My first “wedding cake tasting”
Posted: 13 July 2008 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I just had my first requested “cake tasting” for a bride who is the daughter of a friend.  I was so nervous about it, but it worked out very well - the house was spotless, the kids were invisible, and the bride and groom devowered everything.  The bride to be had vanilla cake in mind to begin with, but didn’t mind if I offered additional flavors for them to try.  For the buttercream, they were open to anything but coffee.  So I make a 9” layer of white velvet cake and golden almond cake - she like the white, he the almond smile.  He was very smart and let his future bride ultimately decide the cake flavor.

I made one batch of Mousseline and flavored it 7 ways - vanilla, vanilla bean, strawberry, raspberry, lemon, chocolate, and pistachio.  I used the French Essence I purchased at La Cuisine for the strawberry and pistachio flavors - they both absolutely loved the pistachio, but thought it might not be as widely enjoyed by their guests as some of the other flavors.  The next two flavors they liked the most were strawberry and chocolate - they contemplated choosing alternating tiers of each, but chose the strawberry in the end because they said it was more “summery”. 

Btw, the strawberry essence is a super dark ruby color and it’s very liquid-y like an extract; the pistachio essence is a dark caramel color and is very thick - I wasn’t sure the little dropper would be able to suck any out of the bottle, but it did (I had to green up the bc with a few drops of green food color).

I didn’t think to take any photos, but I arranged little scoops of the various buttercreams on a plate using my mini portion scoop - it looked like an artists pallet.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You have taken your wedding cake business one step further. Congratulations Patrincia!
It also sounds very yummy smile
Does the pistachio essence taste like pistachio? I am a big pistachio fan but I find essences too “artificial”, so to speak. Probably because I have never had access to the real thing…

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Posted: 13 July 2008 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Wow, Patrinicia! That sounds like it went very well!
I am very impressed you offered 7 flavors of mousseline from which to choose ~ they all sounds great, but I am very excited to try the pistachio.
Great work.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Patrincia,

Sounds absolutely lovely, what a lucky couple! 

Just curious, could you taste the difference between the vanilla extract version and the vanilla bean version when mixed into the mousseline?  And did you leave out the liqueur on all of these (other than what is included for a base with the extracts)?  Did you agree with the couple about liking the pistachio best? 

Such lovely choices you gave them!

Thanks,
Julie

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Posted: 14 July 2008 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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congratulations patrincia.  I am also getting addicted to la cuisine’s r french essences which by the way are all natural.

i’ve just had the first tasting of ho made kahlua, well welcomed.  next tasting is the pistachio liqueur, made with la cuisine’s… it is starting to smell like amaretto mixed with frangelico, which is how it is supposed to be.

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Posted: 14 July 2008 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Rachel - thanks so much.  I totally obsessed before hand, but in the end it worked out really well.

Marina - yes, the pistachio essence smells and tastes just like pistachio… no artificial flavor or aftertaste.  Imported from France, all natural… very expensive - $15 for 2 ounces.

Julie - there was a slight difference between the vanilla extract and vanilla bean versions - the vanilla bean being a little more “round” in flavor (if that makes any sense).  Yes, I did omit all liqueur (as I usually do), and just flavored the mousseline with purees, essence, curd, and chocolate.  I am a huge pistachio fan, but I liked the strawberry version the best - the essence in combination with the fruit puree made for an amazingly intense strawberry flavor!  The pistachio version was made only with the pistachio essence, and it was an experiment (my first time using the p essence).

Hector - you must tell me more about your homemade kahlua and pistachio liqueur… details please smile.

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Posted: 14 July 2008 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Please don’t quote me on this one, as I don’t know how healthy it is, or how long it will safely store at room temperature.  I am suspecting it will store for ever, as it doesn’t have any dairy, and it is high in alcohol and sugar.  Many people recommend using a 100 proof vodka, instead (for higher alcohol/preservation.

It is recommended you refrigerate home made liqueurs, but I prefer not to, as refrigeration take away flavor.  I am hoping the high alcohol content and storing in vacuum will do.  Must be kept in a dark place away from light.

At this point, I think buying the real Kahlua is less expensive than making your own with Absolute Vodka and maintaining a $700 espresso machine!  I believe using a less expensive vodka will do (but must still be good quality).  Regarding using brewed coffee instead of espresso shots, I am no judge as my decision is already impartial to espresso shots.  Espresso shots are more flavorful, have less caffeine, and is less bitter, than brewed coffee (of course espresso shots done the right way and with the right roast).

KAHLUA - COFFEE LIQUEURS

1 cup of espresso shots (about six 1.33 oz lungo shots)
1.25 cup sugar (used Maui turbinado)
1 cup of water
2 cups vodka (used absolute 80 proof, but many other recipes recommend a 100 proof)
1/2 vanilla bean (split)

Make simple syrup with sugar and water in a pot with a tight fitting heavy lid.  Cover tightly and cool completely.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Store in a bottle away from light and heat.  After 2-4 weeks, strain out the vanilla bean.
Used a Kahlua bottle, filled to the rim, and after planning to use vacuum cap

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Posted: 15 July 2008 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hector,

Thanks for sharing your homemade kahlua recipe!  Do you also have details for the Pistachio? 

I have made praline liqueur by taking Rose’s recipe for homemade praline powder and mixing it first with just enough hot water to dissolve the caramelized sugar (about 1-2 tablespoons for a half cup of powder), then when cool adding about 1/4 cup vodka (or cognac or rum).  Becuase of the nuts, it is cloudy and needs to be strained before using, but it works well for the liqueur called for in Mousseline or Genoise syrup.

Best,
Julie

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Posted: 15 July 2008 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Patricia, great idea to present them with so many different flavours of bc. I did the same thing when I made my brother’s wedding cake. Are you considering starting your own wedding cake business? You should…....you are so good at it.

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Posted: 15 July 2008 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Well, that wasn’t my intent, but it seems to be turning into that… thank you to Rose’s recipes smile.

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