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Help pls with a lemon-ginger flavored wedding cake!
Posted: 30 June 2009 03:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m taking a leaf from Patrincia’s book tomorrow night, and (gulp!) doing a cake tasting for a young couple getting married this August. Actually, I’m excited. Just a little nervous because it’s my first tasting session. Thank you so much for sharing all about the one you did, Patrincia. That helped a lot. In fact, that’s what gave me the idea!

The bride and I have not met yet. We’ve dealt by phone and email, but seem to be on the same wave-length. She’s clear on the flavour profile. She wants lemon-ginger cake with a white citrus frosting, and she was open to either lemon curd or lemon cloud cream for the fillings. I figure she probably needs a 3 tier (6-9-12) for the numbers. They plan to serve dessert-sized portions to 75 guests. So far, so good.

The first image that came to my mind was a cake I did earlier this year using a biscuit roulade round as the base for two layers of biscuit de savoie in each tier. The flavor profile that time was almond & peach with caramel silk meringue buttercream. This time, I thought, why not do a ginger roulade base instead of the almond? The peach fillings would be lemon curd or cloud cream instead, and the citrus BC for an August wedding should probably be the mousseline.

Then I got to thinking. Some people prefer a more toothsome cake than the savoie, so I offered a tasting session to give them a choice in textures. I saw some nice comments online about Dede Wilson’s lemon buttermilk cake, so I made that. It’s not bad. I’ve been baking most of the day: roulade, savoie and the lemon buttermilk cake, lemon curd and lemon mousseline all done. Tomorrow, the cloud cream and if I have time, I’d also like to give them a taste of Rose’s golden luxury buttercake. I’ve never made it, but it sounds divine. Oh yes, and clean the house!!!

So here’s where I need some help. If they select one of the butter cakes as opposed to the biscuit de savoie, how the heck do I work her beloved ginger flavor into the cake design??? It seems like a thin ginger roulade base would not work with the more robust texture/taste of butter cake, whereas it comes through very nicely with the cloud cream/biscuit de savoie. What about using ginger juice instead of (or in addition to?) lemon oil in the butter cake and/or the syrup? Let the bc and fillings carry the lemon flavor? Any other suggestions?

To tell the truth, I almost wish now I hadn’t decided to give them a choice! But it is their wedding, isn’t it? My first impulse was more generous, and I have to admit that I always end up learning so much, whenever I stick my neck out! smile

Thanks in advance for your interest and any thoughts or comments you want to offer.

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Posted: 30 June 2009 03:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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First thing that comes to mind for a butter cake is powdered ginger (as in a spice cake) with little bits of candied ginger cut up, tossed in flour, and thrown in the batter like chips—just a thought.

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Posted: 30 June 2009 03:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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... or even gingerbread cake might be an interesting model. I think gingerbread is often served with lemon curd.  Of course, you could make a ginger syrup too with ginger juice as you suggested.

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Posted: 30 June 2009 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Good thoughts, Matthew. Thanks! As it happens, I just now stumbled upon Rose’s recipe in the blog for “Beloved English Gingerbread Cake.” I can certainly mention the idea to the bride and groom as a possibility. Gingerbread would be unusual for a wedding cake, which is exactly what some brides want. I’m not sure about this one, though. Her sketch of the overall look she wants is a little on the conservative side. Very simple and elegant with a butterfly motif.

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Posted: 30 June 2009 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Carolita - I love Matthew’s suggestions.  Whatever you end up doing, please post about the tasting afterward.  I can’t wait to see what you do, and what the happy couple decided on.  smile

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Posted: 01 July 2009 02:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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That was fun! I’ll post a couple of pictures, if I can figure it out. What a nice young couple! They chose Rose’s Golden Luxury cake that I “lemonized.” I noticed Rose said it had an almost lemony edge from the white chocolate, so I pushed it over the edge with the last little bit of lemon oil in the house and some lemon extract.

I took them through the whole textural issue first, sampling plain syruped cake: 1) biscuit de savoie, 2) the lemonized luxury cake and 3) Dede Wilson’s lemon buttermilk cake. I encouraged them to make only a provisional selection, since the roulade and fillings would add extra flavour and texture notes. That round eliminated the Wilson cake altogether. They liked the flavour, but prefer the texture and subtlety of Rose’s cakes. Nice to bake for people with good taste!

Next, I had them try each of the remaining cakes with a ginger roulade base topped with lemon cream. It really helped them narrow it down. The deciding factor was that the savoie seemed too light to them for the role of being the only dessert. There will be sweets later in the evening, but just the cake after dinner. Then I had them decide on the second filling (they chose straight curd over more lemon cream). Finally, they tried the mousseline. Mainly I wanted to make sure that it was “white enough” for the bride, and it was. In fact, the slight ivory tinge from the lemon curd is perfect with her ivory gown.

