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A Torah Shaped Cake
Posted: 13 November 2009 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve been asked to bake a cake in the shape of a torah for the birthday of a good friend who has been heavily involved in Jewish studies for quite some time. I have an 11 x 15 x 2 1/2 inch pan which I plan to use as the foundation.  That will be chocolate and I’m thinking about using the deep chocolate wedding cake batter which is on page 410 in Heavenly Cakes.  It seems to me that the first batter quantity for “two 6 by 2 inch and two
9 by 2 inch pans” should be about right.  Then for the scrolls, will be using three 5 ” by 4” cylindrical pans, plan to cut them in half to make half cylinders, butt three together to make two half cylinders which will be long enough to place on each end of the cake. I plan to make them using a yellow cake batter for the people who don’t like chocolate.  Am thinking about using the yellow butter cupcake recipe in Heavenly Cakes on page 295. Does this look like about the right amount of batter for those pans?  As for icing, am considering the White Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Buttercream (Page 401) with a chocolate filling in the split sheet pan layer. Does anyone know if I can pipe the buttercream or any other suggestions as to what I might use. Any other thoughts, suggestions would be extremely welcome.  I’ll be delivering in on Thanksgiving Day.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Somewhere in the cake bible, Rose talks about making a torah cake.  I could have sworn she posted a photo on the blog, but I can’t find it.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I just remembered where I saw it.  The complete cake instructions are in Rose’s Melting Pot.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I second Matthew’s recommendation, Rose’s torah/ book cake is beautiful!

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Posted: 13 November 2009 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I thought that cake was the 10 Commandments written in Hebrew, with a small plastic Torah placed in the middle of the two tablets.

The plastic Torahs can be bought at Pfeil and Holing (they’re sold in sets of 6 I think, though).  The ends are plastic and can be painted with a non toxic paint.  When it is completely dry, it can be put on the cake with no ill effects but I usually put some rice paper on the cake under the ends just for my own peace of mind.  There are edible metallic sprays now available but I haven’t tried them to see if it would work on these plastic posts.

If you want the Torah “rolls” to be made of cake, it will be easier to use the biscuit or a cloud roll and put a buttercream filling in them like a jelly roll.  This is what I do for bat/bar mitzvah clients who want this kind of design and it works out much better - and I can even cover the rolls with fondant and make an elaborate design on them

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Posted: 13 November 2009 10:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks so much, I’ve found a copy of Melting Pot at the Strand Bookstore and have ordered it. In the meantime if anyone has any other suggestions, I’d really welcome them.

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Posted: 14 November 2009 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for the reminder Matthew… I really need to make some of Rose’s savory recipes… paging through RMP makes my mouth water.

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Posted: 16 November 2009 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I did get Rose’s Melting Pot, and indeed the cake is a tablet with the Ten Commandments written on it.  I think that, though it’s lovely, my friends really do want the cake to be shaped like a torah,  so will go back to my original design.  I don’t want to do the rolls with a jelly roll style cake as the kids who don’t like chocolate (imagine that) also don’t like icing.  If I do a solid cylindrical white or yellow cake and only cover it with frosting, the offending too sweet is easier to avoid.

I found an Aleph Bet plastic stencil at a store near me, so I figure that’ll help me to do the ten letter inscription on the scrolls. Any suggestions as to which chocolate cake recipe to use for the sheet cake base, and also what butter cream to use for the icing.  Am thinking about a chocolate filling to the sheet cake base and a mocha or white chocolate frosting.

Thanks to everyone,
Alice

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Posted: 16 November 2009 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I knew I’d read about a cake with a Torah in TCB and flipped through until I finally found it in the intro to the wedding cheesecake (p 506). Really stuck in my memory because of the mother’s astonishing reaction.

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Posted: 17 November 2009 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Alice, I have not made the chocolate chiffon or white chocolate buttercream recipes that you mention, perhaps someone who has will chime in?

From the Cake Bible, I do like the chocolate fudge cake recipe very much, and have served it with vanilla mousseline buttercream (Cake Bible’s mousseline bc with a tablespoon of vanilla extract per 4.5 cup batch), it is always very well-liked.  For the chocolate filling, I love ganache, or if that is too strongly chocolate, then a chocolate buttercream.

For the cylinders, I would really recommend a roulade (roll).  If it needs to be a yellow cake, then biscuit roulade from the Cake Bible (or one of its flavor variations) would work well.  If this is for kids, I think they will find the swirl pattern of the roulade fun and appealing.  If they don’t like buttercream or chocolate, many kids love fruit- how about filling it with a barely sweetened fruit puree?  I think the Cake Bible’s strawberry puree lightly sweetened (as for the sauce) would be ideal, just add a little melted gelatin or agar (the agar will have more holding power at room temp) to thicken it.  If the kids like lemon, lemon curd or lemon illusion would be wonderful.

If the cake will be kept refrigerated, you could also consider a barely sweetened whipped cream, stabilized with cornstarch or gelatin, for the filling.  For instance, yellow roulade with gelatin-stabilized whipped cream and maybe chunks poached pears or peaches.  Or add lemon zest to the whipped cream and use fresh blueberries.

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Posted: 17 November 2009 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Carolita, have you seen the cake?  It is stunning, even by Rose’s standards.  Which makes the reaction of the mother even more unbearable.

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Posted: 17 November 2009 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Julie,  Thanks so much for the suggestions.  As for the mother’s comment, now we’ve heard from Momzilla!!!
Alice

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Posted: 17 November 2009 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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No I haven’t seen the cake, Julie, but Rose’s beautiful description of the loving care and attention she put into the decoration told me it was very, very special indeed. Have to get my hands on the book to see the picture.

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Posted: 19 November 2009 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I’ve made the 10 Commandments cake many times over the years (I’m really good at writing in Hebrew now, but the first time I did it I was a wreck thinking if I made even the slightest error in the curve of a letter it would change the meaning and I’d be writing something bad!).

The first time I made it, I bring it to the venue, place flowers all around the edges and am pretty pleased with the effect and the final cake (it really is gorgeous) and the party planner comes up and says “WHAT is that?”  Now, even if you are unfamiliar with Hebrew ... there are two tablets with writing on them, five lines each.  With a Torah in the center.  It’s a religious event being celebrated.  What do you THINK it is?  Guess for heaven’s sake!  It was too funny and had vague overtones of the mom in the book.

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Posted: 19 November 2009 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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smile Jeanne what a story! I had to chuckle.

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Posted: 20 November 2009 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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You could do one like this.

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