Welcome to Real Baking with Rose, the personal blog of author Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Spend A Moment with Rose, in this video portrait by Ben Fink.

Check out my new creations


RSS AND MORE



Get the blog delivered by email. Enter your address:

Eat your books
Previous Book

Roses' Cookbooks

The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible

Buy from Amazon: USA | Canada | France | Germany | UK

Buy from Barnes & Noble
Buy from IndieBound

Next Book

Hector's 7 Cake Wedding!

Sep 26, 2008 | From the kitchen of Rose

I know that many of you are really dying to see what Hector has been describing for many months so here are the three photos he has sent plus a description of the process:

My cousin Elaine wanted a wedding cake from me, and I gave her all I can
bake! Here are the cakes at her 7-cake wedding.

First the wedding cake, an 8-tier 9-inch Golden Genoise cylinder with 5-inch
and 3-inch accents, filled with pistachio green Silk Meringue Buttercream,
frosted with green and white Mousseline Buttercream. Every cake component
was infused with pistasha liquor I made with La Cuisine excellent French
pistachio essence. Except for the roses attached vertically, cake was made
fresh, chilled for 2 days, then transported fully assembled from Downtown
Hilo to Volcano National Park: a grueling 2 hour 20mph ride thru country
road. My brother was the only person that dared to be my driver since all
my friends gave up on me knowing I turn into evil when doing so. I had a
long stake on one hand ready to poke thru the center of the cake shall it
tipped during the ride. It really helped that this was done at 5 am, and
the outside temperature was 55oF!

The second cake, is Rose's Blueberry Swan Lake. The meringue swan recipe
yields more than 5 pairs of swans. I managed to make 4 pairs plus several
dozen extra parts. Swans were made in my kitchen in Honolulu, then packed
in 4 airtight boxes and sent via 2 of my helpers as carry on luggage. Only
ONE pair arrived safely! This is the one cake out of the 7 that people came
back for seconds.

The following 5 cakes are miniature 3 tier versions of Copper Topper
Mountain Cascade, Killer Kahlua Chiffon Mocha Glaze, Ethereal longan-lychee
Charlotte, Triple Chocolate Cake, and Carrot Ring Cake. These cakes took me
4 months to complete.

The above is literally my ultimate effort and for what a great cousin I
have. Never have I heard from a bride allowing me to turn the reception
into a cake party. At the same time this effort is melancholic, there won't
be cakes from me for a while, since I disassembled my yellow kitchen, and
moved to a location nearby where not even the plumbing is in place. The
good news is that the hired photographer and videographer for Elaine's
wedding were covering my work from 3 days prior and all day long on the
wedding day, so I shall have lots of footage to keep my senses happy!

Aloha to you all. Hector

And good luck to you Hector in your new career and with your new flower shot/bakery!

Comments

Rose I have a wedding and I'll make the Grand Marnier wedding cake, but I will not put almonds it affects recipe

REPLY

Hi Hector, I'd go with either the White Velvet Butter Cake (p. 46) or Buttermilk Country Cake (p. 41), plus the strawberry gelatin and the Classic Strawberry Buttercream (p. 233). As a novice baker, any recipe that doesn't involve much folding beaten egg whites makes it easier!

REPLY

Hi Hector,

My friend Madeline makes something called rainbow cake. Her mother always made it for her birthday and now she makes it for her daughter. Here is the recipe:
Madeline's Rainbow Cake

375 F
2 - 9" pans

2 1/4 cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup 2 tbsps milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 package 4oz. raspberry jello
3 eggs unbeaten
Sift dry ingredients
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time then beat in jello powder.
Add flour (mixed with baking powder,soda and salt) alternately with milk.Pour into prepared pans and
Bake for 25 minutes
Frost with 7 minute frosting and sprinkles.
I hope this helps,

Sparky

REPLY

thanks Tawni!

how about a recipe to most resemble her recipe of white cake mix plus strawberry jello?

REPLY

Hi Hector,
I saw pictures from your amazing cakes; really inspiring. I love to bake because of my sweet tooth!!! I think a good recipe for your cousin to try and taste good from the Cake Bible is the Pumpkin Walnut Ring cake. I've made this many times for my kids; they love this for breakfast! The taste is amazing and very unique. One of my dinner guests commented that it's like Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one!!!

REPLY

i am going to post this to beg for all of you scratch bakers advice. my cousin elaine has just baked this cake, and seems she is enjoying baking! i don't want to kill her new interest by overwhelming her with scratch baking, how would you do this and which Cake Bible recipes would you start her off with?

Here is her cake:

http://www.recipezaar.com/Triple-Decker-Strawberry-Cake-85227

REPLY

what a gorgeous pie--never has my plate looked better!

