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Patrincia's Wedding Cake

Mar 22, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose

i received this lovely note and photo, and couldn't wait to share it with you...

Rose, Thanks so much for letting me send this photo. I've been baking from The Cake Bible for years, but this was my first attempt at a wedding cake. I'm so pleased with the way it turned out (like a proud mother of a new baby). The cake was made from your Chocolate Butter Cake formula and it was filled and frosted with your Dark Chocolate Ganache recipe. One of the wedding guests asked me to make her son's wedding cake - all vanilla, inside and out. I'll be sure to use The Cake Bible for the formulas and recipes I'll use for it too! Sincerely, Patrincia, Winchester, VA PS - I can't wait to get your new book when it comes out!


Comments

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Jennifer olson
02/14/2011 12:31 AM

jennifer, check out the art deco cake in the cake bible and see the instructions for making a calla lilly out of rolled fondant. it is really easy to do and is the most beautiful way to make the flower(s).

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Jennifer olson
Jennifer olson
02/ 3/2011 11:34 AM

What kind of tip would i use to make a cally lily?

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Thanks for your help Patrincia!

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Hi Jan. I fill the pan with batter first, then put the nail in. If I remember, I spray it with a little non-stick spray first. You just plunk it in so the flat nail head touches the flat bottom of the cake pan. It won't tip over during baking.

When you invert your baked cake out of the pan, you can just lift the flower nail right out. There will be a very small depression where the nail head was, but that's easily covered with buttercream.

I've never heard about using a hollow aluminum can, and I'm not a fan of baking cores.

The best books I found on baking larger cakes are The Cake Bible by our beloved Rose. Also, there are a couple of wedding cake books by Dede Wilson, and don't forget about the new Martha Stewart Weddings book.

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Hello...I am trying to bake a large 12-10-8 tiered cake for the 1st time and need some advice on the heating core. I want to use a flower nail but I don't know which way to put it in. Will the nail tip over when baking? Does it work better then a hollow alum can? Any good reference books on baking times for larger cakes?

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Maggie - Have you thought about "Chocolate Clay"? It's made with chocolate and corn syrup; you can find a few recipes on the internet... it's pretty firm, yet pliable. I don't think you would be able to smooth it onto a cake the same way you would apply fondant, but you could certainly cover a cake by cutting a disk for the top of the tier, and then wrap the sides with a long band... camouflage the seams with a piped border of some sort. Just an idea.

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Thanks for the compliment Maggie!

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Thanks so much for your reply Rozanne! I will give it a try, hopefully it will have a better taste, seems like everyone I have tried (or anyone else for that matter) just ends up getting picked off the cake, besides I really wanted a "real" chocolate taste and texture. Thanks again for everything!
Maggie

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Maggie, have you considered using a ganache glaze? I know it is not "rolled" but you'll get a really smooth surface. Have you tried Rose's chocolate fondant? It tastes far superior to other chocolate fondants. Good luck!

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MaggieElrod
MaggieElrod
02/14/2009 08:13 AM

Hi there, I am so lost, I’ve decided to invade your blog and ask if anyone can help me.By the way your cake is absolutely lovely!!!!My problem is... I want to make a real chocolate “roll out” icing like fondant to put on a wedding cake. My problem is that I don’t care for surgar paste, marshmellow or the horrible regular fondant and can’t find anything with pure chocolate as the base. So far my only option would be a chocolate ganache like the one here, but I really would like an icing I can roll out smooth because im afraid I wont be able to make it as smooth as you did. Any ideas??? Thanks in advance!
Maggie

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Hi there, I am so lost, I’ve decided to invade your blog and ask if anyone can help me.By the way your cake is absolutely lovely!!!!My problem is... I want to make a real chocolate “roll out” icing like fondant to put on a wedding cake. My problem is that I don’t care for surgar paste, marshmellow or the horrible regular fondant and can’t find anything with pure chocolate as the base. So far my only option would be a chocolate ganache like the one here, but I really would like an icing I can roll out smooth because im afraid I wont be able to make it as smooth as you did. Any ideas??? Thanks in advance!
Maggie

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In The Wedding Cake Book by Dede Wilson, the author states to use 2 9" recipes for a 12" pan, but Matthew's way would certainly work too (just different math involved). Either way, I believe Rose suggests not filling the pan more than 1/2 to 2/3 full.

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Cynthia, as Patrincia said, you could double the 9'' recipe, or you could also multiply the 10'' recipe by 1.5 --In either case, you'll get a bit more batter than you need--modifying the 10'' recipe is a little closer to the correct amount.

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Hi Cynthia - do you have time to experiment a little (just in case)? I would make a double batch of your 9" recipe and bake it in your 12" pan. You might also use a heating core or flower nail in the center of the pan, use insulting baking strips around the outside of the pan, and adjust the baking time accordingly. (you may wish to lower your temp 25 degrees too, but Carrot cakes are pretty moist, so it's probably not necessary)

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Cynthia DiNardo
Cynthia DiNardo
10/17/2007 07:43 AM

I am looking for a recipe for a 12inch carrot cake that will be a bottom tier for a wedding cake. I have a recipe for a 9 inch and 10 inch but I don't know how to enlarge it to a 12 inch.
Does anybody have such a recipe or know what to do?

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Thanks Patrincia, that it what I am finding out, that butter cakes indeed are very strong, specially when chilled.

What happened on the Hawaii Way cake (eleven tiers of single layer cake) is that it tilted. All my plastic pegs were pinned even and straight (Wilton's hidden pillars), but it still tilted which became noticeable specially on the top tiers. I had plastic separator plates on each layer too, but the cake was actually frosted on a cardboard plate. I could imagine the weight on the bottom layers flattening the millimeters of cardboard, thus causing the tilt, a cumulative effect.

Irotated the cake, so the tilt wouldn't be obvious to the passing buy guests, and also for photographing!

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Hi Nushera, will post the recipe soon - it's super easy!

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I haven't had any problems with cardboard rounds flattening when I've used them for butter cakes. Some people stack 2 or 3 together (alternating the grain of the corrugations). Others choose to use foamcore instead... you can find it at art or craft stores (it's easily cut it with an X-acto knife, but I never seem to get it perfectly round so I prefer the precut cardboards).

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Cathy, the cake plate was a 16" pizza pan! covered with ILLY coffee beans.

My backgrounds are just my table and my kitchen, for the most part I try not to use an artificial background.

THANKS!!!!!! really humble pie.

P.S. One word of advice when stacking tall and heavy, DO NOT USE cardboard separator boards even if lined over a plastic separator plate. Cardboard tends to get flatten, thus causing your TALL cake to tilt

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Yes, that makes sense. I hadn't been thinking that through correctly. I think the 1" would be fine since I want the flowers to look full all around the circumference of each tier. But, I am more and more considering just doing a 14" , 10" and 6" like you did above. I like the look/height/proportions. As long as I had enough flowers....better order more sugar dough!

I will be doing a sample cake, so I know I will be able to decide based on that as well.

Thanks for the info on the super tall tiers. I had no idea how complicated it got!

Hector, what size cake plate did you use for your eleven layer cake? :) Just incredible! And like others have mentioned, your skills in photography really serve you well in addition to your expertise in baking & decorating. Do you usually use neutral tablecloths draped as background for photographing your cakes? Always well done.

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Cathy - if you make very tall tiers, the slices will not easily fit onto the cake plates. I see 4 and 5 tier cakes all the time. Most super tall tiers have internal platforms made of foamcore (example: cake, filling, cake filling, fondant, foamcore, cake, filling, cake, filling, fondant). This makes the cake slices easier to plate, but it can be a bit messy and time consuming to cut.

Adding an extra tier is adding extra work for yourself. Kitchen cakes don't need to be as pretty as a wedding cake on display for everyone to see. But I do think your 12-10-8 cake would look more proportionate with a 6" top.

Back to the 2" discussion... If you do 2" graduated tiers, you will only have 1" of space surrounding each tier because the upper tier is centered on the lower tier, leaving 1" all around (1" on the left, 1" on the right, 1" in the front, and 1" in the back). Do you know what I'm saying?

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Cathy, the traditional cake is 12-9-6, but I FIRMLY believe that you can execute any other numbers. Odd sizes and shapes can turn into something beautiful!

In other words, use what you have, what is requested, what is needed, and turn it into something pretty.

It takes practice to train the designer, but it is your own.

One of my recent cakes was eleven 3-inch layers with only zero, one, or two inch difference in diameter. And the cake I've just completed today, is six 2-inch layers with no differences in diameter!

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/08/hectors_hawaii_cake.html

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Cathy, the traditional cake is 12-9-6, but I FIRMLY believe that you can execute any other numbers. Odd sizes and shapes can turn into something beautiful!

In other words, use what you have, what is requested, what is needed, and turn it into something pretty.

It takes practice to train the designer, but it is your own.

One of my recent cakes was eleven 3-inch layers with only zero, one, or two inch difference in diameter. And the cake I've just completed today, is six 2-inch layers with no differences in diameter!

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/08/hectors_hawaii_cake.html

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/09/another_hector_triumph.html#comment-67835

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I like that idea, Hector, and that was my original plan. But I was also concerned about the look of the 12", 10", and 8" being a bit flat/wide. What do you think about the look? I will have flowers on top.

I guess I could try 3 layer tiers. That would make it about 6 1/2-7 " tiers. Would that be too tall?

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Cathy, just one suggestion. Instead of adding a 4th tier, you could make an extra 9 or 10" round or half sheet cake, separate. It may be well appreciated, to cut/serve this first before destroying the real big cake.

I've read somewhere in TCB or this blog saying to stick with 3 tiers, and if more cake is needed make extra separate cakes.

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Patricia,

1" should be fine, but I was thinking I'd have 2" since the difference in diameter is 2" each. But that is just cake...maybe you are saying with the added 1/2 frosting....? But I know there is 1/4" shrinkage when the cakes bake too....maybe you can explain it to me.

I've been looking thru the blog to see what I can find on 4-tiered cakes. I know Rose says in CB she stopped doing 4- tiered b/c (I thought) the size of her oven many years back. But is it that much more precarious when stacking (no columns)?

I already ordered the pans, so they are on their way. I'm also finding out for sure if the yacht will be sailing during the party or docked--that might change my nervy decision! :)

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Hi Cathy - I agree, 4 tiers will look better than 3 in the sizes you described. If you do decide to make 4 tiers, you may want to use wooden dowels in at least the bottom tier.

What kind of flowers are you going to be making/decorating the cake with? The cake in the photo at the top of this thread was a 14-10-6, which gave me 2" around each tier for flower placement. If your cake is a 12-10-8-6, you'll only have 1" around each tier... are you sure that will be enough space for your design?

Here's a tip to help you visualize how much decorating room you'll have on top of each tier. You can either make a stack of up-side-down cake pans in the appropriate pan sizes, or you can stack 12, 10, 8, and 6-inch cardboard rounds for a birdseye view of the same thing.

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Patricia and others,

Do you think I'd be crazy to add another tier to the three-tiered party cake I am planning? He said they may be adding to their guest list, so I planned a 9X13 extra for the kitchen.

But now I am wondering, why don't I just add a fourth tier--it would be basically the same thing. And I'm thinking it might add to the overall look of the cake--12", 10", 8" (and possibly 6"). I'm thinking just the first 3 might look a little wide/chunky without enough height. I chose those sizes b/c I am making sugar dough flowers to be placed around the edges of each tier, and want it to look full.

This will be my first tiered cake, so I'm wondering if I am crazy to try a 4-tier. I've planned out the baking schedule so I can bake all the cakes within 24 hours...so that part would be challenging, but definitely doable. What do you think?

Thanks!

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Elicia, re yr rainbow jelly- is that made from coconut milk/cream and agar-agar powder? could you please post your recipe? i looked for that on the net but the results are confusing: difference in proportions nd method(regdng boiling nd cooling). thanks for help in advance.

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Hi Cathy - There are no firm rules about how tall the supports should be. You can make them any size you like, but I like them approx 1/4 to 1/2 inch taller than the tier for several reasons:

1) It makes placing the top tier easier to do without damaging the finish on the lower tier (gives your fingers a little more wiggle room).

2) Taller supports are much easier to pull out of the cake when it's being served.

3) Depending on how many tiers you have, it can add an inch or two to the overall height of the finished cake (that's a good thing). Just be sure your border will be large enough to cover the gap.

