Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chocolate Rehearsal Dinner Cake

This whole 'holiday in the middle of the week' thing really throws off my schedule!  Tuesday felt like Friday, Wednesday felt like Saturday, today felt like Monday, but it also kind of feels like Friday again because I don't have to work tomorrow.  It has made for quite an abnormal work week!  The good thing about the holiday in the middle of the week was that it gave me time to work on a cake order for a rehearsal dinner that I had to deliver tonight.

A co-worker of mine recommended me to his uncle who was hosting a rehearsal dinner for some family friends.  I was given free reign to do this cake however I wanted.  The only guidelines were that it needed to be all chocolate and feed at least 30 people.  They didn't want a themed or shaped cake, just more of a fancy cake.  I decided to do a two tiered cake, with the bottom tier being completely chocolate, and the top tier was chocolate cake and icing, but with a peanut butter cream filling.  I have quite a bit of the peanut butter filling left over and it is delicious!  I may or may not have eaten several spoonfuls of it today.  For the decorating of the cake, I wanted to do large roses on the bottom tier (just like on the 4th of July cake), and simple smooth icing on the top tier.  My plan was to have 3 shades of chocolate icing, with the darkest being used for the bottom stripe of roses and the top tier, and the other two to be the middle and top stripes of roses.  As you can see in the pictures, I wasn't very successful.  It looks more like everything is one color, with the exception of the top stripe of roses. :(
To make matters worse, when I went to deliver it, the cake slid in its box when I turned the first corner and one side of roses got smooshed.  So I turned home, re-situated it and headed back out.  The rest of the ride was as smooth as I could hope for, but when I took the cake out to set it on the table, there was a spot on the top tier where the icing had cracked and drooped a little.  I tried my best to fix it with the tools I brought, but it was definitely still noticeable.  The clients seemed to be happy with it though, so I guess that's what is important.  I just hope it tastes a lot better than I think it looked.  The pictures in this post make it look a lot better than I feel it really looked.  That's my opinion anyway, and I'm probably the most critical of anything I make.

I pretty much failed at the making 3 shades of brown.  Oh well.  

In this picture you can see one of my big mistakes.  I didn't make the cake board big enough to stick out from under the icing... a.k.a. I had nothing to grab on to when I was trying to move the darn thing!  The white thing it's sitting on is a lazy susan.  You can barely see a glimpse of the foil covered cake board under the roses.  

There were a lot of things I did with this cake that I will do different next time.  I also think it's time to put a call in to Grandma for some tips on storing and transporting cakes.  I need all the help I can get!

There are no other cake orders in the near future, so hopefully I can get back to posting about house projects and other non-cake related items.  Next week you can look forward to a "Louisiana Wedding part II".  I hope you all have a great weekend and I'll check back in with you on Monday hopefully.  For now, I'm excited to celebrate this weekend!  Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler!


  1. PRIOR to doing your crumb coat, do you put your cake layers in the fridge or freezer or do you just crumb coat from room temperature cake? While you're doing your crumb coat, do you just use the spatula to do a really thin coat and not worry about tearing the cake up? I ask because, I've been having real troubles with my chocolate frosting lately. I try to thin it out enough so it's spreadable so I can ice but not so thin that it starts sort of melting in my hand. It's been kind of a battle lately. Also, I have a real problem with my cakes "sweating" if if put them in a carrier.

    1. I seem to have the most trouble with chocolate frosting too! I do put my layers in the fridge for a while (usually overnight) before stacking them and giving them a crumb coat. Then I typically put the crumb coated cake back in the fridge for maybe 30 minutes before doing the final icing. I don't ever thin the icing out for the crumb coat though. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I don know I need to work on it! Let me know if you have any tips!

    2. Haha, you're more likely to have better tips than I do. I guess I should say, I don't really "thin" my frosting I just try to get it the right consistency which I know is the biggest battle when decorating. I feel like when I put my layers in the fridge...once I take them's like a ticking time bomb before the cake starts to get sort of moist and tear up really bad while I'm frosting. I think maybe I just don't have a light enough hand. I haven't just destroyed any frosting job but the perfectionist in me wants it to look way better than it does. The other thing I was going to ask you is, after you do your final icing coat, do you let your icing sort of set up and "crisp" over or do you smooth with the paper towel right away?