What I learned is not to make so darn much cake!!!! I didn’t want to cut into “their” test cake to make sure everything was okay. So I made the equivalent of two 6” round cakes for each of the 3 choices, one for them and one for me to check. They only wanted to take a small piece of the chosen cake home with them, so I’ve got a mountain of lemon cake at my house. Anybody want to come over for tea???? smile

Now let’s see if I can get those pictures posted! They’re before and after. Sadly, didn’t get any shots of the middle stages. Thanks for your comments. I always feel fortunate to be able to think out loud before such a supportive and knowledgeable group!

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Posted: 01 July 2009 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Good for you.  You did a lovely presentation, and I’m glad everything went so well!  I was supposed to be making my first wedding cake next month, and was planning a tasting, but the groom has called the wedding off, and the bride (who is my friend) is…well…you can imagine. Great job…I’m sure the cake will be amazing.

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Posted: 01 July 2009 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thank you so much for your kind comments, Bill.  And oh my, how very sad for your friend! She’s gutted, I’m sure. While it doesn’t do any good at this stage to say she might have had a lucky escape, it may well be the case. Good luck to her.

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Posted: 01 July 2009 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Carolita, sounds like a wonderful tasting!  I’m so happy you shared tasting notes with us, I have yet to try to golden luxury, perhaps a “lemonized” version might be right up my alley!  Did you still notice the white chocolate flavor with the lemon?

Bill, sorry about your wedding cake falling through.  Please let your friend know we’re sending wishes for healing and happiness her way.

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Posted: 01 July 2009 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks, Julie! About the cake I’m now calling “lemon luxury,” the white chocolate flavour is not strong but it is noticeable as a certain “something” you can’t quite identify. And gives that gorgeous mouth feel! So velvety.

The syrup may have muted the white chocolate flavour as well. The liqueur in my syrup, btw, was 5 parts Limoncello to 1 part Amaretto. Made the 2 cup formula on p 145 TCB, so 5 tbsp + 1 tbsp. The Limoncello by itself seemed a little flat.

Added later: Forgot to say thanks for all your previous posts, Julie, about lemon cake, curd, cream illusion, frosting/filling combos, etc. I really benefited from them as I pulled together possible ideas for the design. Happy if maybe I’ve now added to your list of lemony cakes to try and love!!!

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Posted: 04 July 2009 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Great job and congratulations Carolita! I love the name “lemon luxury”.

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Posted: 05 July 2009 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Hi Carolita - what a great job you did!!!  I loved your presentation, the little “him and her” cutouts, the Monet inspired tablecloth, and of course… loved the “after” shot! smile

Congratulations on a job well done - when is the wedding?

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Posted: 05 July 2009 10:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thank you, Patrincia! I was nervous in advance but truly, I don’t know when I’ve had more fun. The little cutouts, btw, were the ginger roulade. I was going to do stars or hearts or some such, just so the couple could taste the roulade on its own to guage the strength of the ginger flavour. Rummaging in my pan of cutters, saw the mini gingerman and woman and couldn’t resist!

The wedding is August 22nd at our local yacht club. Only a couple of “issues” to settle now. First is that our local health authority has mounted a campaign against home bakers, so I must find an affordable commercial kitchen where I can do the work. I also have to get the day off work, but switching with one of my coworkers shouldn’t be a problem. Oh and one small worry is to sort out how I’m going to attach some quite tasteful craft butterflies that the bride found and wants on her cake. They’re not designed as cake accents. Not sure what the manufacturer’s notion was, but they have clips on the back so you could pin them to your clothing or whatever. Florist wire perhaps?

One step at a time…. smile

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Posted: 05 July 2009 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Carolita—here’s a butterfly cake—might give you some ideas.  These butterflies are made with the chocolate transfer technique from the whimsical bakehouse.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjweed/2508931859/

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Posted: 06 July 2009 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Such lovely work!! The butterflies are gorgeous. I was intrigued and scrolled through the rest of her flickr albums. A very talented and creative baker. Thanks for posting the url, Matthew.

Wish I could use the chocolate transfer technique or try some other ideas. The bride loves and is so very proud of the butterflies she found at Michaels. I believe they were the inspiration for her wedding colours, etc. Have the strong sense that she would be insulted, if I tried to shift her away from them. For any other purpose, I would consider them tasteful indeed. Tasteful but not tasty. This will be a first for me. Have never used anything non-edible to decorate my cakes. But it is their wedding, and I’m delighted with how discerning they were when it came to the nuances of cake-tasting!

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Posted: 06 July 2009 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Wow Carolita - sounds like a lot of issues to sort out.  I’d be a nervous wreck!  I’ve seen butterflies on many cakes - similar to the one Matthew linked to - they are always hovering above/around the cake on some kind of wire that is inserted into the cake.  I’m sure you’ll figure out a nice way to do it.

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