(keep in mind the tiers above should be on cakeboards or cardboard rounds that are the same diameter as the tier)

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I'm so glad we are conversing on this. I didn't realize that the straws should be 1/4 inch higher than the top of the tier underneath--I thought it was cut right at the top of the cake/icing. So what you are saying is that the next tier going on top never even touches the bottom tier, just sits on the straws? That makes sense b/c then it will not mess up the tier underneath.

I like the idea of the guide on the parchment paper.

Time for bed--Thanks again, Patricia.

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Oh boy I could write a book on the subject :)

Okay, cakes using those dividers between the tiers are called "separated cakes" and cakes that don't use them are called "stacked cakes". I have never used the plastic dividers, but I haven't had anyone ask me to use them yet. Personally I think stacked tiers look more elegant, and it seems to be the style of choice right now (look at any bridal magazine).

If you decide to do a stacked cake, be sure to use dowels or straws to support each tier. The dowels or straws should all be cut to the exact same height for each tier, which should be just about 1/4 of an inch taller than the tallest part of your tier (that will make placing the next tier a little easier). There will be a slight gap between the tiers when stacked - easy to hide with a piped border. I have transported a 2 tier cake that was completely stacked, but I really prefer to stack and add the finishing touches on site.

Making a cutting guide on a cakeboard is a great idea! I've done them on parchment paper because it's easy to fold (helps get those pesky divisions perfectly spaced), and then I don't have to worry about it being thrown away.

There is so much more to say on the subject, but I'll wait until you ask :)

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Terrific advice. I can tell you have done a few of these! I'm writing all this down....I had actually thought of making a cutting diagram just yesterday--thinking of doing it on a covered cake board.

But the disp. glove(s) and hot dipping I had not--and those are biggies!

Thank you so much, Patricia.

Just thought of something else... I have seen "dividers" for tiered cakes that are white plastic. Are these necessary or can you just put the cardboard-supported tier right on the lower tier. I don't see that Rose mentions these other dividers in the CB.

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Cathy - you ask the best questions!!!

I always unstack the tiers before cutting - it's too risky otherwise, and it would be awkward to try to cut and turn a cake that's 8 or 12 or 16 inches tall. Ideally it's nice to whisk the entire cake behind the scenes somewhere so you can get messy without 100 pairs of eyes staring at you. Unfortunately that's not always an option. It really depends on who planned the event - I try to talk people into cutting elsewhere.

If someone else is cutting the cake I will give them a full size cutting diagram to follow (otherwise you have no idea if they will do it right). I also suggest they hot dip the knife and dry it off between each slice.

Cake serving sets include a cake knife and a cake server. I find the cake servers to be a complete pain. I prefer slicing with one hand and catching the slice with my other hand (covered in a food safe disposable glove which not only keeps my fingers off the cake, but it keeps the sticky buttercream off of my hands).

Also, whoever ends up cutting should have at least one helper (two is better) to hand you plates, garnish the plates, serve the cake, hand out forks and/or napkins, get more paper towels, change the hot water, etc. Really the only thing the person cutting can do is cut and plate the slices - the helpers need to do everything else. Oh, wearing an apron is a good idea too.

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Patricia,

I hadn't thought of the different flavors phenomena. Great point. I appreciate you going into detail....it sounds like you were good with taking Rose's suggested serving in half. And you did not count the top.

How do you serve the bottom tier first? I guess you just took all the tiers off in the kitchen? Rose says you can cut and serve one tier at a time right there or take one tier off at a time and cut. I am wondering about how this is logistically done (I am such a novice and can't remember what people did at our wedding. Was there even a cake?....I believe so...I was too busy to know!) Does one discretely take each tier to the kitchen and cut and bring the pieces out? If so, does the rest of the cake left standing look unappealing at the very least, possibly messy at the most?? Or do you take the whole cake in the back and cut? This is not a wedding I am doing; and I believe the gentleman I am doing the party for has servants who will take care of the cutting and serving, but I'm just trying to know how to direct the operation if asked.

I feel like I did with my first child. Totally engrossed in making sure there is enough food! :)

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Hi Cathy - at this point I have never used emulsions. I'm of the pure extract crowd. Probably most of the regulars on this board are too, but I was just wondering if anyone ever tried the other stuff.

As for the cake above - the tiers were 14, 10, and 6 inches in diameter, and each were 4 to 4 1/2 inches tall. The cake was supposed to feed 100 guests without serving the top tier. According to Rose's chart - the 14 and 10 inch tiers should have served 165, but I do find the sizes listed on her chart are a bit on the small side for this part of the country.

There were a few other factors I took into consideration too - this cake was the only dessert being served, the reception was being held at dinner time (hungrier guests), more people eat chocolate cake than any other flavor, and like you, I didn't want to risk running out of cake. Since it really doesn't cost much more, or take much longer to make the cake a little bigger, I decided to err on the side of caution. Also, the bride comes from a large family, so I knew any leftovers would not go to waste. I was later told that there was a total of 85 ro 86 guests, several people has second servings of cake, and there wasn't a lot left over, but there was some - which they were happy to enjoy the next day.

Since then I've discovered it's better to serve the cake from the bottom up rather than from the top down because it's much easier to store leftover cake on a 10" cardboard round than it is on a 14" cardboard round :)

Something else to keep in mind - if the cake is more than one flavor, you'll need more servings because many people will want to try both flavors.

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Patricia, How are you using emulsions?

Also, I just got on to ask you a question about your wedding cake (choc ganache photographed above). Can you tell me how many it served? Was it the only dessert and was there a dinner served as well?

I am trying to calculate for a party (70-85 people) in which the cake will be the main dessert. There will be dinner served as well. I'm not thinking I should go with the wedding serving sizes, but it may not be necessary to divide by 3 like we discussed before (to get reg serving sizes for main dessert). Whatever I do, I might have a sheet cake in the back just for assurance!

Any advice?

Thanks!

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Okay baking buddies - what do you know about flavor emulsions verses pure extracts? I was always under the impression that emulsions were less than ideal. What say you?

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Have a nice vacation and hurry back to us :)

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i'm leaving on vacation but just want to thank you and tell you taht if you have the photo on a jpeg you can send it to my e-mail address on this blog and i will ask my blog master to post it. (rose@realbakingwithrose.com)

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Wow, it's hard to keep up with all that happening on Rose's blog! Months ago you guys were talking about using real flowers on cakes, and I'd really like to do that too but my worry is pesticides etc. Does anyone know how to go about sourcing for edible, unsprayed flowers? Or is it ok to ignore the slight 'contamination' as long as the flowers are removed before cutting? I also thought about washing and soaking the flowers first -- would that remove the chemicals? I just made my first sold wedding cake (Rose, you would have been proud of me! It was your chocolate butter cake with your dark ganache and covered in creme ivoire deluxe, which made it look such an elegant ivory. Wish I could show you the pic but I have no website.), and the 18 sugar paste roses took me DAYS!! Although it is a work of love, it's also such a pain, and it's the thing that stresses me out the most because I never have enough time.
Rose, thank you for all that you teach and share, and for setting up this blog! You helped me live the dream of a pastry chef (at home!). My husband and I just started a business, and whenever he brings our cake creations to a proposal to a cafe, they are always well received and we are now looking at supplying them! Most of our creations are based on what I learnt from your books, so thank you!! I'm eagerly waiting for your new book. Thank you too, to all the eager bloggers here and all that you share!

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oops, I thought you were kidding :) (so embarrasing)

The plastic sheets you mentioned sound like the kind of thing the Library uses. Do you know what it's called?

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Patrincia, I wasn't joking. Wrap the front and back covers of your books with saran wrap. It keept the jackets tidy.

You can also purchase clear plastic wrapping, made specially to wrap books. Easy to fold in, and secured with a few strips of scotch tape.

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Thanks Matthew - I don't use a stand like you, that's probably my problem. I wonder what the library used to cover the jackets?

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Patrincia,
I leave all of mine on and they don't bug me even though I use them constantly (but I do know what you mean because I frequently remove them from other types of books). I have a cookbook holder/stand, so maybe that makes the difference?

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You're funny - any other options?

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wrap them in saran wrap!

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Here's a guick non-food, but cookbook question for you guys...

How in the world do you deal with the dust jackets on your cookbooks? They drive me absolutely crazy, but I hate to remove them. Looking for alternate ideas from everone.

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Meems, be sure to bake the cake at least 24 hours ahead before adding syrup. In my opinion, butter cakes are moist enough, that if you don't let it sit for a day or two to let it dry out a little, adding syrup will soggy it out!

Page 484 of TCB, has a 3-tier cake recipe. Page 486 says to add 3 cups of Syrup for this amount of cake. For your 14" cake, ratio accordingly. The syrup recipe for 1 cup is on page 505.

My favorite complimentary liquor for chocolate cake would be something with coffee or hazelnut. These flavors go so well with chocolate that you cant taste any strong coffee or hazelnut overpowering flavor, they just enhance the taste of chocolate. You could use Frangelico (hazelnut liquor), Kahlua (coffee liquor), or plain espresso (a good non-alcoholic choice).

Another liquor would be Amaretto, but this one does add a clear presence of almond taste; almonds do combine well with chocolate.

Good luck.

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Can someone offer advice on syruping wedding cake tiers? I'm going to make Roses' yellow butter cake 14" tiers, and I don't know what type of liquor to add to the syrup. Any suggestions? The top tiers will be chocolate - what liquor should I add to the syrup? Do I need to add liquor for flavor or us just the simple sugar syrup flavor enough?
Meems

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Patrincia - I can't pass up a cooking/baking supply store wherever I am! As dopey as it sounds, I also think it's kind of interesting to check out the local supermarket when I am somewhere new ...

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Elicia - you'd probably like the kind that has the trigger and dispenses the exact same amount each time you squeeze it. I find it's pretty good at preventing heat transfer too (from your hands).

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Oh Patrincia, I also tend to shop for cake supplies when I travel! We are all a little cake-crazy, I guess!

M actually thinking of getting the piping gun to pipe large designs. I tend to scrutinize my work, so the gun is a good idea to get the design totally even!

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Elicia, Rozanne, and Theresa - you guys are great! I do like the floral arranging on cakes (i'm good with color), but it never quite looks that nice when I put them in a vase for some reason - oh well.

I've started researching sugar flowers - want to give them a try sometime :)

My vacation is going well - went to Sweet Celebrations this week, and am off to Penzey's spices in the next day or so - do you know anyone else who goes on vacation for spices and cake supplies ???

Oh, bought jet black pasta yesterday :)

Bye for now,
Patrincia

PS - Elicia - I agree, there is nothing wrong with your borders!

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Patrincia - nice to hear from you! Hope you are enjoying your vacation. Elicia - there's nothing wrong with your borders; your piping skills are excellent!

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Patrincia, lovely cake!!!! I agree with Elicia about your florist skills. You should team up with a wedding co-ordinator so you can supply the wedding cakes and flowers. Have a good vacation.
Rozanne

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Oh Patrincia, I have to say that if you don't plan to be a homebaker, you can also consider being a florist! You do have an eye for flower arrangement! And those borders are lovely - I'm still working on correcting mine - will still need to put in more practice hours!

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Elicia, Matthew, and Theresa - Hi guys! I'm out of town on vacation, but had to get my Rose blog fix! Thanks for the kind words - I heard back from the lady who ordered that cake - it was a huge hit and everyone loved it. She mentioned that her son is getting married next summer and she will be giving me a "cake call" :) (guess she really liked the cake!).

Matthew - yes, I've been doing the "lei" method for years, but I try not to leave the ends "open" - if you place the individual "blobs" together close enough, it looks just like a the usual piped border - it works out neater for me than the traditional piping that consists of a continuous stream of BC. Until recently I would use a decorating "gun" because it would portion exactly the same size blobs each time you pull the trigger, but my gun broke so I used parchment triangles turned into cones for this cake - it worked really well so I might not replace the "gun" after all, we'll see.

Btw - the flowers came from Costco - $14.99 (I had quite a few leftover too) :)

Hector - I'll check back in on the 28th - please get some rest before the big event!!!

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Patrincia, that is beautiful! And I agree with Matthew on your arrangemenet of the flowers. You are an artist!

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You always do such a lovely job placing the flowers--beautiful. Were you trying Hector's lei technique?

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Lovely and romantic cake, Patrincia!

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thank you so much hector--now i don't have to bother my dear blog master to post it!

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http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/Patrincia.html

Lovelly cake from Patrincia!

