Sunday, May 22, 2005

Wedding Cake Update-II

On Saturday, I made my third (and hopefully last) batch of Neoclassic buttercream. This time, I was smart and used an instant thermometer to check if the syrup reached softball stage. The outcome was the best buttercream I have made yet; firm in consistency, creamy in color and not at all buttery in taste. At the very end of this journey, I feel like I have finally learned how to make buttercream. Now I keep asking myself if I should make another batch to replace the one that seemed a little runny? I guess I will decide after I see how it looks after defrosting. Maybe the overall consistency will be acceptable when I mix all three batches together.

Today's plan was to bake the first half of the 14" cake. I had leftover egg whites from the buttercream to use for the cake. (In retrospect, I am glad for my switch to a white butter cake. Egg yolks for the buttercream and whites for the cake balance out. Otherwise, the number of yolks used for the finished cake would be close to 150, and what was I to do with all those egg whites? You can eat only so many meringue cookies, right?) Anyway, I took a midday nap today which is quite unusual for me. When I got up, I immediately started to make the cake. I guess I was not really awake, because I made 2 careless mistakes. First, I mixed all the milk with egg whites (only 1/4th of it was to be mixed with egg whites). I tried to remedy this as best as I could and continued preparing the batter. Half an hour into baking, I observed that the cake was trying to peak, and to my horror, I realized that I had forgotten to use the magistrips that help the cake to rise uniformly. Well, at that point, there was nothing I could do about that. Fortunately, the cake leveled out after I took it out of the oven. I think the size also helped a little bit, things could have been worse had I been baking a smaller cake. As I write this, I am waiting for the cake to cool down completely, so that I can wrap it airtight and put it the freezer.

I am very grateful that things are proceeding the way they are in spite of my careless mistakes. For me, this is nothing short of a miracle.