REPLY

Thanks Jeannette, doesn't the pie look great on Rose's plate? I was careful to showcase our queen, with such detail that when I spread the chiffon filling I did spread it close to the scalloped edged but without touching all the way! The leaves were 1 year old flaky pie scraps.

Regarding the turkey, it looks Frankestenian! The stuffing comes out great, really above excellency, but next year I will get a second turkey just to cook the stuffing. When done, I will dig the stuffing out and plate it, and save the turkey for rice soup. I like to lick the turkey back bones and like it unstuffed so it is crispy, for this will be second turkey, un-frankestenized un-stuffed.

REPLY

What a beautiful looking pie! I'm sure it tastes good too!

REPLY

Thank you all!

Photos of my Thanksgiving 2008.

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/thanksgiving/turkey2008-b.html

My pumpkin chiffon pie and my turkey.

REPLY

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing your pictures, I feel a little like part of the party! An amazing feat, I look forward to seeing what you pull off when the new book comes out.

REPLY

Great pictures!

REPLY

Wonderful! Thanks for letting us be a part of the celebration. What an accomplishment! Well done.

REPLY

Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic!!!

REPLY

A treat for you and 'formal' introduction in photo of my dream team and I. Here are the unedited, uncensored, unrated pictures from the photographer, just got these yesterday.

Elaine's 7 cakes is my 'graduation' from Cake Bible, my personal very own favorite recipes from the book. Timely and ready for the sequel book Rose's Heavenly Cakes... can't wait for the occasion to find me and bake away!

Enjoy.

http://www.hectorwong.com/elaineandmatt/ByPhotographer.html

REPLY

thanks u MY FRIENDS! mixer just a shade shy compared with the view!

REPLY

Wow, what a view of that mixer :). Happy new home!

REPLY

Hector, congratulations on the new place! A beautiful view, indeed! Reminds me of a few places I lived in NYC- a very happy time for me. I hope you'll also enjoy happiness in your "room with a view".

REPLY

hi rozanne, I didn't expect everyone to notice the view, it is the mixer in the bed that I wanted to point =)

my sister gladys just commented the same about the view and chances are that this apartment will soon be "all kitchen."

was hard to depart from my plants, but we have a few taken to Hilo with Luca, and several other plants on the homes of my most close dining friends. even my original stove went to my good friends axel and daniel.

the reason of moving was my family's matters.

REPLY

Hector, the view is breathtaking. What made you move into a smaller place? It must be difficult adjusting to apartment life. Aren't you going to miss all your plants? I remember you were growing vanilla beans at some point.

REPLY

Guys, THANK YOU for your cheers. Ok, here I am sharing things about me, more than about my baking, hope u don't mind.

Although my old kitchen was the size of my entire new apartment, I always lived in the kitchen anyways! Also, I always drove my dinner guests crazy at my old house becuase I kept running from room to room to do things, NOW there are basically only 2 small rooms and are connected, so I am always in sight.

This is on the 26th floor and the building is very old, but the view does help and only gets better. Fish in a bowl, isn't a bad live.

I had my mixers and ALL my countertop appliances at my florist thinking I would cook there, but the florist building renovations are going so slow, so just this week I moved my countertop appliances to my apartment.

You notice that I don't mention the word "home" because really "home is anywhere I can bake!"

REPLY

Absolutely Beautiful!

REPLY

Wow! I agree with Matthew. What a gorgeous view. I'd stay up all night just looking out. :-)

REPLY

Wow, what a great view!

REPLY

I could not resist to share this very personal moment with you all, I've just turned on my mixer after a near 3 month hiatus. I moved from a 350 sq ft kitchen to a 350 sq ft apartment, and how beloved this moment tonight that I decided to place my mixer next to my bed! I fed my starter, literally!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1750687828795382530&hl=en


REPLY

I could not resist to share this very personal moment with you all, I've just turned on my mixer after a near 3 month hiatus. I moved from a 350 sq ft kitchen to a 350 sq ft apartment, and how beloved this moment tonight that I decided to place my mixer next to my bed! I fed my starter, literally!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1750687828795382530&hl=en


REPLY

paulette, you can try using a pancake turner, the bottom of a removable tart pan, a super peel, two icing spatulas, quick freezing the layer, or if all fails then you just cut the 16" in two 8" pieces and glue back together with frosting... really nothing wrong with cheating because it is standard procedure in industry!

REPLY

I am a cake baker but cannot do fancy stuff but I'd love to. Am baking a 3-tiered cake for family. Can anyone tell me the secret to lifting the top of a torted 16' cake? I want to put a filling inbetween. How do you pick up the cake (and with what???) to keep it from breaking in order to put filling between the two? HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP...