I'm attaching 2 photos; front and back shots - see if you can guess which is which? (the large pink rose on top is the front, but I think it looks pretty good from both sides)
The 8" and 12" tiers are both made from Rose's White Butter Cake recipe, filled with Raspberry Buttercream (rsp puree and mousseline), and is frosted with my vanilla version of Rose's Mousseline Buttercream (6 T. of vanilla added to the wedding cake sized batch - pg 514) The buttercream isn't quite as smooth as I usually get it, but this was a last minute cake and I didn't have much time to work on it. The fresh flowers include calla lilies, carnations, roses, mums, alstromeria, and I couldn't resist adding a few fresh raspberries here and there.

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I wonder if anyone has measured how much of the alcohol evaporates when used to moisten a cake or on frostings. I haven't have many complaints (but there are a few). Regarding extracts, I am so picky, there are so many brands out there. I do trust the brand names of the liquors, Rose seems to have a bar full of them!

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Hector - you're right! I guessing here, but I suppose people don't mind the alcohol in extracts because you only need a tiny bit compared to the amound of spirits one might need (???).

(unless they are allergic to alcohol, but I've only met 1 person who was)

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Patrincia, thanks for the link, it is helpful. On many of the substitutions it calls for extract (almond, orange, vanilla, etc), aren't extracts almost pure alcohol?

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i don't think so but my suggestion is thank you find a mechanic or someone who is handy to make you one.

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Agreed!!!

btw, for those who are interested in substituting the alcohol in their recipes, I found this neat site:

http://sdbytracy.com/alternative.htm

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Rose, for some reason I am not surprised that you also have a perfected turntable! Can Bill create a few more of those silicone plugs? we will pay!

14-12-12 layer starting next week! I found room in my freezer.

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my wilton ateco turntable is really precious to me because a friend, former student, and prosthetic device engineer did me a huge favor. he created a sort of plug out of silicone into which the spike of the turntable is inserted so taht it turns with exquisite smoothness.
it's amazing over time what a little thing like that has meant to my life! it's been several decades but whenever i see bill lembeck i still thank him!

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Hector - have you used it yet? I can't believe I went so long without mine. It has made a huge difference for me in terms of decorating speed and precision. I'm sorry I didn't get one years ago.

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Just got mine's. Ateco, too, the one with the cast iron base. I was tempted for the Matfer in bronze color, but it was $189! I was planning to use my Chinese table turner, but the bearing were a little rough!

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Hector - I used to use one of the lightweight Wilton turntables (plastic). It worked okay, but with the amount of cakes you make, go for the heavy duty one - it's infinitely better and you will never regret buying it!!!

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Hector - I have an Ateco turntable, but I've seen the same exact model for sale under other brand names (or no name at all). It's the heavy duty cast iron base that's painted white, and it has an aluminum platform that is 12" wide.

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Patrincia, what brand/model is your turn table? I don't have one!

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thank you--now i can go to sleep happy (and it's almost midnight here!)

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Rose, I feel elevated to the next stage in cakemaking after trying out piping and marzipan modelling! Nonetheless, still a long way to go!

Friends always ask me if I've attended baking classes, and are surprised when I tell them I just use very good books. They can't believe I can have success following instructions from a book! The truth is when I follow your instructions to a tee, I have 100% faith that even my first attempt wld be a success! Your explanations on the workings of cakemaking also helped me to make whatever necessary substitutions I need to with the proper knowledge on hand! So thanks to you and the Cake Bible!

And... looking forward to that new book!

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elicia, your cake, marzipan directions, and darling little giselle are all works of art! sorry i've been so late responding--there's a lot happening right now and book production is staaaaaaarting........

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Deborah,
If you own the Cake Bible Rose gives very detailed instructions on how long a cake will stay fresh. Look under "Showcase Cakes" on pg 163 and it will give you all the info you are looking for. For e.g the White Lilac Nostalgia cake made with white velvet butter cake, raspberry mousseline and creme ivoire deluxe can be assembled a day ahead or frozen for 2 months without the lilacs.
I hope this helps. Maybe Rose will give you more precise information.
Rozanne

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Rose, can you tell me how far ahead a cake can be assembled and still stay fresh (refrigerated of course). I am using buter cakes recipes/syrup/ mouseeline buttrecream but sometimes there are too may cakes or too much life to stay sane doing all the assemblies the day before. thanks so much

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Patrincia, my boys are only 9 and 5 - so you're right, I don't encounter the teenage problems yet! But being a stay-at-home mom only for the last 2 years have been rewarding! Thks for the encouragement on tiering ... mmm may try to attempt just a 2-tier one day!

Oh Hector! Your tips are super! I was actually scrutinising the pictures of your lovely cake and wondering how they are placed so close! Anyway, I froze the roses hard so it was a bit difficult to smash them together! I think I piped the base cone too short too, thus the flower has a wide base. Mmm... more practice needed definitely!

Yes, large butter roses for parties wld be fun!

The large marzipan butterfly was a risk. It didn't really harden enough though. So I took a risk and stuck it in the freezer! I knew it wld go very soft once I removed it from the freezer - so I only placed it on the cake at the very last minute. Since the celebration was at home, and the cake was cut within 15 mins or so, it was ok. When I removed the butterfly from the cake, the wings were already drooping!

Butterflies are quite pretty things to put on a cake. The tiny ones on the bunnycake hardens well though. Use a cookie cutter, then cut out hole designs on the wings with a petal tip. Also use piping tips and toothpick to emboss patterns on the wings - then when you paint on the petal dust, the pretty veins will show thru.

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Elicia, making the butterfly and the banner was absolutelly beautiful, something I haven't started doing yet =)

My roses wes smashed together, to avoid gaps. I placed the rosed on the cake using sizzors, they pick well that way. Basically, I the outer row of petals were touching each other. I may have also piped an extra petal or so in between the gaps after placing the roses together, and defenitelly my frosting was the same color as the roses, so you coudn't tel about the gaps.

Keep on the good work. Next is to get a large rose tip, very handy to pipe butter roses (for eating with bread), mashed potatoes roses, or any other giant roses you need to make.

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Elicia - Oh the joys of parenthood... enjoy them while they are young because they really do grow up so fast. My 4 little darlings are now 10 through 18 yrs old. Thankfully our youngest hasn't reached this stage yet, but the cute cuddles and kisses once shared by the older 3 were quickly replaced by sighs and eye rolling. I know it's a phase that eventually passes, but in the meantime they occasionally surprise me with a show of affection - hmmmm, now that I think about it, those moments always seem to be in response to my cooking/baking... I guess what they say really is true - Food is Love :)

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Elicia - I was a little bit scared the first time I stacked tiers too, but once I did it I realized how easy it was. Just be sure to have a sturdy large spatula to help place the tiers, and make sure your supports (dowels or straws) are all exactly the same height so everything stays level. Honestly, I've only used dowels up to this point, but I will try the staws next time (the non-flexible ones). I encourage you to give it a go - TCB has great helpful info on the subject.

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Oh Giselle's a darling baby as she has 2 older brothers to pamper her! I think you wld know too Patrincia as you've got a few kids too, right?
Yep, followed the tips by Hector and Rose - froze them before placing them on the cake. The tedious part was taking the piping bag in and out of the fridge - I can only manage to pipe 3 roses before the buttercream gets too soft! Also found a solution along the way - pipe all the middle cones first on individual parchment squares - refrigerate till firm before piping the roses!

As usual, my 'happy b'day' banners are made from papercraft - I use rubber stamps and embossing powder and glitter ... that kinda stuff. Non-edible unfortunately but pretty ethereal! I really don't want to risk piping the letterings at the final stages of decorating and ruining it!!

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Great job, Elicia! The cake is beautiful and your roses are perfect! (And your daughter is a doll!)

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Elicia - first off I have to say your daughter is simply adorable! And your cake is almost as adorable as your daughter!

What a nice job you did decorating - did you freeze the roses before placing them on the cake like Hector did? What was the banner made out of?

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Very impressive Elicia!

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Oh Hector! My roses are a far cry from your lovely ones on that moist genoise wedding cake! There are too many gaps between the roses on the cake - I was afraid to handle them too much as they soften too fast! I will need to practise more! If not for your enthusiastic encouragement, I wldn't have started piping though. So - thks a million!

Giselle was very happy - having 2 celebrations! She loves to blow candles ... and have been singing 'Happy B'day' the last few days! I believe you are more than familiar with watching the joy on a child's face when you present them their b'day cakes - you bake such swell cakes for all your lovely niece/s!!

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And Gisselle looks lovely and happy, too. Great rainbow jello.

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Elicia, I am so proud of you!!!!!!! way to go with your roses, they look perfectly done.

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Patrincia, great idea on the gap! I haven't tried tiered cakes yet - a bit terrifying with all the dowels and stuff. I can be quite clumsy (I dropped a completed cake once just the night before I was supposed to deliver it to a friend!)

Anyway, here's pics of the 2nd b'day cake I made for my daughter's actual b'day celebration at home! I took the cue from Hector's lovely tall moist choc genoise wedding cake decorated with roses.

It's the first time I'm piping roses - with Mousseline (such a dream to whip up and if you follow Rose's instructions to a tee, you cannot go wrong!). I decorated the sides with white choc panels, filled and frosted the cake with vanilla buttercream - 4 tiers of genoise cut from a large sheet.

I made a large pistachio marzipan butterfly and the idea was the butterfly sort of holds the b'day message banner!

Again I have to say thks to everyone, especially Rose - I've finally decorated my cakes with edible decorations! I think there's something magical abt edible decors even if you may not eat the marzipan at the end!


rosebouquetcake

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Carol - I should also have mentioned that you shouldn't try to cut the tiers while they are still stacked. As for cutting the top tier - it is traditionally not served to the wedding guests, but rather, frozen and saved for the wedding couple to eat on their first wedding anniversary. (of course, if you run out of cake, cut up the top tier and serve it to your guests)

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Hi Carol - I stack my tiers using supports that are cut about 1/8-inch taller than the tier I want to put them into, so each tier actually sits about 1/8 of an inch above the one below. I then camoflauge the gap by piping around the base of each tier. I would never stack a cake without using straws or dowels to support the tiers. Happy Baking!

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Question for someone??? When cutting a tiered wedding cake, after you've served the top tier, how do you keep from removing all of the icing on the top of the second tier when you remove the cake board? Carol

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all i can say is that it works perfectly in the moulds i suggested which are two piece with non-stick lining. sadly they don't make these molds in 2 inch size. you certainly don't want to go to the effort of lining little two inch molds with foil and weights on top of the dough right?

your decoration looks fantastic!
any génoise or biscuit would be great particularly chocolate as they wouldn't overwhelm even if chocolate!

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Hi Cindy! Thks! Hope the pics can be a good guide if you decide to try it! Most importantly, the cake tasted really delicious and moist! I lightly sprinkled it with syrup with a little lemon juice added. The buttercream was flavoured with a little lemon curd. The faint lemony taste goes very well with the white choc. Sadly, all that's left are the photos!!

The agar-agar seems to be a fave at parties here. I personally am not too fond of all the colouring, but it does make a bright and cheery addition to parties!

Anyway, I have to rave about peanut butter mousse tartlets. This is the first time I made it. I moulded the crust in 2" moulds using a 1.5" mould to press the dough in. It was very even and thin. However, I was initially worried as it puffed like crazy when baking, and although I tried to tap it down with a spatula, I was afraid I wld crack it. The crust was like a cookie, very crisp but puffed and it was a bit difficult to release from the mould (I cracked a couple!).

Since it was so shallow, I decided to pipe in the mousse in rosettes, and instead of topping it with choc glaze, I moisture-proofed it with the choc instead.

Anyway, it tasted DELICIOUS! The creamy peanut-buttery mousse was fantastic against the light and crisp cookie crust! Am already thinking of making this into a mousse cake!

Dear Rose, any advice on how to make the crust puff less? You did mention that reducing the bicarb does not make a difference. Shld I use weights? And what genoise/biscuit wld go well with the mousse if I make it into a cake? Can I use the Moist Choc Genoise? Pls advise!

And here's a pic of it:


Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

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Oh , great job Elicia, Thank you for the photo and the rabbit is so cute. Everybody must loved it so much. Who was cutting it must feel relunctant at first. I like the colourful agar in your picture. Very appetizing. Congratulation!!!
Cindy

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we really must be twins, hector. i wrote a message to a chef once--i think it was bouley--in the tiny bit of sauce left on the plate.

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After untirelessly making Light Whipped Chocolate Ganace for many of my cakes, I decided to try something new: I made Mocha Glaze (Rose's Melting Pot, page 233). The best part of the glaze was the left over drippings. Enjoy.

