My friend Caroline got married the last Saturday of June. It was beautiful week – they rented a cabin at a lake in Kentucky, and there was plenty of room for everyone to sleep, play, eat, etc. It couldn’t have gone better. I did the cake. I baked it at home before I went up there, torted (sliced in half each layer so it looked like 4 layers instead of 2) each layer, and wrapped it tightly and froze it to travel. This is a good method for traveling if you need to do the same and want things fresh. I don’t have a problem freezing a cake for a short time; I don’t think it affects the flavor or the texture in any way. I froze it less than a week, but if it were longer than a month, or the freezer had other “stinky” things in it, then yes, I’d be concerned.
Everyone always asks me for a recipe that stays moist. I use the Vanilla Cake Recipe on the Sweet Wise website on the bulletin board. For Caroline’s cake, I also added some Lorann Almond Oil (just a few drops – it’s strong!), and Crème Bouquet. SERIOUS MAGIC, I’m telling you. This is the best that recipe has ever turned out!
I decided to fill this fantastic Almond Cake with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. What? Don’t call me crazy! I’ve got the tricks that will make this work, and I’ll share! First, let’s get everything ready. Another trick for making this already fabulous cake extra moist is to drizzle it with simple syrup. It’s an old Pastry Chef’s trick, and it works! There are different recipes, but the basics call for equal parts of granulated sugar and water,bring to a boil on the stove, then let chill. You can then either use as is, add a flavored liquor, add a few drops of flavor (I enhanced Caroline’s flavor with a few drops of Lorann Almond Oil), or even orange juice. Put it in a squeeze bottle, then after torting the cake, drizzle the cake with it. Not soaking, like French toast, but a little moist all over. Then I got my whipped cream ready. Yes, real whipped cream. No dairy whip, no mix, just a quart of heavy cream, then I whipped it. Once it was stiff, I added a little confectioners sugar to sweeten it, just a couple of Tablespoons. Here’s the trick to stabilizing it: ADD 3 Tablespoons of CLEAR PIPING GEL. Yes, I’m serious. That will do the trick. I made plenty of cake because I knew we’d be there several days and the leftovers would be fabulous, and Caroline said that a week later when she threw the rest out, it was still perfectly firm (refrigerated, of course)!!! I got my strawberries ready: Diced small, like peas and carrots size, or barely larger than that. I didn’t want them wet, so I cut them into a bowl with a paper towel at the bottom to absorb the liquid.
Time to assemble: Magical Almond Cake layer (torted), drizzle with Almond Simple Syrup, make a dam with butter cream icing around the edge of the cake layer so the filling doesn’t squish out. Spread stabilized whipped cream in the middle, then sprinkle with plenty of strawberries so each guest gets plenty of sweet, yummy bites of fruit. Continue to use all four cake layers; you should have 3 layers of filling. Crumb coat the whole thing with icing, then cover with Fondant (Okay, that was special, too). I used a blend of Raspberry White Chocolate Fondant and my favorite, Fondx, with just a drop of Ivory color to give a creamy white, yummy taste. (You can use Elite Bridal Ivory instead, and save yourself the hassle). TASTE: PERFECT. Design? She said she didn’t care, just plain. WHAT??!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!! YOU WON”T LET ME PLAY??!!! She only requested some Orange poppies to represent the national color of Holland for her husband to be, Robert. I ordered those in because they looked so good, but they were RED, so I painted them with Spiced Pumpkin luster dust, which worked great. Still plain, though. I used a lace silicon border to press out a nice border, dusted the whole cake with Super Pearl, and called it a day. She loved it, I was proud. I missed her walking in to see it as I was tending to something else, but she was kind enough to reenact it for me, which is another whole story in itself…….
Congratulations, Robert and Caroline! I wish you all the happiness in the world!!!