I posted a sort-of “show and tell” on the earlier thread about this cake—the one where I’d been doing updates. Was just so used to going there to talk about this project from which I’ve learned so much! I promised to post the professional photographer’s shot if he came through. Also a shot of the sliced test cake.
No sign of the photographer’s shot yet but herewith, the test cake which I decorated the day after the wedding and took to my mum in the care home. She loved it! And was so sweet in how she expressed her appreciation. Hard to describe - you’d have to know my dear mum. Anyway, the main reason I want to share these is the 2nd photo—the interior shot. If you’re ever offered the chance to use one of the higher fat content butters, smile sweetly and say “oh thank you, but I’ve already purchased my butter.”
The wonderful people at work said I could use any and all of our bakery ingredients for the cake components. Just keep track and pay them later. Wholesale costs, so quite a saving! What none of us knew at the time is that the butter we use is perfect for the bakery’s needs, but not for cakes. Not in any of the sizes but the problem of sinking centres shows up especially badly in smaller cakes. For the longest time, I thought it was me and convection ovens. Then… well, I won’t repeat myself because I wrote to Rose on the blog about this, and she confirmed my suspicions. Here’s the link: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/03/can_you_use_those_new_low_wate.html#c178551
I’m wondering if this NZ butter (which is great for many things!) was also the culprit behind my needing to chill the mousseline so many times, as I finished frosting and decorating the tiers of the wedding cake. I made another batch at home with regular butter after I lost 4 cups to curdling, but mixed the new stuff in with the fairly substantial balance of the earlier batch made at work. I’ll never know because I don’t intend to use the NZ butter again, unless I’m making croissants or something similar.
May have gained a few new grey hairs in the process, but I’m very grateful for this experience. There’s nothing like learning under pressure to burn the lesson into one’s brain! And in the end, everything turned out fine. Thanks again to everyone for their interest and holding my hand as I posted about this project. For those who missed the final cake shot at the wedding, here’s the post: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/1260/P15/#12165
The cake looks good, Carol! I hope your mother enjoyed it!
Answering from your other thread, I usually make my Christmas cake towards the end of October if I’m organised or more typically early November. I shall let you know when I’m ready and we can do it together, that would be nice. Which of Delia’s books do you have? I’ll check again to see if the recipes are identical in both books.
Thanks, ski! I think so too—about the grey hairs being worth it.
Jeannette, the book I have is Delia Smith’s Christmas, where the recipe is called “The Classic Christmas Cake.” I notice she’s got it at her website, too. No changes there, only the info that it now costs 8 pounds 55 pence. Wonder if that’s still true. Regardless, I like the sound of it as “rich, dark and quite moist.” Is that the same one you use?
Carol, the recipe for the Classic cake in the Christmas book is identical to the recipe I use for my Christmas cake from the Book of Cakes. I usually Ice the top , I don’t use the almonds as a topping. Sometimes I make a round cake,sometimes a square one.
You are a great distance from your daughter, as far as we are from Canada! While we were there in 2005 we flew from toronto to Vancouver and that took a few hours , Montreal is even further, how long does that take? Our daughter lives in Devon, that takes us 41/2 hours by road, we usually manage the trip 2 or 3 times a year and they come up here inbetween. As they have our only 2 grand-daughters we like to keep in touch as much as possible, Christmas especially.
Great! All systems go for Christmas cake baking. Looking forward to it!!
It’s about 8 hours between me and the 2 grandsons! But much better than when they lived in Africa! My daughter’s work was in the Third World, and the first grandson was born in Mozambique. It took about 28 hours to go and give him my welcome-to-the-world hug!!!
Beautiful cake, Carolita! And thanks for the tips with the butter - I usually have Kerrygold for the bread, I’ll know to stay away from that for baking purposes. Except perhaps for the Chocolate Oblivion where I think it adds to the taste, just a little…
Wow - a mother and 2 grandsons? That’s quite a feat!
Carolita, what a lovely test cake! And thanks for posting about the extra-rich butter. I’ve used this at home, and I can see how it would affect a buttercream- straight from the fridge, it seems softer than regular butter, which makes for easier-rolling croissants. But thanks to you, we know exactly why it isn’t ideal for cakes and buttercreams.
We’re not called the sandwich generation without reason, Silke! Sometimes I feel like an egg salad—all scrambled!!!
Glad you liked the cake. I take it as high praise from someone who can turn out a wedding cake like you did, first time ever! Is Kerrygold one of the high butterfat butters? Haven’t seen it in Canada. The NZ butter in our bakery comes from Fonterra, 82.9% MF. I’m glad it added to the taste of your chocolate oblivion and didn’t create sinking problems. The flourless chocolate we do at work (not Rose’s recipe) suffers from the NZ butter as much as my Lemon Luxury did. But it’s a strange formula, imho.
Julie, really appreciate your comments. Learning is what it’s all about, from my point of view. It’s so much fun, mistakes and all—and being able to share what you learn is the icing on the cake—pun intended!
Jeannette and Carol, may I join in the Christmas Cake project too? I’d love to make one and I love Delia’s recipes. The first recipe of hers that I tried (back in 2004 for Father’s Day) was a coconut lime cake. I watched it on one of her TV shows. My husband absolutely loved the cake.
The more, the merrier is my feeling. Had a look at Rose’s fruitcake recipe just now. I don’t think there’s a conflict making Delia’s classic Christmas cake, since the recipes are so different. But might have to try Rose’s in the fruit cupcake version, too. They sound yummy, and I’m intrigued that they don’t need aging.
Thanks, Annie. Even with sink-holes, Rose’s recipes turn out delicious cakes! You can see from the photo of the sliced test cake that I assembled it with the sink-holes on the bottom. That way, the indents could be filled with extra lemon cream for the bottom layer and curd in the middle. So yes, nice and lemony too!
Thank goodness I was finally able to turn out a decent, sink-hole free pair of 6-inchers, once I figured out the problem with the NZ butter. Oh well, a good lesson learned.
No, we haven’t set a date for making the Christmas cake. Jeannette said she usually makes hers the end of October or the beginning of November.