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/MochaGlaze.html

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Elicia, GREAT JOB. It is the most delicious and edible rabbit I've ever seen. Those pistachio marzipan roses and butterflies look terrific. This has been defenitelly the month for all of us. /H

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And Rose, I took in all your advice in the Cake Bible. Shaped the butterflies in egg cartons, and rested the daisies in a bed of cornflour. They took several days to firm up. I'll definitely use the pistachio marzipan recipe again! And did I say the kids ate some of the decorations and they liked it? What will we do without your Cake Bible? Thks a million!

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Glad you all liked the bunny! I have to say the pistachio marzipan turned out fantastic - I loved its natural pistachio hue, but daisies wld look a little funny in green! I used petal dust on the butterflies, so the pistachio base showed through a bit - you can't really see it in the photos though. As for the daisies, I tinted the marzipan with pink, and for then tinted another with Wilton's whitening paste before adding yellow. I used Wilton's coloured sparkles on the daisies, and both the yellow and orange daisies were made with yellow marzipan, only using different coloured sparkles!

I must say the Creme Ivoire seals the cake wonderfully - as I left it at room temperature (being a butter cake), I was afraid the buttercream wld get very soft. Thks to the Creme Ivoire, the buttercream remains sealed inside! Its definitely better than using fondant!

Oh Rozanne, carving the bunny was quite easy, but shaping the butterflies and daisies were more tedious!

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Elicia - your bunny is so cute... great job!

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Great job Elicia! It really was a labour of love since you had to carve the bunny.

Rose, I like your comment "i'm so proud of US!!!"

Rozanne

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i'm so proud of US!!! really fantastic and i'm thrilled to see how well the pistachio marzipan worked and took the colors.

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Elicia, that is awesome! And your pictures are a great tutorial - how to build a bunny!

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Hi everybody!
Finally completed the bunnycake (and at this time, its already been totally eaten up!)!

Have posted the pics here! Am very proud of myself - it was a labour of love. And I must thank Rose and all you fellow bloggers for your wonderful advice, tips and encouragement along the way!


bunnycakefinal

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so glad it was such a success--the white chocolate in the batter is really unexpectedly magical.

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Got the idea on the heating core after noticing that some of Wilton's 3D pans use heating cores.

BTW, I used Wilton's Cake Release to grease the bowl and the heating core. The cake (including the little one in the core) released like magic!

I also wrapped the bowl in foil, and lined the inside of the foil with several pieces of wet kitchen towels. Then I secured a magi-strip around the rim of the bowl.

All these resulted in a very level cake that rose very well, and a golden crust despite having to bake for 50 mins. Only the top crust was a little over-browned, but the sides were perfect. The scraps tasted oh so moist! Thks to Rose's ingenious use of white choc, this butter cake is really velvety moist with a wonderful melt-in-mouth quality.

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What a good idea to put a heating core in the middle (and to bake batter in it as well)! I assume this was so that the outside of the cake would not overbake while you were waiting for the center to bake.

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Hi Cindy,

I just used a bowl I happen to have - it is 9" in diameter and about 3.5" tall (I use the same bowl for Bombe Alaska!) One recipe of the Golden Lux Butter Cake is just right.

This 2nd time round, I baked the cake with a heating core in the middle. I overturned the heating core and pour some batter in so that I can frost it back into the cake. Am not very good at a step-by-step guide but will try to take some pics!

I got the ideas from various sources - the bunny shape from a Martha Stewart magazine! Was exasperated after not being able to get my hands on a Wilton 3D bunnypan!

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Oh! wonderful ,Elicia,That is a very clever way. What size was this bowl and how tall is the cake to makethe proportion right?In the coming rabbit , I hope you can take some sequential pictures to show the steps. Can't wait to see it. Thanks for sharing.
Cindy

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Hi Cindy,

It's actually very easy to make. It was originally baked in a bowl, then overturned and the sides cut out in a sort of figure '8'. The smaller top is the head and the bottom of the '8' is the body. Cut out the ears and tail from the scraps and attach with buttercream and toothpicks.

Am making the actual cake this week and can't wait to post the pics when it is done! The celebration will be on Friday, so I hope to post by Friday night (some decorations need to go on at the very last minute!)

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Hi ,Elicia. The bunny cake entry on 20 April was wonderful .The bunny ws so cute. However I cannot see it clearly how the bunny was assembled. What shape of cake was it origionally before cutting?
thank you!

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Oh yes, you are right, althought I think I will need to make too many of these pans, since Biscuit de Savoie is something I want to perfect.

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The same way you did for the Baked Alaska (or did I misunderstand).

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Patricia, how do I do that?

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Hector - why don't you make your own 9x1.5 straight sided pans for the Biscuit de Savoie - instead of the Chic Metallic ones that have tapered sides.

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Does yours look like this? It is from Neiman's Ala Moana Mariposa Restaurant. Warm, and INTENSELLY pineapple! I am not a big fan of pineapple upside down cake, but this dessert version was ONOLICIOUS (ono means tasty in local Hawaiian).

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/NeimansWarmPineappleCake.jpg

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the one place i REALLY don't want PA is on pizza!!!

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Can't wait for your new book, do share recipes that don't make it through the editor's cut!

Pineapple is so versatile. I love minced pineapple fried rice!

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gawjeous!
you'll be pleased to hear (i think) that i have a carmelized pineapple brioche bread pudding that is one of the best desserts i've ever tasted. it was given to me by a baker and couldn't fit into the bread bible as it runs for so many pages but isn't difficult. it's in the upcoming book (i hope).

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Dear bloggers, I've posted Baked Hawaii on my web. Enjoy and hope it comes better next time! Also, check the home made aluminum foil pans, they work!

http://www.hectorwong.com

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Thanks for your lovely comment Patrincia, that competition was filmed in late 2005 and they show it every year! I mentioned it in passing when there was a discussion on tiering chiffon cakes... Rose, will do on the picture!
Kir, as far as I know the two- stage or hi-ratio method was developed in commercial industry to save time over the 10-minute or more creaming method, and to prevent the separation that can happen when having more liquid and sugar in a batter. I have teaching notes that say it only works with recipes wherein the sugar is greater in weight than the flour (thus the term hi-ratio), but with Rose's method of adding some of the liquid in the beginning with the dry ingredients and softened butter, you can do so with most butter cakes even if there is not that much sugar.

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i'm so pleased to here that it will be part of the french culinary institute curiculum. of course the new name of the school is The New International Culinary Center!
ppl have reported that they have converted all their butter cakes to the two stage method with great success. in fact, i'm amazed that after two decades there are so many food writers who are still creaming the butter and the sugar. proof how long it takes to change anything. you are a rare and courageous pioneer!

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Thank you so much. Oh, I'm a total believer of the two stage method, which I first saw on your book. It hasn't fail me since. And when a recipe calls for a high amount of butter I always change their method for the two stage one with great results. We just add it to the curriculum @ the school on the white cake recipe.
Thanks again.

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kit, re your ? on the history of the two stage technique for cake mixing--i read about it in a food science book years ago but it said it only works with high ratio shortening bc butter must be between 65 and 75 degrees F.or will not emulsify correctly. never one to accept dictates without trying them (as long as not life endangering)i discovered that if the butter is at correct temp it works beautifully.
i don't know how the original technique of cake mixing was first conceived. but i am still a complete devotée of the two stage: easier, faster, better (more even).

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Hi Rose,

Thanks so much for the advice on the bunny cake. Anyway, the taste of the cake was just heavenly! I will be trying out wrapping the bottom of the bowl with wet kitchen towels covered with foil (I remember reading this on your website some time back) to lessen the crust browning - the 'bake-even' strips are a bit difficult to enclose around a bowl-shape!

And yes, I finally tried out piping some 'practice' roses! They were ok considering you don't scrutinise every petal, and really not so difficult! Will be practising over the next few days!

Thks Hector for the encouragement to give piping a try... and thank you Rose, for some very detailed method description in your book!

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elicia--very wise choice for the bunny cake and very smart to use whole eggs as longer baking means darker crust with yolks. in fact if you do it again try using all whites that will further decrease the browning!

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re how long cobasan will stay fresh--mine is over 20 years old!!!

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for those of you interested in "pebbles" of encapsulated flour that sometimes sink to the bottom of a génoise--and haven't read this in the cake bible--i once brought my moist chocolate génoise to carl sondheimer--founder of the cuisinart. it was his birthday though he hadn't told me--he just asked me to bring a cake! i noticed on unmolding the layers that there was a significent amount of pebbles--more than i could pick out so i left most of them hoping he wouldn't notice. he noticed alright--he asked me what were the delicious little nuts at the bottom of the cake!

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the newest one is without the photo.but i don't think there are any changes other than i increased the amount of butter in the shortbread wedges to be the same as for the cathedral cookies.
i'm glad you found the book--it's one of my best.

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Rose - I've found 2 copies of your cookie book, but the photos of their covers are different. How can I tell tell which is the newest edition/revision?

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thanks very much for reporting this valuable info. in the upcoming book i am listing the chocolates used for testing the recipe (valrhona--le noir gastronomie widely available--is one) and the percentage of cacao because that makes an enormous difference. there are other factors as well such as lecithin which helps emulsification.

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Hi Rose,
M I right to say that the success of the Moist Choc Genoise also depends partly on the brand of chocolate? I have tried several brands of choc for the recipe, and there were times it did not turn out as perfect - in fact it is evident when I cook the choc, as some inferior brand choc tends to be a little stiff when cooled instead of the puddles effect that will happen if you were to cook a good quality choc, or sometimes the choc gets really liquid and will not 'puddle' even after 5 mins of cooking. I find perfect success with Varlhona's bittersweet (Manjari) buttons, and Hershey's semisweet as well. With Varlhona, the choc itself seems to lend an emulsifying effect to the batter, and I was able to fold the batter a little longer to disperse the flour. The resulting genoise rose higher (always) and was moist and tender from bottom to top with absolutely no flour pebbles! I now refuse to use any other choc in this recipe except for Varlhona bittersweet!

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re the "pebbles" that sometimes form in a génoise--they are particles of flour that have not absorbed moisture but become encapsulated in the batter. use your fingers to reach down to the bottom of the bowl and pinch any pebbles between thumb middle finger. this is especially necessary with chocolate génoise.

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reeni do send a photo and i'll post it. i was away so wouldn't have been able to see it but do let us all know when something like this happens!

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Hey, did anyone get a chance to see the Wedding Cake Challenge (2006) that aired on the FoodTV a couple of days ago? I had watched almost the entire show before I realized that I recognized the name of one of the chefs featured... it was Reeni Espino, a regular on this blog!

Reeni - your cake was absolutely beautiful, and it's so nice to be able to put a face with the name! How thrilling it must have been for you to be a part of that show - Congratulations!

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Matthew, what brand/model is your whisk? What size/diameter? Care to share a picture?

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Kir Rodriguez
Kir Rodriguez
04/30/2007 08:32 AM

Dear, Rose
I would like to know the history behind the two method cake mixing that you use a lot in your Cake Bible and that is amazingly successful. Where does it come from? how did it started? Do you know? You don't say much in your book about the history of it. Please, when you have a chance, let me know.

Kr

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Good to know - thanks Hector!

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Hi Patrincia, good question. Indeed, even when you sift in the flour into the genoise egg whip, you will form lumps regardless. Apparently, flour doesn't really dissolve that weel in egg whip, there is no or little butter to stick to.... So, even if you sift in the flour, you still need to give it a good fold and smash those bottom pebbles.

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I usually sift all my dry ingredients (with a mesh strainer) to avoid lumps... is that why some of you have experienced little pebbles in the genoise, or is there another reason?

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Hi Patrincia,

I'm in Malaysia, and that's between Thailand and Singapore! Not only is our weather hot, it is also humid - 2 no-no's for baking and frosting! Room temperature as suggested in the Cake Bible wld mean that I have to switch on the air-conditioner and have it blasting at my baking worktable, in my otherwise warm kitchen!

Anyway guys, I've never used a water bath and I can still whip up buttercream and whipping cream without any problems despite the heat and humidity. Of course for whipping cream, I have to chill the whisk and bowl first. I make a mean and popular tiramisu too! I use a heating pack (those used for sore muscles) for warming up or cooling the mixing bowl very effectively too! I also use it to warm up the sides of the cake ring when I unmould my mousse cakes.

I agree that the Moist Choc Genoise holds up very well despite having to fold in the flour and choc (that really does sink to the bottom). I've never tried using the whisk because the skimmer works so well! I think all homebakers have more or less the same few clever tricks up their sleeves - I also pick out flour pebbles with a toothpick, and they also disappear easily once the cake is doused with syrup/liquor!

