Babies on the way are always exciting news, but this one in particular makes me so happy. Alice has been a sister to me, friend, confidante, mentor, and even once-employer. Her recent baby shower was a no-frills gathering of friends and featuring great food (Waffle Roost Food Truck), reflecting the priorities of Alice and Mark. Other than some flavor preferences, there weren’t any special requests for desserts. So left to my own whims and imagination, I made chocolate hazelnut mousse (with flourless chocolate cake and chocolate meringues), matcha green tea “napoleon” cakes and lemon curd strawberry buttercream mini cupcakes.
The chocolate mousse cups had a small circle of cake at the bottom, topped with the chocolate hazelnut mousse, and a cluster of meringue sticks inserted on top. Although baked until they dry out, the meringue absorbs a bit of moisture over time, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The matcha green tea cakes had layers of green tea chiffon cake, green tea pastry cream and puff pastry (one of my favorite combinations these days). I topped them with buttercream and sprinkled with matcha green tea sugar and turbinado sugar and served as small slices.
Happy birthday to me! And my friends!
During a recent weekend getaway, I was lucky enough to celebrate my 30th birthday with some dear friends, a few of whom are also turning 30 this year, and a couple of whom share July birthdays with me. So, I made each one of us a cake.
I knew I would have very limited time to decorate, so I made a batch of Italian meringue buttercream, and brought some fondant and piping gel along to the getaway in case I was struck with inspiration. The idea of representing the growth of a long friendship over time came to mind during the drive. So here is our trio of cakes to celebrate old friends:
The first is a green tea chiffon cake with green tea pastry cream and puff pastry layers, requested after I posted about that flavor combination in a previous birthday cake project.
The second is a purple yam chiffon cake with mango Bavarian cream. This one was fluffy and light. Maybe a little too light on flavor in my rush to make it.
The third is a lemon pound cake with lemon curd pastry cream and fresh strawberries. Perfect for a hot summer day!
I was asked to make an “Above & Beyond”-themed cake for a 30th birthday celebration. For those of you who don’t know (myself included, prior to this cake), A&B is a British trance group with a radio show called Group Therapy, hence the play on that name on the side of this cake.
I’d never heard of A&B before, but they have a very striking and fun rainbow theme with an album cover image that I based the cake design off of.
I’d also never made a square cake before. Or covered a square cake in fondant. Or made a cake so dependent on fondant decorations! It was an all-nighter but also a great opportunity to stretch myself and imagine what it would be like to have a custom cake business. One can dream 🙂
This cake was a matcha green tea chiffon cake, layered with thin crunchy puff pastry layers and green tea crème légère (green tea pastry cream with whipped cream). I crumb coated with plain Italian meringue buttercream and then covered with black fondant.
The ribbons and lettering were also rolled and cut fondant (with royal icing for the pound sign and numbers). I tried a new technique, the wax paper transfer method (using wax paper and shortening), to put the letters on quickly and evenly (thank you Craftsy). I also used a milk bottle cap to give the ribbons a lined texture.
Note to self: Invest in additional refrigerator or freezer space . . .