tips. Apparently all the professionals use Betty Crocker cake mixes. Yes, really. 

Well, the wedding is less than a month away now and today is Cake Day.  Ailz is going to bake a trial cake and so is Ruth and then they're getting together to learn from their mistakes. 

I'm glad I'm just an innocent bystander.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: qatsi
2007-07-29 09:23 am (UTC)
An innocent bystander maybe - but will you have the responsibility of being a taste tester?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 10:03 am (UTC)
Could be....
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2007-07-29 09:40 am (UTC)
Oh dear! Pity I'm not closer, I used to do wedding cakes on a semi-professional basis.

Do tell Aliz that you need to have dowels cut to measure to help support the weight of the tiers, one on top of the other, and a heavy base under each one, or the cake will just sag in on itself under the weight of all those layers.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2007-07-29 09:41 am (UTC)
Oh, if she does need some phone tips, let me know and I will send you my number.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 10:08 am (UTC)
Hey, that would be really useful. Yes please.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll delete immediately.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 10:07 am (UTC)
Ailz says thanks. She was already contemplating dowels and is really glad to have her hunch confirmed.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:40 pm (UTC)
Now that's a good idea. I'd don't know how they plan to fix the roses, but I'll suggest they try this. Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: baritonejeff
2007-07-29 12:47 pm (UTC)
Suggest to her this: Instead of water in the mix, replace it with buttermilk (shaken up thoroughly before pouring, increasing the measurement slightly), and add a generous teaspoonful of real vanilla extract. This will elevate the taste of the cake above box status. Also, before she puts the filled pans in the oven, drop them from about an inch or so above the counter to the counter several times. This should force any air bubbles up and out of the layer, so it will bake and cut more evenly.

FYI, chocolate curls are long pieces which are shaved from a large bar of chocolate.

Good luck, Ailz!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for those suggestions. I'll pass them on. Vanilla essence- that's a lovely touch!
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[User Picture]From: momof2girls
2007-07-29 01:00 pm (UTC)
At least you can sample. I had a chocolate cake at my wedding, with white chocolate icing.

It sounds like some engineering skills might be needed, too, in order to make the four tiers balance.

Good luck to Ailz and Ruth!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:20 pm (UTC)
I got to taste cake Mark 1 this afternoon. It wasn't bad- maybe a bit too sweet. I think the recipe needs refining.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2007-07-29 03:30 pm (UTC)
Innocent bystander and taster? :-) I wonder if they will need supports under those layers?

The word *weird* is the one that always confuses me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:42 pm (UTC)
They will need supports of some sort. I'm not sure what they're planning.

Yes, I have trouble with "weird" too. Maybe we should spell the old-fashioned way- with a "y".
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2007-07-29 05:03 pm (UTC)
My brother, who plays in a ceilidh band, has been to more than his share of weddings (professionally). He says it's always a good sign when there's a chocolate wedding cake: it means that the bride and groom know what they want, and that the ceilidh band is probably there because they want a ceilidh band.

Take it as a good omen...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, I like that.

Nic certainly knows what she wants. The whole wedding is being planned in this sort of detail.
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From: sculptruth
2007-07-29 06:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, I was a chef/pastry chef for years and I never heard of any of my colleagues using cake mix. However, I have to say for a novice, it's probably the safest route because with everything else going on the last thing she wants to worry about is the actual cake itself.

How will she transport it? Others have already suggested cardboard and dowels, which are a *must* for structure-- but her safest bet is pack the pre-decorated sections in flat cake boxes (bakeries will usually have them) and assemble it there. Also, the white chocolate coating might be the trickiest part--- a long narrow offset spatula and a tall container of boiling hot water are going to be her best friends for spreading that around evenly.

I wish her good luck-- but you have the fun job of test-tasting! :P
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:50 pm (UTC)
They're talking about assembling it at home- but they're aware they could have trouble transporting it. The problem with putting it together on site is that the venue is a hotel and it's questionable whether they'll be allowed to use the kitchen. Still, no harm in asking.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll pass them on.
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[User Picture]From: seaslug_of_doom
2007-07-29 06:30 pm (UTC)
Being the cowardly sort, I can only recommend you return to France solo. For about five weeks. Don't bring back any baked goods.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-29 07:51 pm (UTC)
Heh, heh, heh.

Actually I'm quite looking forward to this do. There hasn't been a wedding in the family for ages.

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From: manfalling
2007-07-31 04:37 am (UTC)
Hay dad- when is the wedding, by the way?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-31 08:05 am (UTC)
August 25.
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