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Yes Hector, mine is one of those larger ones. It works quite well.

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Maybe my "large" whisk isn't large enough? I have the KitchenAid large and small whisks, I recall seing larger ones at the commercial kitchens.

I use the KA water bath attachment, but mostly to cool down quikly the food processed hot chocolate cream mixture when making Light Whipped Chocolate Ganache. I don't use the water bath when I make Mousseline Buttercream, I just put a few ice packs under my mixer bowl. I also use the water bath to cool down quickly large batches of Bolognese Sauce before placing them in my refrigerator.

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I also make the moist chocolate genoise the most of any cake in the cake bible, so I highly recommend it. The only time I ever had those little pebbles was the first time I made, and that was because I was too scared of defalting the batter, so I didn't blend it enough. If that happens, you can just pick them out with a toothpick.

The egg mixture is strong enough to withstand incorporating the flour well. Don't be scared to fold it all in. Personally, I've had better success with a large whisk than the skimmer, but I encourage you to try both and see which you like. One other tip--the chocolate tends to fall to the bottom of the bowl, so make sure your folding goes down all the way to the bottom to incorporate the chocolate.

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Speaking of KitchenAid attachments, does anyone use the iced water bowl attachment when making buttercream?

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Elicia. - where exactly are you?

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1- Castle cake was something my sister found on the Internet. I only painted the walls white with mousseline, and piped the pink borders and cone towers, then my niece did the rest. She literally slammed her gummie candies onto the mouseline, without much mishapp.

2- Hawaii is in a way on the other side of the word as most of the Continental USA =)

3- Why can't KitchenAid make a nice folder bowl attachment? Can I use my dough hook to fold flour? Hmmmm....

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Hi everybody,

Good morning from the other side of the globe!! Thks for all your input on the mousseline buttercream - will definitely try it out. And Hector, I love your creativity with the castle cake!
On Cobasan, I also cannot get it here - but I am now very happy using white choc to stabilise my whipped cream as per Rose's White Choc Ganache. It works wonderfully but good quality white choc is a must... over here I can get Varlhona from a gourmet supplier and sometimes the frosting costs more than the cake itself!!
Oh yes, the Moist Choc Genoise is the most foolproof choc genoise I've ever made. I use it as a base for all my choc cakes - mousse, cream, black forest etc etc. It is extremely moist and very easy to whip up. A tip I found from another baking book - mixing 1 tbsp of the sugar into the flour helps a little to disperse the flour better so that you won't have little lumps of flour at the bottom of the baked cake. And I agree with Hector, the slotted skimmer works best for sponge batters.
Organic eggs here also have small yolks, but I think if you are using approx 4 eggs or so in a recipe, the weight difference is minimal. I sometimes use a combination of large and medium sized eggs when a recipe calls for many eggs so that the weight evens out (coz large eggs here can weigh up to 70g in their shells). My mom thinks I'm crazy with I weigh all my eggs and separate them into different cartons (baking eggs and eggs for normal cooking!)before storing in the fridge - but that's the only way to ensure that I use the correct weight eggs for baking! I guess accurate weight is more crucial when it comes to delicate cakes like genoises/chiffons and for meringues.

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Hector - thanks for the tips. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Patrincia, making Genoise is easy, and the steps are very few. The main challenge is to fold the flour into your whipped eggs without deflating them and doing it well enough so you don't end up with undissolved flour pebbles at the bottom of your pan. If you have a slotted metal skimmer, use it (explained in Cake Bible, bend and straighten the handle to make it more flat), works better than a angel food folder or than any size spatula.

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Re: Cobasan

Do you only order this product or has anyone found it at a local store? If local, what kind of store carried it?

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Hector - your niece is one lucky little girl... what a cute cake!

You've inspired me to try something - I am making a marble cake covered in ganache (to serve 20) for my father-in-laws 60th birthday this weekend, but after that I'm going to give the Moist Chocolate Genoise a go (you talk about it so much, I must try it).

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Hi Elicia, exactly how Patrincia says: mousseline will get extremelly soft but it will keep whole. See this picture http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/Foods%20-%20096.jpg this is a castle I made for my niece. The frosting was mousseline. The castle towers were upside down ice cream waffle cones, piped with mousseline. The birthday party was at a Korean Yakiniku place, so it was EXTREMELLY HOT!!! Those restaurants where you grill your own at the center of your table. The only problem I had (and I don't blame it on the mousseline), is that castle towers were falling out, just too big for the cake. Note that gummies stayed fine!!! Cake was Moist Chocolate Genoise (3 layers per castle floor), and under the white mousseline I had a layer of Light Whipped Chocolate Ganache frosting. Was tasty and I "did not" avoid adding alcohol to both, the genoise and the mousseline. (you may want to know that my original intention was to use White Chocolate Ganache instead of the white mousseline, but I used the wrong type of white chocolate, so it curded, and I turned them into pancakes instead),

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Interesting to know about the size of the organic yolks!!! And indeed, getting a small electronic kitchen scale is the best investment you can do. More than for accuracy, measuring by weight is such time and cleanup saver, too.

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Thank you Hector, Elicia and Matthew for your responses re the whole eggs for egg yolk substitution, and the discussion of the properties of all yolks, all whites and whole eggs. I've always done the 1 egg per 2 yolks substitution in the past, but once you get into the larger quantities, I guess it's a good idea to weigh it to be sure. I did buy a scale a few months ago and I am loving it! Thanks again.

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Elicia - to reiterate Hectors comment, I frosted a cake with the mousseline buttercream. The cake sat on display for 3 hours in a room that was at least 80F, and it was under a spot light the whole time and the buttercream didn't droop, slip, or slide one bit. It was extremely soft when I cut the cake, but it kept it's shape the whole time.

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Re: substituting 1 whole egg for 2 egg yolks

Of course weighing will always give a more accurate result, but this is about right.

1 egg is about 50 grams
An egg yolk is about 18-19 grams
An egg white is about 30 grams

It is funny, I always use the same type of eggs (cage-free organic brown eggs), and they consistently weigh 53-54 grams, but the white and yolk balance is off of the normal--the yolks are always smaller.

I learned this the first time I made Rose's lemon curd and had to use 16 egg yolks instead of the 12 called for. At first I thought there was a mistake in the book, but it was just these smallish yolks. I was shocked because I had been used to removing a bit of egg (because of the large whites) from other recipes.

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Hi Elicia, Mousseline as Rose said!!! The buttercream is wonderful to frost and pipe. In warm weather it will get very soft but will not dissolve or separate. Mousseline is a little odd to make, don't get discouraged when you think you cant add butter to an egg white whip, it emulsifies into silky buttercream and it isn't that sweet. Roses will freeze very well, too.

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Hi Rozanne,

Thks for the almond paste recipe. Will make some the next time I try out a recipe requiring almond paste! Actually wonder if anyone can advise me which is better for moulding little cartoon decorations - rolled fondant or marzipan...I mean better tasting that is. Wilton's yearbook uses rolled fondant so extensively, but I wonder how's the taste when you really cut it up and eat... or do ppl usually just throw the decorations away?? Over here, fondant decorations are not very popular, all cake shops uses mainly buttercream (the horrible type made with icing sugar, and shortening and no eggs) or sweetened whipped cream for decorations.

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Hi Theresa,

I actually took the liberty of substituting 1 whole egg for 2 egg yolks. Rose did write abt this substitution in the Cake Bible. I thot of doing it by weight, but then I noticed that both the Golden Luxe Butter Cake and White Choc Whisper Cake are similar with the exception of the eggs. One uses egg whites and the other egg yolks. Rose substituted 4.5 egg whites for the 6 yolks although the weights are slightly different... so I thot it wld be ok to do so! I think you will experience a slight difference in the texture of the cake - if using all yolks, it will be denser with an even finer crumb and more golden colour. The all egg white cake will be softer. Actually I think for a 3D cake, the all egg yolks recipe will be better, but I just did it out of convenience! As it is, I already have several tubs of frozen egg whites in the fridge! Time to make some mousseline buttercream!!
And Hector, you've got me all wound up on piping roses - actually went out and bought some rose tips and a flower nail - will probably get down to trying it with the 'practice buttercream' first! Which buttercream do you think will stand up better against our heat? - the silk meringue or mousseline? I have several tubs of french buttercream in my freezer and actually the recipe I used was almost identical to Rose's Silk Meringue Buttercream. But I have a feeling the White Choc version of the Mousseline Buttercream wld stand up better against heat! With your experience, what's your recommendation?

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I think Cake Bible recommends to weight or measure by volume over counting 2 yolks for one whole egg.

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Elicia, great job! Can't wait to see the finished bunny. One question: When you substituted whole eggs for the yolks in the recipe, did you go by total ounces (i.e. kept cracking eggs until the weight of the whole eggs equaled the weight of the yolks specified in the recipe), or did you simply do one whole egg for every two yolks? Thanks.

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Patrincia -- In Queens, I go to Pattycakes or Pfeil & Holing. (The last time I was at Pattycakes they had all three Bibles:)) At Pfeil & Holing you can't browse -- you are supposed to know what you want, or put in an order on the website/via phone then go pick it up.(That is usually what I do, shop on the website then go get my order.)
Hector: I use one that is similar to the Orange Glow in the Cake Bible, but a few less whites. (I don't have it with me, but I think 7-8 oz whites instead of 10, and orange juice as part of the liquid.) If you go to my website and find the Vegas cake, that is the one. I have also baked this in bowls and in fancy designed pans.

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Elicia,

Here is the recipe:

Almond Paste
225g ground almonds
500g icing sugar
1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond essence

Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar. Add the egg white, vanilla and almond essence and mix until smooth.

My friend says she does all the mixing by hand, but sometimes she uses a food processor.

As I said I have never made this recipe but she says it turns out very well for her. I hope it works for you. If it does, you could even colour it in different colours.

Nice work on the bunny and do post pics when you make the final one.

Rozanne

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Hi everyone,

Glad you all saw the bunnycake. Can't wait to make the actual one - but her b'day isn't until end May! Made the pistachio marzipan today - a great pistachio shade. M worried that I will probably not be able to tint it into any other colour though... will be experimenting. Thought of shaping some little cartoon flowers and butterflies to put around the final bunnycake. Even thought of suspending the butterflies with thick fishing line (several pieces taped together) or try Rose's idea of using pasta (marzipan bees!). Unfortunately we can't get edible glitter here! I want the cake to be all girly and sweet for my baby! Anyway, Hector - you shld try this cake - its just so melt-in-the-mouth and you'll never guess its the white choc! Like you I love the Moist Choc Genoise, and now this Golden Lux Butter Cake is my butter cake category favourite! BTW, love your duck - very clever way of decorating. I also work with a lot of papercraft - emboss stamping, glitter pens etc - they can create very nice "Happy B'day" messages to place on the cakes! And, thks a million Matthew for the instructions on the attachment. I'll be using it in future!

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Hi Elicia, that is a clever and beautiful bunny!!!!!! There must be a book somewhere on how to turn ordinary cake pans or bowl into 3D shapes. I love the color and crumb of Rose's Golden Luxury Butter Cake, never tried it yet, but will add it to my to-do list.... oh boy, have I tried all recipes from Cake Bible yet? (answer is no).

I remember seeing how to make a spaguetti bowl cake. From a round layer, you cut both ends about 1/3 and put them on top of the center, it turns like an upside down oval bowl. You fill, and frost your cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit, then you pipe spaguetti on it with a #3 or so tip with some cream colored whipped cream. To make the tomato sauce you pour strawberry or tomato jelly!!! (you can make jelly with tomatoes, too).

Do share pics of the comple-ated cake!!!

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Cute bunny Elicia!

Oops, looks like part of my instructions don't show up, but it seems like you figured it out

Revised:

Open a free account on Flickr
Upload your photo
Right click the photo on your Flickr page and choose properties
Copy the URL (it should have the word static in it)
Post a comment on this blog
Type <a href="
Paste the URL you copied
Type ">

Type text for link (Photo here, etc.)
Type </a>

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You got it right that time, I saw your photos when I clicked on "bunnycake". Nice bunny!

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I think I'm still not getting it right. Just visit www.flickr.com/photos/eliciak. It's all there.
bunnycake

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OK guys - something went wrong! Here I go again!

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Hi guys,
M terrible at IT but will give it a try! Here's the pics (I hope you all get to see it) - not very interesting as it is not frosted, but I hope you can all see how easy it is to achieve a bunny shape with a few simple cuts! Thks a lot Matthew!
bunnycake

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You may also need to add "quotes" around the link you paste in from Flickr. It should probably work without them though.

