Sunday, April 22, 2007

Doctorate in Deliciousness

Poor neglected blog! I would promise to do better, but truthfully, you're second banana for the foreseeable future.

In actual cake news, I made a book-themed cake for my friend Nick's recent birthday. He's been reading gobs of books for his grad school exams, and he reached the obscenely old age of 29, so the "Growing Old Gracefully" book title seemed appropriate. He's not quite a Doctor yet, but I thought he deserved a promotion, since he is so old he's practically dead.

Top view. The cake was chocolate, with a chocolate-mint mousse filling, and a chocolate-mint ganache on the outside and between several of the layers. The "pages" were vanilla buttercream.

Side view. Writing on cakes is definitely my weak spot. I like how the book title turned out, but I kind of lost it towards the bottom. I think it's mostly mental at this point.

It's hard to see in the pictures, but the book "pages" were recessed about a half-inch from the "covers" on three sides. I did the cake in three sections: bottom cover covered with ganache, pages (layered and filled with mousse), covered with buttercream, and top cover, covered with ganache. In retrospect, this was probably unnecessarily complicated. I had visions of razor-sharp corners and glass-smooth frostings, but assembling all of the elements foiled these plans. (Also in retrospect: who cares?!)

Cross-section. The lighter sections in the middle are the chocolate-mint mousse layers. At this point I should mention that the cake was pretty darn tasty. Someone compared it to a Thin Mint cookie in cake form...the mint was a little more subtle, though.

Jason and the birthday boy! To give you an idea of the cake's size, it was a quarter-sheet and easily fed about 25 of us.
(Off-topic: maybe it is a requirement of grad school students to wear plaid button-ups to parties? PhD in Style!)