Butterfly Cake
Posted: 03 November 2008 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Ta da! Having overcome my problems with the Mousseline Buttercream as discussed in the thread “Very Melty Buttercream in Arizona” (except I don’t live there but in tropical Singapore which is even hotter) I created this cake for my step-brother’s marriage ceremony yesterday evening using a subtly citrus-flavoured sponge, filled and frosted with the passionfruit version of the mousseline buttercream from TCB - and I can’t say enough things about how wonderful it tastes!! (But as you will see from the details below, that’s just my own opinion)

My deepest gratitude to everyone including Julie and Hector and all the others for their advice and extensive notes on this forum and the blog about how to deal with the mousseline buttercream, and of course to Rose for her wonderful recipes.

As for the cake deco itself - modelled after the butterfly cake featured in The Whimsical Bakehouse - I suffer from lack of self-discipline… looking at the finished product, I reckon moderation in number of elements is key. The roses on top of the cake are a bit of an overkill and the colours a touch garish. If I had to do it again I’d probably skip the roses on top or, go with just one colour for a more elegant finish. Having said that, however, I have never really been able to stop myself from over-adding deco to a cake!!

I was quite disappointed with the actual serving of the cake, however, chiefly due to the serving staff at the hotel:
1. The cake had to go into the restaurant’s chiller while the rest of the ceremony and dinner took place and despite several reminders to bring it out for display just as everyone finished the main course, they did not bring the cake out until everyone had completed the meal and waited around for a while, and thus it was hastily plonked in front of the bride and groom
2. When the cake was sent back to be sliced and served, they emerged on HOT plates (they must have just come out of the dishwasher) so buttercream and roses formed colourful puddles next to each slice
3. Serving staff had carefully OVERTURNED each candy butterfly onto the hot serving plates, so we had messy-side-up melty butterflies that could not be turned over due to their extreme softness
4. Anyway subsequently most folk scraped aside all the lovely mousseline buttercream and just ate the sponge which they claimed to enjoy - but I guess to each his own… to me, the cake had to be paired with the buttercream otherwise it was relatively plain.

I was quite proud of the end result (despite the colour overdose) but am not sure I’d go to this much trouble again for an adult’s celebration cake esp. if most people are going to scrape off the frosting.  It seems to me that guests here (especially the more mature folk) appreciate a good plain carrot or fruit cake or something like that, more than a fancy buttercreamed and decorated cake.  Most of them wouldn’t even try the frosting the minute they hear it’s buttercream - it screams “fat” and “cholesterol” to them. 

I had a much more satisfying time when my son and his cousins were tasting the test cakes and declaring the buttercream absolutely delicious.  Now off to make cupcakes for the kiddos to finish off all the leftover buttercream… they’ll be much more appreciated methinks!  My son has requested passionfruit MBC for his 6th birthday cake this weekend and he’ll definitely be eating the frosting grin

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Posted: 03 November 2008 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think you did a great job on the cake. Congratulations!!! I’m sorry the guests didn’t eat the buttercream, it’s their loss. They missed out on a great tasting buttercream. You should be proud of your son, he appreciates quality. Re the hot plates, I remember Hector had a similar experience and he said the melted buttercream tasted so good. (Correct me if I’m wrong Hector.)

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Posted: 04 November 2008 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Isn’t it disappointing when things don’t go as planned?  I had a similar experience at my son’s wedding .  His bride has a son from a previous marriage and to save him feeling left out I ordered a cake with a picture of the three of them printed on the top. It was to be placed next to the beautiful wedding cake for all to see, but especially for Michael.  However the kitchen staff had different ideas, and when I enquired where Michael’s cake was they showed it to me , all cut up and ready to be served to those who didn’t want the formal cake!  I could have cried, all my good thoughts and planning gone to waste, and no-one saw the picture cake except me and the kitchen staff.  I can see you have been very busy and your cake looks wonderful,  your son is very lucky to have someone so proficient to make his birthday cake.

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Posted: 04 November 2008 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Congratulations on a wonderful cake!  It is so festive, it makes me smile to look at it.  How did you make the butterflies?

I really don’t get people who refuse to eat frosting (pie crust is another item that frequently gets left behind) without tasting it first.  I have seen Moms who left every single bite of pie crust on their plate without trying it, and that was after their daughter made the pie (from Rose’s divine cream cheese pie crust).  I felt like telling her what she was missing and that she should really try the smallest bite, but I didn’t want to call attention to the fact that she wasn’t eating her daughter’s proudly baked pie and risk hurt feelings.  I guess it just goes to show how prevalent poor versions of frosting and pie crust are, that people categorically won’t touch them.

And I’m truly sorry about the serving situation!

Hurray for your son, he’s learning to appreciate truly fine food!  Before long, he’ll be disappointed with shortening-based/powdered sugar frostings and leave it behind (AFTER tasting it).

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Posted: 04 November 2008 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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What a beautiful cake! The butterflies are so pretty, and your roses too. It’s a pity about the serving staff though. And I understand about some poeple not touching the buttercream, but it’s their loss…they missed out on a fabulous treat. I have found that the passionfruit buttercream is not a hands down crowd pleaser though; it seems some people just do not particularly care for the flavor. They don’t dislike it but they just think it’s “different” compared to the usual fruit/citrus/chocolate flavors.

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Posted: 04 November 2008 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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great job on the chocolate method butterflies.

my thought on the MBC: maybe people thought it was going to be that yucky shortening faire and decided to avoid it altogether?

secondly, if your bride paid for cake service she needs to dispute the charge. cake served on warm plates? ridiculous!

beautiful cake!

jen

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Posted: 04 November 2008 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks everyone for your comments and support!  It really means a lot to have everyone’s encouragement.  The chocolate butterflies were made with Wilton candy melts according to the instructions in the Whimsical Bakehouse book.  And, the cake wasn’t a paid job… it was my gift to my stepbrother upon his marriage.  I don’t think anyone minded or cared about the cake display or serving situation except me… the baker is the most particular, as is usually the case, isn’t it tongue laugh

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Posted: 06 November 2008 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I love the butterflies!  I have decided that my cakes from now one will come equiped with a security guard.  The warm plate thing would have driven me to a temper tantrum in the hotel kitchen.  I wrote about the poor treatment of one of my recent cakes on the thread Cake Security under Kitchen Chatter.  Maybe we could form a volunteer group like the Guardian Angels to protect our cakes.

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Posted: 06 November 2008 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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It’s so easy to get carried away when you’re in the “creative zone”.  wink

I’m sorry your cake was handled so carelessly by the serving staff.  I absolutely love your butterflies - they are so beautiful!!!!

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Posted: 07 November 2008 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I think your cake is beautiful.  Although I do suscribe to the “less is more” style of cake decoration…I always always always find myself getting carried away.  I think you did an amazing job!

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Posted: 07 November 2008 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thank you Bill! 

Bill - 07 November 2008 09:39 PM

Although I do suscribe to the “less is more” style of cake decoration…I always always always find myself getting carried away.

And, this absolutely describes me… it’s the leftover decorations that are the killers, hahaha.  A little bit of this and that, I am always tempted (and lost the battle) to add them to the cake too!

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Posted: 07 November 2008 09:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Little Island:
I sent you a private message…click on the private message above

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