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If you would like a post a link to your picture you could:

Open a free account on Flickr
Upload your photo
Right click the photo on your Flickr page and choose properties
Copy the URL (it should have the word static in it)
Post a comment on this blog
Type <a href=
Type text for link (Photo here, etc.)
Type </a>

Or you could simply paste a link to your Flickr page for us to visit.

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Share pictures!!!!!!!!!!! way to go Elicia.

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Hi everyone!

I'm so excited to inform all of you about my 2nd trial with the bunny cake! After being exasperated with not being able to order the Wilton bunny pan online (all the sites do not ship cake pans out of US!), I decided to try the bowl cutout idea. I used Rose's Golden Luxury Butter Cake, but took the liberty to use whole eggs in place of the egg yolks. I poured the whole batter into a 9inch diameter bowl - it took just over an hour to bake and it peaked and cracked! I was a bit horrified when the cake felt a little hard when cooled, but then when I sliced it - magic! It was really velvety, no crumbs at all, and the taste - really melt in the mouth texture, heavenly and slightly ever so lemony - thanks to the white choc! I leveled the top easily, overturned it and easily carved out the bunny shape in no time (ears and tail were carved from discarded side pieces). Apart from a thicker, slightly burnt crust, the inside of the cake was beautifully textured and moist - and such a breeze to whip up! I have to say I'm not a butter cake person, and I only bake about 4 types of butter cake which all use the creaming method, so this is a first for me! I actually took a photo of the assembled cake (without frosting) but am not sure how to post them for you to see! Am going to do the final one in 2 pans - bake half in a 9" diameter pan, and the other half in the bowl. In this way, the bowl cake shld take a shorter time to bake, and I can easily frost the 2 pieces together. Am going to use lemon buttercream to crumbcoat and join the pieces together, then followed by a Ivoire Glaze, then a dusting of either white choc shavings or dessicated coconut. I think dessicated coconut wld look more like a bunny's fur but I doubt the 3 year-olds will like it! As for this trial bunny, it did not survive to be frosted - my kids were all begging for more after they tasted the scraps! Thks Rose for a wonderful recipe!

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Do you know for how long cobasan will stay fresh?

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Glad you all liked the "Bunny" and its history.

Reeni, what is your recipe of Chiffon? Do you use butter or oil? And what are the steps of your preparation? The recipe I have is from my mother, and it will collapse or shrink into rubber if baked in a greased pan. I haven't tried Cake Bible chiffon, yet.

BTW, I am having lots of fun baking weekly with sourdough. I passed my starter to 2 people already.

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Hi Reeni - I love Queens (lived in Astoria for the first 10 years of my life!). I love to hear which stores you would suggest there - I can send family to shop for me :)

Yeah, I know about Ferrara's being a tourist trap, but I couldn't find the other place I used to go to, and I really wanted those cookies!... what can you do?

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Hector -- yes, chiffon can be baked in a shaped pan that is buttered and floured! I do it all the time. I have yet to try in silicone though.
Patrincia -- Thank you for the praise! The next time you are in New York you can check out the stores that Rose mentioned. If you have time to make it to Queens though, there are a few stores that have good (ie non- city)prices and selection there too. Ferrara is sadly sort of a tourist trap in their prices!

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Hi Theresa - Sadly, the trip was just a quick one to visit a family member, and I feared I wouldn't have time to shop, which is indeed exactly what happened. However, I did buy cookies at Ferrara's in Little Italy :). They were great, but I'm not sure they are worth the $16 per pound I paid for them - oh well, NY is $$$.

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Patrincia, did you buy anything interesting in NYC? What did you see that tempted you in the cooking stores?

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Rozanne - I'd like to know more about the homemade almond paste too.

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Hi Patrincia,

Thks and you're right - the cake layers wld be my last resort if I can't bake a cake successfully in a bowl! I did think of it earlier but was a little worried abt carving out the ear pieces though. Looks like I will have to really chill the cake before putting it to the knife! Thks!

Hi Rozanne, Wld be nice if you can spare the recipe! Thks!

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Elicia,
I made a 3D duck cake for my daughter's first b'day in Jan. this year and I used Rose's Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe from the cake bible (pg 60). It turned out really well. Because of the extended baking time for a 3D pan it wasn't as moist as if I had baked it in the 9" pan but I sprinkled it with sugar syrup and it was moist and so chocolatey.
Re the almond paste made with sugar and egg whites, I have a recipe which was given to me by a friend. I have never made it b/c I can buy almond paste here but my friend makes it all the time and she swears by it. As an added bonus she lives in a tropical country too. Let me know if you want the recipe.
Thanks,
Rozanne

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Elicia - did you check ebay for the bunny pan? I have seen several for sale there.

Also, instead of baking your cake in a deep bowl, you might have better luck carving a cake that is made from several normal layers that are stacked and "glued" together with icing.

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Hi Rose,

Unfortunately I cannot find any bunny cake mould here (we don't have Wilton) - so I have to make do with the idea in a Martha Stewart magazine - baking the cake in a large bowl and cutting the bunny shape out of it. I did a trial with your Honey Carrot Cake (actually substituted the whole wheat flour for cake flour as kids do not like wholewheat) - the cake was simply delicious and unique with a nice honey aftertaste. However it was a tad too delicate and crumbly to trim, and the edges were overcooked by the time the deeper center gets cooked! Wld appreciate your advice on which butter cake recipe wld be a better choice for baking in a large bowl (and survive the slicing) - the cake wld have to have a dense and velvety texture. I'm thinking of trying the choc fudge (as kids like it) or good old pound cake. Shld I make any adjustments in view of the shape of the bowl (deep center)? I always have problems with a fudgy center when I bake a high butter cake - usually butter cakes are not my forte! And BTW, Hector, love all your pictures! Thks!

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Hector,
I enjoyed reading the history of the "bunny." It is nice to see that your family has always enjoyed baking--and now you are taking it to the next level!

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Hi everyone, Rose, Patrincia, Elicia, Matthew!! I posted the "Bunny's hitory," @ http://www.hectorwong.com hope you enjoy. I think my family has been enjoying whipped cream for decades, and indeed you can use Biscuit, Chiffon, Mix, or Genoise similarly.

Patrincia, if you click on the picture of the "duck" below (under coming soon), you can see a full size pic; will write about it soon.


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check the ingredient section in the cake bible for exact contents and proportions. you'll have the most success using a thai granite mortar and pestle.

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Hi Rose,

I have some pistachios in the fridge - will be running to it soon to make some marzipan!! BTW, how do I make almond paste - I understand it is a combination of almond meal and egg whites/sugar? Thks!

And Hector - am taking in all your great advice on the bunny cake - will be experimenting over the next few weeks as my girl's b'day is in end May. We both live in tropical climates, so it's good to exchange notes!

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i didn't think of the pistachio marzipan--great idea bc pistachio nuts are so soft you can make an excellent marzipan from them.
in recipes calling for almond paste do try making your own. it won't be as smooth but it will still be good--possibly even better!

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Hi Elicia, make your bunny!!!!!!!!!!! Making the cake on the 3D pan was a challenge, the pan wouldn't fill all the way to the top or it would deflate during cooling. So after 2 tries, I decided to bake each half separetelly and later attach them together. That's how my bunny came out so full. It is really really "easy" to pipe roses and well admired by people. All you need is practice, practice, practice, and roses get better. I don't think my roses are perfect, they look more like gardenias of different varieties, but in my opinion, the beauty of flowers is their irregularity, it is nature. I don't see myself making perfect starts, swags, or swirls... the most I can do is to make a descent piped border.

I have made roses with Royal, with Mousseline Buttercream, and with Super Stabilized Whipped Cream. All these frostings are from Cake Bible, and they work beautiful and hold beautiful in warm weather. They also can be made ahead of time and stored dried (Royal Icing), or frozen (the others). I froze the roses before attaching them to the bunny, there is just no other way. Good luck, and do share your pictures of roses one day.

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Hi Rose and Hector,

Thks so much for the input. We can purchase beautiful gumpaste flowers here but they are brittle and quite inedible in terms of taste. I was thinking more of shaping little animals from the marzipan - not so much roses - as they are mostly for children's cakes. I've made do with gummy bears/fruits and even marshmallows and choc buttons/cigarettes! I can also find ready-made marzipan in baking supply shops, but I'm sort of a DIY person!! Anyway, may have to make do with the commercially-available marzipan I guess. Just that I have also come across some cake recipes requiring almond paste and am not able to try baking them as I can't find this ingredient! We can only find almond meal/ground almond here. BTW, Hector - your cakes are awesome, and yes will definitely try to pipe some roses! M planning to make a carrot bunny cake for my daughter's 3-year old b'day - wld be trying to make it with tiny marshmallows covering the body and candyfloss for the ears and tail - an idea I got from a Martha Stewart magazine!

And Rose, wld your pistachio marzipan be mouldable for little decorations such as tiny cars/trains/bears etc. That recipe did not require almond paste! Thks!

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Rose - I appreciate your suggestions, and thank you very much!

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the best is jb prince but i doubt they're open on the weekend. broadway panhandler has great prices and excellent equipment as does the bridge company. those are the only ones i can wholeheartedly recommend.

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Aloha Elicia, I am not a big cake piper decorator neither, but like you do, you can do fine with just about anything else. In a way, I am not a big fan to bite into nice sugar decorations, I like my guests to leave their plates clean!!! Do try piping roses, it is easier than what it seems, and it really impresses!!!

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I guess anyone out there who is familiar with NYC cake supply stores can answer.

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Rose - will be in NYC this weekend. Don't know if I'll have time or not, but I'm hoping to squeeze in a quick trip to a cake supply store. Any suggestions on which one(s) to visit?

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Reeni - thanks for letting me know who you are :) I looked at your cakes... they are all so nice, but I LOVE the Helen one!!!

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i have not found it possible to make marzipan from scratch because the paste needs to be made with marble rollers. do they not sell ready made marzipan? here's another suggestion: gumpaste. i know in the phillipines they do the best gumpaste flowers so hopefully you can purchase the gumpaste.

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Hi Rose,

Like some of the bloggers here, I've turned out some wonderful cakes using your Cake Bible recipes. Especially love your Moist Choc Genoise from which I've made several different creations - choc mousse, raspberry ganache, cheese mousse black forest etc etc. I made all my kids' b'day cakes and have been making some for my friends - for their kids' b'days too! As I'm not that great with decorative piping, I've always try alternatives such as little plastic toys and glitter letterings. However, I wld really like to make the deco edible and am interested in trying out marzipan. This is because the kids usually request for little bears or cars etc on the cakes instead of flowers, and I thought it would be easy and colourful if made with marzipan. However, over here in Malaysia, I cannot find almond paste - which is a key ingredient in your marzipan recipe. Wld appreciate if you can advise on the proportion of almond meal and sugar that I need to substitute for the commercial almond paste? Really appreciate it! Thks!

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I am delighted with your interest!!!

Matthew. I had a special request from one of my dinner guest to not use "butter," so I choose genoise. I love Rose and I love genoise, and wanted to challenge this cake as far as it can go!!!!! I really really like how it tastes, just like the chocolate bar I use. Little do people know that chocolate has butter in it!!!!!! I have made Rose's Moist Chocolate Genoise many many times, and I notice that although it is delicate and fragile (specially when moist), when refrigerated it hardens considerable (must be all the butter contain from the chocolate).

Reeni, yeah!!! ice cream cake will be next. I am still working on getting my own Lello machine. After borrowing my friend's Lello, I can't go back. I used the KitchenAid attachment and the cuisinarts freezer bowl ones. I think Hawaii is too hot for these to work!!! Perhaps I can go "old fashion" by adding ice and salt on the KitchenAid water bath attachment? By the way, last year I made a ice cream party with over 30 flavors!!!!!! was fun!!!

Oh, regarding chiffon? do you really think it works on a greased pan? I thought chiffon needed to be baked on a greese free pan. The chiffon I make behaves that way.

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Sorry Patrincia, that was me being "Anonymous" from a work computer. You can take a look at the cakes I mentioned with the ribbon on the site below.
The florist's ribbon that is waterproof is plasticised paper, I think...
Hector, just a suggestion if you want to make stand-up cakes with genoise or biscuit -- Ice-cream cake! That way you don't have to worry about it being defrosted enough to be enjoyable.
Instead of ganache, you can make one of the ice-creams in the Pie and Pastry Bible (yumyum red wine especially, but caramel and pineapple with peppercorn too) and use it to fill the two halves.
Chiffon cake is also nice because it is light and fluffy but more stable (does not need as much if any syrup.) But be careful that you prep the pan well because chiffon likes to stick a little bit to the many bumps of shaped pans like the lamb, bunny and duck.