REPLY

Thank you Cate. My "business" is going to be very interesting as I just don't work for money, but for love =)

REPLY

Sorry it's taken me so long to add my congratulations and awe at the mammoth task you took on and the fantastic results! Good luck as you start up your new business Hector. If only I didn't live a hemisphere away - I'd be a volunteer helper in the Yellow Kitchen any time!

REPLY

Most people know me that during the months around my baking: I have "baking" for dinner!

Here, the last slice of Elaine's Kahlua Mocha Chiffon cake, a ledge of Grana Padano cheese, and a white peach.

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/7-CakeDinners.html

REPLY

My brother Miguel, who most defenitelly relived the action from 23 years ago when I made his pagoda cake which was floating on a 8 foot tabletop pond!

REPLY

Susan LeVine
Susan LeVine
10/ 2/2008 05:29 PM

Hector,

Wow!

REPLY

Hello Everybody,
I'm one of Hector's helpers. Hector flew me over from Seattle to Honolulu and from there to Hilo. Helper number 2 is a phd astronomer with magnificient pizza baking abilities, and helper number 3 a nurse from Honolulu who abandoned her patients just to help Hector.

Well, we worked like dogs for about 4 days for the wedding, we didn't get paid, but it was worth it...... everyminute of it.

you guys want details?? just ask.

REPLY

rushing to leave but just have to say thanks for all these great stories!

REPLY

First and foremost belated, the above 3 main blog pictures were taken by party guest Kirsten, which I finally recognized and identified yesterday: I had a total presenter's effect after the party where your memory just blanks out erasing all people's names and faces. Kirsten had a keen eye and camera; her many people's shots are honestly lovelly and happy all looks, how wonderful is that.

There should be a picture with my 4th helper, Wendy, lounging on the grass or collapsed on the sofa. Wendy was utterly amazing. I will post when I get hold of it. I am begging Elaine to share every picture because I want to enjoy the wedding too! I spent the day in the kitchen, missing most of the lovelly wedding program.

Julie, Jeannette, Roxanne, the words you share are well heard, what you all write has a profound influence on my work. Starting from the first comments months ago, when told to write a work timeline and to hire help, so I did. On the grass: Luca whose job was to make pizza, he did it all and I have requsted he hosts a pizza dinner soon! Crust was Rose's Bread Bible, toppings were the same as my sister's 2006 baby shower which Elaine attended and obviously started it all. Also on the grass, my oldest brother Miguel, who I flew in from WA, he was so in tune as my helper in spite of living so far away and for the last 20 years. He sais to everyone: "My brother made my wedding cake and he was still in high school!"

YES, blueberry topping spotted on the cake turntable!

Did I tell I spent my Thursday prior baking all the layers for the wedding cake. I am glad you approve my design btw. That day, I had Miguel help me warm up the eggs and sugar, roll the chocolate praline, and later at night we drove to the lodgeto marinade the 2 turkeys. The turkeys were a last minute addition, we had them as carry on when we flew in on Wednesday, TSA got hungry and passengers were told that these caterers had to carry them because no turkeys could befound in Hilo, a sleepy town which gets them only for Thanksgiving.

Elaine was happy for the turkeys, she actually wanted a turkey party. When she first asked me to cater her wedding, she remembered last year's Thanksgiving when she and her maid of honor, Andrea, stopped by at me place for just 15 minutes on her turkey sampling day! Andrea was visiting from Vancouver and that evening thay had many dinners to attend. My turkey recipe is from my Mom's 3-generation Peruvian recipe; it took me 5 years to get all her secret ingredients written down! Each year I vounteered to fix our Thanksgiving turkey, she criticaly argued when tasting "I think you are missing something." I still can hear this resonance phrase ringing my ears, each year I make turkey!

REPLY

Hector, love the photos! My favorite is the one of you and your two helpers lounging on the grass after a huge achievement. You all truly look like the picture of satisfaction after a job well done.

And I forgot to mention, I love the shape of the pistachio wedding cake and the way it sets it apart from the other tiered cakes... very nice, indeed!

REPLY

I can only echo what everyone else is saying, you are a genious! How you do all this work is unbelievable.

REPLY

Hector, I know you must have heard this a hundred times.....the food, specially the cakes look wonderful and spectacular. You are a VERY talented person.
Oh by the way is the blueberry topping sitting on your turntable????

REPLY

Elaine's brother in law and uncle took these split second photos. It is more action than I remember!

Bakers beware that I traveled with my Ateco turntable, see if you can find it on one of these pictures.

http://www.hectorwong.com/elaineandmatt/SplitSeconds/new_page_1.htm

REPLY

Elaine's brother in law and uncle took these split second photos. It is more action than I remember!

