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Anniversary and Retirement Cakes
Posted: 16 July 2010 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi.  I thought I’d post two cakes I made.  The chocolate cake is the German chocolate base with Bill’s Buttercream, glazed with the lacquer glaze (which should have been thinner) and adorned with chocolate plastic roses and chocolate leaves (which should have been thicker).  Overall a hit and many impressed guests.

The other is the anniversary cake I made for my husbands grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary.  The top 9” tier is Rose’s carrot cake frosted and layered with a cream cheese frosting (from Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread) and basket weave design in white chocolate mouselline.  The 12” tier is the German Chocolate Cake with Light Whipped Ganache and decorated with White Chocolate Mouselline.  The carrot cake was the best I’ve baked yet and I think I have to disagree with Rose’s directions for the Light Whipped Ganache to be whipped at 65F (for me anyways, I was using thermapen thermometer) it didn’t thicken enough to apply and when overbeaten, it curdles.  So I remelted and went cooler and it turned out lovely when chilled even more (sadly I didn’t take temperature).  I think it is easy to overbeat at a warmer temperature because it doesn’t thicken enough.  When colder it will naturally be firmer and there is less tendency to overbeat—so much for my two cents.  Although, I only have access to 35% cream and not heavy cream, so perhaps that’s also a contributing factor.  Should note that I used the Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread Cream Cheese Frosting because I didn’t want TWO frostings with White Chocolate and I don’t really care for icing sugar, so I used their recipe which uses poured fondant as a sweetener and it worked exceptionally well.

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Posted: 16 July 2010 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Here’s the other pic.

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Posted: 16 July 2010 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Your cakes are very beautiful! I like the idea very much of using two different recipes for a tiered cake. For my sister’s wedding last summer, I used layers of Heavenly Seduction Coconut Cake and Chocolate Grand Marnier cake for the different tiers. The combination worked very well. Carrot cake and German chocolate cake would also made a very flavorful combination. Congratulations on a job well done!

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Posted: 16 July 2010 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I usually like to use “dipoles” as not everyone likes carrot cake and cream cheese—nor is everyone a chocoholic (can you belive that???).  The tough part is finding a frosting that will “link” the two.

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Posted: 16 July 2010 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Both cakes are so gorgeous Sherrie! The lacquer glaze is so smooth and I love your decoration with the white roses and leaves. Your basketweave piping looks perfect! Very even!
When I first saw the white roses I thought they are edible, smile.

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Posted: 16 July 2010 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sherrie!  How beautiful!  I love the basketweave design—is it piped or what?  The light contrast of colors from the basket weave to the swirlies & smooth top is beautiful.  The “60” is so beautifully done and the flowers so perfectly placed!

And the roses look just wonderful on the other cake.  What kind of leaves did you use to make the chocolate leaves?  I have some camellias, but the veins don’t seem prominent enough.

All the flavors sound just fabulous, too.  Congratulations.  I know the recipients all felt very special due to your efforts!

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Posted: 16 July 2010 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Gorgeous cakes!  The basketweave is just perfect!

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Posted: 16 July 2010 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Anne - Rose leaves makes a beautiful chocolate leaves (like on the cover of The Cake Bible). I’ve tried this once though my result are far from what you see in Rose’s book. Make sure that you get the food-safe leaves - meaning not the ones that’s been sprayed with chemicals.

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Posted: 16 July 2010 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks, Jenn!!!

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Posted: 17 July 2010 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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OMG!!! Stunning!!!

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Posted: 17 July 2010 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Sherrie, those are just gorgeous!!!  I love your “dipole” idea, so nice to offer a choice and you picked a great combination.  The outside is perfect, you’d never guess from looking at it that there were two totally different cakes under there.  Yes to what the others said about decoration, you really do beautiful work.

A thought on the white choc flowers, you mentioned that you thought they should be thicker.  I made dark chocolate flowers once, and I thought I was making them very thin, but they were still too thick and I wanted to glaze them to be super-shiny.  Bottom line, they took weeks, rather than days, to dry enough so that they could be glazed.

Did you syrup the choc chiffons?  Light whipped ganache is one of my all-time favorites, I bet it was fabulous with that cake.

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Posted: 17 July 2010 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks everyone for the kind comments.  I can assure you that the basket weave is less that perfect, but it really isn’t that difficult to pipe, just time consuming—and the overall effect is really what makes it work.  Actually waaay easier than smoothing a cake!  My piping skills (especially writing) are terrible and since my hubby’s grandmother wanted “Happy Anniversary” or something else written on the cake, I couldn’t leave it bare, so I opted for sugar pearls instead (again, time consuming but waay easier).  I did syrup the chocolate cakes with the milk chocolate syrup (from Deep Chocolate Passion Cake) as I made them several days ahead and was driving 3+ hours to get to the event, so I didn’t want to risk a dry cake. 

Anne—I piped the basket weave—directions in TCB.  Also, I used leaves from my apple tree for the cake.  Also, it’s a strange effect of the frosting/shadows (not sure) but the frosting is the same on the top/basketweave/shells, so I’m not sure what happened but it does appear different in color.  For sure the top could be a different color because I sometimes use a warm spatula on the top to smooth and that sometimes melts the frosting and slightly alters the color.

Julie—it was actually the chocolate leaves that I thought should have been thicker (so I couldn’t see the cake)—I did a version of La Porcelaine for my parents’ anniversary and it was hot and humid here and those roses did not want to dry out at all—I ended up putting them in a sealed container with silica gel in an adjacent bowl to help with the drying.  It worked.  I actually have silica gel in the small dish with the finished cake (in rubbermaid container) to help with any condensation.  It’s been so humid here that when I take finished cakes from the fridge (even when covered) there is enough condensation that forms on the inside of the container that it drips onto the cake.  I really liked the Light Whipped Ganache with the cake—one of my faves too.  Next time I’m going to leave it chill overnight and see how that works.  There is no way at 65F that my frosting looked like what Rose was spreading on the Chocolate Feather Beds in RHC—mine was soupy! 

Kathleen—I bet that combo was fantastic—I’ve been trying to find an excuse to make one of the coconut cakes!

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Posted: 17 July 2010 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Silica gel- what a great idea! Is it available for purchase?

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Posted: 17 July 2010 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Sherrie, gorgeous cakes! Very pretty!

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Posted: 17 July 2010 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Sherrie, these are both so stunning! Amazing work! I love the white roses on the shiny gloss—will probably steal this one from you smile

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Posted: 17 July 2010 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I got the silica gel from Michaels in the flower drying section.  I don’t believe it’s edible.  You could probably save all those little packets from pill bottles etc. but they sometimes have a funny odor.

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