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Hector,
I can certainly tell that you love Rose and roses! I don't have any experience with shaped cakes such as the rabbit, but I wonder why you chose the genoise since it is so light, soft, and airy. I wonder if you used a denser butter cake that keeping the rabbit upright would be less difficult?

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Hi Patrincia, thank you! I wonder (question for Rose) if I could have moistened the genoise with vodka so it would freeze so hard?

I will work on the photos of the duck soon. If I would do the bunny again, I would work reverse because I felt that the genoise was too frozen to be enjoyed. Like this: moist and refrigerate the layers of genoise, attach and frost the layers with ganache and refrigerate again. Make the roses and freeze them (this can be done 1 month in advance!). About 2 hours before the first guests arrive, put the bunny in the freezer so the ganache will get solid enough to stand the bunny up. About 1 hour before the first guests arrive stand up the bunny and attach the roses. Put the completed bunny in the freezer until serving time. I think the genoise will not be that frozen with just this 2 hours of freezing time when my refrigerator is always being opened and closed during the party (won't cool that fast). The frozen roses indeed thaw quickly. By the way I am happilly "rosed up" enjoying a lot piping roses!!! I even made butter roses as a garnish under the "bread bees."

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Hector, thanks for the photos, the bunny looked so nice!!! I look forward to your "coming soon" photos too, especially the duck(?). Congratulations!

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Hi Patrincia, I have posted pictures of the bunny at http://www.hectorwong.com enjoy.

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Rose, it is all due to YOU. I am proud to mention your name at my dinnen parties and say that my "formal" culinary training are The Bibles. I often read your biography and count the long years of schooling you had. I also have long years of schooling but mostly on Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, and Informatics... one day I will put all this science in the oven, I feel I am just starting now. My cooking addition is only getting better... now that I know how to make Biscuit de Savoy... Tiramisu al Cucchiaio is next!!! Time to buying 50 lb flour bags, since the 25 lbs are not lasting long!!!

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hector--what a fabulous posting(s)! it's really regretable that i've been so buried in the manuscript which i just transferred to disc tonight--that i couldn't keep up with anyone's postings. but i intend to read them all if not respond to each and every one!

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Thank you Patricia. Basically what I call caramelized onions is what I would use for any dish that calls to sauteed some finelly chopped onions at the beginning of the preparation. Use regular white onions. If you don't have 12 hours use Maui sweet onions (or Peruvian, or Andean, as well). Peel onions and cut in 8 pieces. Pulse chop them in the food processor to fine, but make sure not that fine to prevent the onion juice starts to form. In a deep pot or stock pot, saute the onions in warm extra virgin olive oil at medium-high heat with very little salt and 1 small clove of garlic mashed. Use about 3/4 to 1 cup of oil only for a minimum of 4 big onions (if you use more onions do not increment the amount of oil because it will go to waste since the onions will be stored in a glass jar later and most of the fat scooped out when refrigerated). When the onions are starting to change color cover your pot and simmer for about 30 minutes at low heat. Now bake covered for 2 hours at 300 degrees (preheating not necessary, I like to saute my onions in an oven proof pot, so you just stick the whole pot in the oven). Check the onions often to make sure they are not burning (this will happen if your oven is too hot, then you should lower the temperature). Onions should be minimally boiling or just steaming. If after 2 hours the onions are not fairly dry yet (like a cream), then uncover and bake until the liquid is mostly gone. Cover, turn the oven off, and keep the oven door closed until it has completelly cooled off (about 8 hours or overnight). Pour in an airtight tall wide mouth glass jar, and store for about 2 days. Remove the fat from the top if desired. I like to use a glass jar because that way my refrigerator will not smell like onions. Caramelized onions will taste sweet like if you added sugar to it.

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Hector - sounds like your party was a hit. Please share more info on the carmelized onions (are they one of rose's recipes?)

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Hello everyone, I just wanted to share this email about my Easter dinner party. I had Cake Bible and Bread Bible in FULL use.

-----Original Message-----
From: Hector Wong
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 10:12 AM
To: 'Deanna Frank'
Subject: RE: Thank you

Hi Deanna, I totally enjoyed your company, and your kids. Wilson is very attentive, and I was also impressed with Jade's participation. Tell Wilson, that next time, for sure I will find things for him to do in my kitchen!!!!! When I was a kid, I was always bugging my Mom in the kitchen. Hey, make sure you tell them the dangers of hot water, or burning sugar, or using oil, my Mom will warn me over and over and over again, and even showed me pictures of burned kids. But warning done aside, my Mom allowed me to do just about everything in the kitchen.

I really went crazy last night, I can't believe I was on my foot all the time, I was planning to relax..... thinking that a "bread party" can flow by itself. Wrong..... really by the time I was making the Meringue, I was really regreating it. But my audience gave me stamina to keep going. I really liked to make this Baked Hawaii cake, wasn't too happy with the final results, but I can see it has potential!!! (the sweetness,texture, and thickness of the spongue cake is great, it can be flavored with any syrup). The sponge cake has not one drop of butter or oil!!!

Hope I didn't make it that obvious when I lost my cool when Isabella was trying to cut one of the cakes. Really, it is "THE LAW" that cake cutting should be done by the cake maker if present. The bunny cake was a awaiting dissaster, but I think it served its purpose. The cake had to be frozen so it would stand up, but it wasn't that enjoyable to eat all hard. This morning, the left over pieces were much better!!! (softer and moist).

The celery soup was a HIT, that I admit. And very easy!!! The pot was almost empty!!! I only kept 2 small bowls leftovers for myself!!!! Recipe: sautee some chopped onions with olive oil and a very small piece of garlic, soon add chopped celery. Add a few peeled raw potatoes and chicken or beef broth, and boil until the potatoes fall appart. Blend everything and add milk or cream when serving. I would think the proportions are 2 onions, 4 whole celery, and 2 potatoes. The potatoes are there just to thicken the soup, if you put too many potatoes, just fish them out. The immersion blender is a quick time saver. If you don't have chicken or beef broth, just add some whole pieces of bones or chicken or any meat inside, and take it out before blending. It is good to add parmesan cheese at serving time, too, but honestly, last night "I forgot" and people still enjoyed it.

Actually, last night's celery soup was really really "special." But with the basic recipe above is just as good. Last night's soups had onions that were caramelized in the oven for 12 hours (I made a huge batch, like half bag of Costco sized onions, used some for my pork loin, some for the patte, and some for daily cooking over the last week for myself). I am thinking having a jar with caramelized onions in my fridge at all times is a MUST. Also, instead of chicken or beef broth, I used all the drippings from my roasted pork loins (I cooled and refrigerated the drippings, then scooped the fat out). Honestly, the pork loin dripping were a little burned, but when you add the milk in the soup, milk takes away the burn taste (also potatoes take away the burn taste).

I've heard comments again about the small oven dried grape tomatoes (-I think I make Rose Levy proud with her recipe-). But by now I am tired of making them, I have been making them almost at each party. It gets old to cut each little tomatoe and place them cut-side-up on the baking sheet. I think I can use "the kids help" with this next time!!!

Regarding bread baking. It is LOVE. I think it is time for you to throw away the yeast, and get a little of my sourdough starter. It is much healthier and it is fun to watch. Your kids can be responsible to feed the starter once a week. I name my started "Keiko," is just like a pet. Do you know that 50 grams is all a needed to make ALL the bread you saw last night? if you want to make just 1 loaf, you also need just 50 grams, too!!! The starter is very easy to expand exponentially over 1 day. Making bread with sourdough is really easy, and very flexible, and you don't even need to knead it if you don't want to. Since you have that little bread oven machine, you can use it to bake it, easy. By the way, my starter was born in my home, so it is something I can take with me when I move out.

Lets get together again, just us with your kids, and make it a cooking day with them. I really want to see it happen.

THANK YOU for coming, and sorry I cramped the whole house and kitchen. I really tried to free myself and get a chance to talk to everyone, but I think by now I am just telling myself that is going to be the way it will be and I will need to accept that whenever I am hosting dinner parties I won't be much fun socially unless you get your hands dirty with me!!!

/H

Hector Wong . hector@hawaiistationery.com . Information Technology Manager . Hawaii Stationery . 99-1418 Koaha Place . Aiea, Hawaii 96701 . 808-748-7227 phone . 808-748-7283 fax. The information transmitted is intended only for the addressee(s) and may contain confidential or privileged material, or both. Any review, receipt, dissemination or other use of this information by non-addressees is prohibited. If you received this in error or are a non-addressee, please contact the sender and delete the transmitted information. If you wish to no longer receive emails from this sender, please contact the sender immediately.


-----Original Message-----
From: Deanna Frank [mailto:deannamsfrank@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 9:41 AM
To: hector@hawaiistationery.com
Subject: Thank you

Hi Hector:

Have you recovered from last night yet? It was a non-stop culinary show from start to finish. Wilson was very impress with your culinary talent - he said "Mom, Uncle Hector should have his own TV show." I think you were a notch above Alton Brown.

You might find small container of Jello eggs in your refrig. I made some for Easter and brought it for the kids and then kinda forgot about it.
Enjoy! - you're never too old for jello.

The kids and I love all the food - thank you for inviting us. Jade said I need to make celery soup for her and I love the plain wheat/sourdough bread (it went great with all the different accompaniments) - so you gotta
teach me breadmaking 101 one day! Thanks again, Hector!!

Deanna

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I was reading the manual and the web, actually there are 2 or maybe more different models of KA water baths. I have model KNThe one I have fits my Professional KN2WJ, and it fits all 6 quart mixers perfectly. The manual also says that it fits the KH 5 quart mixers. I will email you the user manual.

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Thanks Hector - the 5qt bowl lift is just under 16 1/2 inches tall.

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my 6 quart doesn't have the little prongs on which to attach the water bath (which i do have thank you!)so how do you attach your water bath?

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I found the water bath attachment for my 6 qt at Williams Sonoma after this Xmas sale!!!! Was only $19.99. Should have bought and extra one for you!!!!!!!!!

Regarding the heights of the bowl lift models (5 and 6 qt), just to make sure check the KA website, forums, or call their 800 number. I no longer have the 5 qt bowl lift to compare. Or just tell me how high is yours and I will check mines.

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guys-i have the 6 quart professional and i don't think there is a way of attaching the water bath--in fact i'm not sure it's made anymore.

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Oh, what a relief! - I just determined that the 6qt wouldn't fit if it were 5 inches taller - glad to know it's actually the same height as the 5qt lift.

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Hi Patricia. I believe the 5 qt bowl lift is as tall as the 6 qt ones. The 5 qt Artisan are much shorter though (with its head down).

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Thanks so much Hector, your response is very helpful. I didn't realize the 6qt was that much taller - I should make sure it will fit under my upper cabinets. I've had my current 5 qt lift style for about 15 years and it's still going strong. It would be wonderful to have the need for a 10 or 20 qt Hobart someday, but baby steps first.

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You need to have them all!!! A 5 qt Artisan with the handy head tilt and narrow bowl (I find this narrow bowl less prone to splashes). A 6 qt bowl lift with the wonderful spiral dough hook and wide bowl. And sooner or later a 20 qt Hobart with an additional 10 qt bowl.... if you plan to make genoise a lot more (it is still in my dreams). My first KitchenAid mixer was a 5qt bowl lift, that I had for 15 years (prior to that I was using my mother's Sunbeam with the rotating glass bowl, she got in her wedding). 2 years ago I traded my 5 qt bowl lift to a 6 qt Professional 600; truly I think, this 6qt is the best buy if you decide on a bowl lift model (the advantages of the 6 qt are mentioned at Cake Bible newest equipment revised edition). Now, just 1 month ago, I decided to get also a 5 qt Artisan so my attachments would sit lower (the 6 qt is about 5 inches taller than the Artisan!!!, but the Artisan is another 5 inches taller with its head tilted up). Another "advantage" I am finding with this narrow bowl Artisan is that when I whip cold cream to make whipped cream, the cold does not scape as fast in my warm weather Hawaii. The cream will reach room temperature much faster on my 6 qt wide bowl mixer. Well, if I haven't make you upset yet, I do love the 6 qt because when using the water bath attachment, it is really great (it is much easier to reach temperatures on the wider bowl)

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Matthew - thanks for the info. I don't have a copy of the Bread Bible, and my much loved Cake Bible precedes the 6qt mixer.