Bakers beware that I traveled with my Ateco turntable, see if you can find it on one of these pictures.

http://www.hectorwong.com/elaineandmatt/SplitSeconds/new_page_1.htm

REPLY

Julie, glad you all liked "cake party." I am humbled more than proud, but having my five 3-tier babies together on the table was like having a family reunion. It was a very nice moment that I will cheer long. Each cake was a cake I've done on many ocassions and with deep meanings.

Ok, here is HOW you do it. Each cake that can be done ahead and frozen was done so, therefore started these five babies 5 months ago! First the triple chocolate, then the carrot and copper topper, last the mocha chiffon, and ultimatelly the charlotte. I made sure I spent a good week or so with each cake, I felt very fatherly.

On the day of the wedding, juggling thru the same day components took still many hours. Tiering the cakes, applying mocha glaze, draping the praline, piping the white chocolate roses, etc, etc.

So if you have a dedicated freezer and a good vacuum packing machine, you all cnan do this!

REPLY

Hector, your cake party is so inspiring! The selection of cakes and the magnitude of the event is such an accomplishment, you must be very proud. Thanks so much for documenting this and sharing it with us.

REPLY

Wow. Hector, you are amazing. Rest up for while, please! What an accomplishment!

REPLY

WOW, Hector! I am mid-project with my first wedding cake, which makes your catering feat even more amazing to me!! Thank you so much for sharing with us, you are such an inspiration.
ECL

REPLY

Hector, they are simply beautiful! Gorgeous! How very kind and generous you are.
Go pour yourself a whisky now...you deserve a break!

REPLY

Thanks Rozanne, and I just can't wait what and WHEN will I bake next!

Christine, Tammy, the cylinder, actual wedding cake, was filled and crumb coated with silk meringue bc. Then, 3 thin coats of mousseline bc were applied, with 1 hour refrigeration intervals. There is NO way you can do this w/o a sturdy turntable, like my Ateco 610. I use my 8" angled frosting spatula, and I don't heat it because heating causes the food coloring to separate, I used a combination of green and brown food coloring to achieve the pistachio green tone. Then the first moment of truth came: transfering the frosted cylinder from the turntable to the cake display plate, a copper pizza pan I did not want to smudge to prevent copper stains. I had to use a heavy duty All Clad pancake turner plus my longest chef knife, to lift this off. Picture of the plated cake below.

The longan-lychee charlotte is the Ethereal Pear Charlotte recipe. To obtain the needed lychee liquor for the bavarian cream, I combined simple syrup with vodka and fresh fruit, and stepped in the fridge for 1 month. What a great liquor it turned to be. Then, for the fruit syrup, I poached fresh lychees. I don't recommend using canned lychee, because the 'can taste' is so overpowering and so common. You can use frozen fruit, instead, lychee freezes wonderfully for cooked preparations. People appreciated tasting non-canned lychee.

The longan part, where the whole fruit on the tops. I left the seeds because longan means "dragon eyes" and I wanted EVERYONE to have the eyes! Because of time constrains, as a backup shall fresh fruit wasn't available, I had the longan peeled and quick frozen, then we quickly placed it on the charlotte on the day of the wedding. Peeling longan takes so much time and it is a very tempting and eating job (you end up with half the estimated because you just keep eating them). Again, NO canned longan please. The canned flavors are fine, but because Hilo grows fresh longan and lychee, I made the effort.

One last thing on the charlotte. The aroma of the curstard cream is deceiving once you combined it with the lychee syrup, it almost smells like a very "eggy" smelling thing. Very annoying when still warm. But once in the charlotte, happilly in suspension with the refrigerated gelatin, it tastes great. This is one dessert that should be judged by the taste, not the smell.

Thanks for reading about me, I am sure that I write SO much! By the way, Elaine and Matt have been agreed to, that one of our contract terms is having her wedding cakes and catering highly publicized here.

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/ElaineAndMatt5.html

REPLY

Hector,
You should write your own book! These cakes are truly amazing. I really enjoy reading about your adventures in baking and I always look forward to your posts. Good luck in your future endeavors!

REPLY

Absolutely stunning! Everything looks so precise and perfect! Well done, Hector.

REPLY

Christine S.
Christine S.
09/26/2008 01:14 PM

Hector, what a great idea to have a cake party! Everything in the photos looks delicious, and absolutely gorgeous. And the cylinder cake is unbelieveably smooth.

How did you do the longan-lychee charlotte? I love the flavor of lychee.

REPLY

Gorgeous, Stunning and Beautiful!!! Congratulations Hector, you've done it again.

REPLY

POST A COMMENT

Name:  
Email:  
(won't be displayed, but it is used to display your picture, if you have a Gravatar)
Web address,
if any:
 
 

Comment

You may use HTML tags for style.

EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Rose's newsletter, a once-a-month mouthwatering treat!

DATE ARCHIVE

Featured on finecooking.com