Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's a Party a Minute Around Here

Well, now. Get out the party hats and bring on the cake. What a busy weekend - another graduation party, (congratulations Matthew!) my birthday today, and Father's day on Sunday.

I'm making the cake. I know, I know - several of you have pleaded with me to quit putting pictures of food that is the devil incarnate as far as healthy eating is concerned, but sorry. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

How sorry? Keep reading. I know I'M sorry.

So I started by baking a from-scratch sour cream white cake. Then I brushed the top with this:

Oh. My. Gosh. Even the bottle cap is gorgeous.

I've never had Chambord - a unbelievably delightful black raspberry liqueur - before. My liver would only let me have a teensy taste, but boy howdy. Mmmmm.

So I brushed the cake with Chambord, then spread a layer of raspberry preserves over the liqueur. THEN whipped up a batch of my favorite buttercream frosting EVER. It's called vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, and you can read the recipe I used here. There's all sorts of versions of it all over the place. First you warm egg whites and sugar and a pinch of salt over a bain marie. Mom would call it a double boiler, but I'm just so stinkin' proud of myself that I can use that term that I simply HAD TO.

Then, you beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

Hang onto your hats here, folks. Next you beat in ONE POUND OF UNSALTED GRADE AA BUTTER.

This is why we don't do so well at our Weight Watchers meeting weigh-ins, Julia.

This frosting is ultra smooth and not terribly sweet and just the best frosting I have ever tasted. The first time I tasted it, I wanted to sit down right there on the floor and cry.


So I spread it over the cake and raspberry layer, then popped it into the refrigerator to chill. Yeah - the edges are really rough but the beauty of this frosting is that when it's chilled, you can smooth it out easily.

So good so far, I thought.

Silly me.

Since the main event for this cake is actually Matthew's high school graduation, and since he requested the cake be decorated in his school's colors - red and black, I tried to do some interesting decorating. And, um.....I guess you could call the results, um...... interesting.

So Mr. Duff - I know that you're supposedly the latest and greatest in cake chefs, but listen up, Mister. This can? That I paid waaaay too much for and is clearly labeled as RED CAKE GRAFFITI? Do you notice that it's actually either pink when lightly sprayed or ORANGE when it's sprayed heavily, hm? Did we notice that the color ON the can is distinctly not the color IN the can??

This was distinctly a problem since Matt's school's arch rival's colors are ORANGE. I sprinkled red crystalized sugar over the top but.....well...yikes.

We have an orange cake here, people. I know that it doesn't matter that there's an unbelievably delicious cake underneath all this orange goo since everyone at the party is going to take one look at the thing and ask why it's not RED.

I should have left it white. It's all Duff's fault.

There's lots of other junk snazzy other things that I am going to slap on this atrocity later on today.

See that white foil envelope up in the right corner? It's a sheet of black candy paper. You're supposed to be able to cut out shapes from it and then lay them artfully on the frosting.

Sure. Uh huh.

I'll put some pictures up of the finished project later. Maybe. If I haven't taken the stupid thing and thrown it out of the kitchen window.

Oops, Matt! So sorry, I simply don't know what happened! Would you just LOOK at all that cake splattered all over my lawn......I'll just hop over to Rose's deli and pick up something......well, hello carrot cake....wait. RED velvet. Definitely.


Leslie at SugarAndSpiceADK. said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JULIA! Thank you for all that you do!!

annie said...

I regularly read Annie's Eats, among other food blogs. Your cake looks wonderful and I'm sure the taste will be are quite the baker! Have a great birthday and a great party, Julia, and I second Leslie's thank you.

Amy Junod said...

Who cares what color it is...move over and someone hand me a fork! I'm goin' in!
Have a very happy birthday!

Amy Junod said...

Actually, I would be just as content sitting on the couch with a spoon and the bowl of icing.

Tricia said...

Happy BIrthday, Julia! Fantastic cake!

Karen said...

Why didn't Sarah get one of these? We would have let you practice on her grad cake!! Enjoy...and have a happy birthday.

Terese said...

Over here!....Over here!.....Our HS colors are orange and black! Bring the cake over here!!!

May said...

If you like Chambord, you must have a Kir Royale to celebrate. It is a little bit of chambord or cassis (sp? --cherry liquor) with champagne with a twist of lemon! Who doesn't love a pink, berry/cherry flavored, fizzy drink?