Rose - thanks for the heads up on the usefulness of the 6qt when making large wedding cakes from your new book (can't wait for it to be released).

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thank you matthew. i also meant to add that in the new book, using the 6 quart will enable you to do all the wedding cakes in only two batches (providing one has the oven space for two 12 inch layers!). if i had just one machine it would be the 6 quart as you can do smaller things in it as well.
every cake in the new book can be made in the 5 quart but the large wedding cakes will need to be done in several batches if using a 5 quart.

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Patrincia,
Rose answers this question in the equipment section of the Bread Bible. She mentions that the 6qt has 60% more power, 20% more capacity, more bowl access, better pouring shield, and more stability on the counter.

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I currently use a 5qt kitchenaid, but am thinking about upgrading to the 6qt (strictly for home use). Has anyone else out there made the move from the 5qt to the 6qt? How much more room does that additional quart really give you? I'm interested in hearing anyone's thoughts and comparisons. Thanks so much!

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Private Baker
Private Baker
04/ 1/2007 02:37 PM

I just found this post and can't wait to hang out with you guys some more

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we're all eagerly awaiting a photo of the final bunny!

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Progress on my cake, due April 8th. I manage to make with moist chocolate genoise a 3D rabbit (Wilton pan). I baked each half of the rabbit separatelly, came out nice. Halfs are moistened and sitting in the refrigerator... very fragile now. I will cover them with a think layer of chocolate ganache. Then I will freeze these halfs. Then I will attach both halfs with more ganache and stand the rabbit up. YES it is an act of circus balancing. I have just made "blackberry whipped cream truffle roses" and will attach these frozen on the frozen rabbit with more ganache. I am almost certain I will need to cut this cake partially frozen otherwise it will collapse. After all, it only takes a couple of minutes for frozen cake slices to thaw in my hot weather. I am very happy tonight because my blackberry whipped cream truffle roses came out nice!!! I made open bud roses, so the blackberries are showing thru the center of the roses.

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Hector - I love Rose's stabilized whipped cream too. As for your quest for the perfect cake, it's a good thing there are as many cake combinations as there are cakes to be made :). Everybody seems to have a different idea of what that perfect cake is. Sounds to me like you enjoy discovering all those delicious combinations!

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To Anonymous - I'd love to see the cakes you mentioned on your website, but I don't know who you are :)

Also, is florist's waterproof ribbon fabric or plastic? The grosgrain I used had no trouble sticking to the mousseline buttercream, but started showing little greasy spots almost immediately, however the all the ribbon quickly absorbed an equal amount of "grease" and it looked just fine.

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I always have a dilemma "function vs. form" which for wedding cakes I interpret at "decorations vs. taste." I've just visited a very-happening cake decorating shop locally, and after browsing their cake catalog, I felt like I needed to check my teeth for cavities or my blood for sugar or I could picture lots of guests leaving pieces of beautifully now turned sad chewed fondant on their dessert plates. I love the rolled fondant look, but is rolled fondant delicious? I think not. How about making rolled fondant out of 100% almond paste? Regarding real ribbons I feel the same way, but at least, like real roses, real ribbons are fairly easy to remove when serving the cake with the exception of marring the frosting. My current challenge is to make a cake that is beautifully decorated, beautifully served on the dessert plate, and delightful to eat. I like using a not-so buttery cake (genoise or biscoize is my favorite), add syrup as needed (or better yet natural fruit syrup, like when you drain strawberries soaked with a little salt and sugar). For frostings, I can't beat whipped topping (super stabilized) or its chocolate version (chocolate ganache). I am partial with buttercreams, but Rose's Mousseline version is nice and not so buttery (I tell my guests that Rose's Mousseline Buttercream is 50% buttercream frosting and 50% egg white mousse); and with the surge or fashion of vanilla beans I have "invented" adding vanilla bean seeds on my buttercream (fancy enough that it should be eaten). Sure, what I am writing is often impractical for weddings due to transportation, temperature and also make-ahead conveniences. One good wedding cake that is often done in Peru (and I believe it is the European style) and can be made ahead and trasported successfully, is to make a cake that is like a fruit cake (heavy and full of delicious pecans and raisins), soaked and wrapped in liquor, and decorated with almond paste. Thanks for reading. /Hector

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beautiful and delicious-looking! I use heavy satin ribbon, or even florist's waterproof ribbon. Have used french wire ribbon but it gets soaked thruogh very easily. look for the cake with the sunflowers and the square cake with callas on my site; those are both real ribbon.

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Patricia,
Funny you should mention Rose's comment about the syrup, I saw it after I posted the comment. I checked my oven yesterday and it does heat a little more that what it is supposed to. I have to get it adjusted. The cakes always come out moist but lose some of the moisture by the next day. But if the oven was accurate the cakes will be more moist the day I bake them and then remain moist the next day too. I love your idea about splitting the layers but it is too time consuming for me at this point.
About the ribbon, I once used organza ribbon on a fondant covered cake and it looked so good. The fondant was white, the ribbon was a burnt orange and I was lucky to get roses the same colour which I placed on top of the cake. It gave it a nice finished look.
Rozanne

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I should elaborate on my previous comment. Rose's exact wording from Dec 14, 2006 was:

"you're right about the syrups--they help keep the center moister by preventing evapporation but don't actcually penetrate to the center unless it's a genoise or biscuit".

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Rozanne,
I was surfing the archives on this site and found a response by Rose about adding syrup to cake layers. She said that the syrup never quite gets to the center of the layers.

I'm sure the reason is because Rose's
cake recipes bake up so nice and tall, so why don't you try cutting your layers in half. Of course more layers means more filling (and more time in the kitchen), but in the end I bet your cake will look more impressive :)
Patrincia

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Yeah, this is my first time blogging - it's really fun!

I did a 2nd wedding cake yesterday. I'm very please with the way it turned out as well (I'll have to send a photo of it too). I used grosgrain ribbon around the base of each tier and boy did that look amazing! I was wondering if anyone else has used ribbon in that way. If so, what kind did you use and were you pleased with the results?

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Patricia,
I would love to hear your tips on transporting, stacking etc. sometime... I have read all this in the Cake Bible too but your input would be valuable.
This is like your own blog page within the site!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. I know how busy you are with the kids. I have two kids (3 yrs and 14 months) and they keep me really busy.
Rozanne

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Tyler,

Your tip on the paper clips worked much better than using T-pins or staples. I'm so glad you answered the request. Thanks for passing it along!

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Tyler,

Thanks so much! I love the paper clip idea; it's so simple (@

My name is Patricia, but Patrincia was my mother's pet name for me when I was a little girl. I like to use it as a screen name.

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Oh about the cake strips, you can use a paper clip. I think thats easiest, you just slip it on and slip it off.

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Thats gorgeous! It is really amazing how the cake bible can turn anyone into a pro cake maker. And is your name Patricia or Patrincia?

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Speaking of easy bake strips, does anyone have an alternate way of fastening them together? The T-pins drive me mad, especially when the strips start to show heavy use. I've started stapling them, (easy to do and easy to remove); it works well, but I wonder if anyone has a better idea.
Patricia

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My pleasure - it's nice to "talk" cake!

Anyway, I did the whole thing in the 24 hours prior to the wedding; baking, frosting, everything. I always bake as close to the occasion as possible, mostly because I never seem organized enough to do any of it in advance (4 kids and a hungry hubby, need I say more?). The cake was very moist even though I didn't brush it with any syrup. Actually, I have never used syrup on any of my cakes, but keep meaning to try it someday.

I have a pretty accurate oven, maybe yours runs a bit hot (?).

I learned a few lessons about transporting, stacking, and adding the finishing touches too - things you wouldn't think of until you've done it once or twice. I'll have to fill you in on those sometime.

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Thank you Patricia. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I have the Cake Bible, it is such a fantastic book to have. I have used the "Rose factor" recipes quite a few times but they have not turned out so high or maybe it didn't look so high b/c I have never stacked the tiers. Thank you for the bench scaper tip, it is awesome! One more question.....when did you bake the cakes? I usually bake it two days in advance and frost the day before. No matter how well I wrap it, the cake tends to get a bit dry. I brush it with syrup (top, bottom and sides)but the middle always seems dry. Is this something you can help me with??? I am sorry if I am asking too many questions but like you I have read a lot on the subject but being able to "talk" to someone who has done it seems more informative.
Thank you again,
Rozanne

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Hi Rozanne,

Oh boy, you asked for it; I tend to give detailed descriptions - hope you don't mind. Okay, here goes:

For the tiers: each tier was 4-5 inches tall and contained only 2 layers of cake. I used Rose's The Cake Bible for the cake recipe (stated above), calculating the formula for each of the following pan sizes: 14x2, 10x2, and 6x2 (I baked 2 of each). I also used easy-bake strips around the pans; each layer turned out nice and level - no need to trim them at all.

For the ganache (also from The Cake Bible): The most important thing I did was replace my old plastic turntable with a heavy duty metal one - that made a HUGE difference! Then I crumb coated the tiers and refrigerated them until they were set. When I was ready to add the top coat I decided to try a bench scraper instead of my usual long offset spatula; it worked out extremely well - it has a 90 degree angled corner, so if you hold the short side against the turntable, the long side will meet the sides of the cake perfectly "square" or "plumb" (perfectly straight up and down). Every so often I would sit down, eye-level with the tiers and give the turntable a spin to see where they needed any attention. Then back to the fridge to chill. To finish them, I ran very hot tap water over the bench scraper to heat it up, then dried it quickly and immediately held it against the sides of the tiers while turning the turntable to get a very smooth surface. I repeated that step again and again until all the tiers were complete. By the way, the ganache only melts for a moment; it quickly re-chills because the tiers are so cold (that's a good thing).

I should tell you that I did tons of research beforehand; reading everything I could find on the subject. Each of the tiers was placed on an ordinary cardboard round, and I used 1/4-inch dowels for the interior supports. Hmmmm, I think that's about it :).

Hope I haven't bored you to death. Please feel free to ask anything else you can think of, I'm more than happy to reply.

Sincerely,
Patricia

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Excellent Job Patrincia!!!! How did you get the ganache to be so smooth? Also how many layers did you have in each tier in order to make it so high? My brother is getting married in Sept and wants me to make his wedding cake. I have NEVER made a wedding cake and I am SO nervous about it.
Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
Rozanne

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Grazie! I loved every minute of it.

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Hi Cindy,
I placed the roses loosely on the cake (some benefited from a little extra ganache to glue them in place).

The little white flowers are Babies Breath. They were included with the flower delivery, but I initially did not plan to use them. However, after adding a few to see how it looked, I knew it was right! I cut the Babies Breath apart into little clusters and just tucked them in between the roses.

Looking back, I wish I had a nicer cake base or plateau of some sort. And I wish I would have had more petals for the table. Live and learn.

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Dear Patricia,
Real flowers are really the best. Are those lovely red roses loosly put on the sides of the layers or are these tied up together with the little white flowers and leaves in bunches and put there? BTW what are the little white flowers? Congratulation on your success and keep up.
Cindy

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Thanks!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks everyone, it's nice to hear from you all. This cake was definitely a "labor of love" (24 hours of labor that is) :)

Hector - I laughed at the comment you made about your food processor being discolored from making so much ganache!

I love the look of fresh flowers too. Some day I might try my hand at making them, but you really can't improve upon the real deal. I can't wait to see a photo of your Easter Rabbit cake.

Patricia

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Beautiful work, Patricia, that looks delicious and terribly elegant. Congratulations!

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Dear Patricia. LOVED IT!!!!!!! I am a big believer of Rose's chocolate ganache, in fact my 11 cup food processor is tinted brown color from so much use. The height of your layers are impressive, and it is something I like to do (I beg my "customers" to ask for tall layers). Using fresh flowers is also my desire (I try to hook up with the wedding florist to decorate my cake); I just don't see myself spending hours doing piping or sugar work. I have made about 10 wedding cakes, so I am not really a pro wedding cake maker. For Easter I am planning to make a 3D rabbit (one of those Wilton pans) with an adapted recipe from Rose's chocolate butter cake (I will use chocolate instead of cocoa, since my friend from Bologna brought me some nice bars with 50% plus cacao). I will frost the rabbit ears with stabilized whipped cream, then the rest of the rabbit will be totally covered with roses made from stabilized whipped cream or with chocolate ganache (not sure which one will hold best). My point is to make a rabbit hidding in a pile or roses. I am so happy or this blog. /H

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What a gorgeous presentation, Patrincia! And we know how good it must have tasted ... mmmmmmmmmm!

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That's beautiful!

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