Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Practice Makes Perfect August 29, 2010

Having offered to make a wedding cake for my friends Ruby and Lee (congratulations on the engagement!), I am in full-on research and planning mode. This means making practice cakes. Lots of practice cakes.

 

So here is my first attempt, a lemon syrup-soaked sponge, with lemon curd buttercream, fondant icing, and tiny jasmine flowers, which I made for my parents’ silver wedding anniversary. The design is from Mich Turner’s ‘Couture Wedding Cakes’ and I think it turned out beautifully. I had to go against all my clumsy impulses to make the smooth white fondant as flawless as possible, and the painstaking piping and sticking of the sugar flowers was certainly a challenge, but overall I was really pleased with my first proper cake!

 

The plan for the wedding is to make three tiers, potentially blocked with fresh flowers, so I had a small arrangement of white, green and silver made for this cake to see how it would look.

 

I wish I had taken a picture of the cake after it had been cut, the pale buttercream and lemon cake looked really lovely together, and you will just have to take my word that had a really delicious lemony flavour!

 

I wonder what I am going to try for my next practice… Anyone need a single tier iced cake??

 

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Daring Bakers Challenge August 2010: Nutty and toasty meets cool and creamy… August 27, 2010

Recipe: Petits Fours

 

 

 

 

 

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

 

So, another month, another new dessert to try with the Daring Bakers. When given the coice of a baked alaska or petits fours, i knew straight away that it had to be the mini sweets! I love the petits fours at fancy restaurants, and jumped at the chance to make some of my own!

 

I decided to make individual sized brown butter pound cakes, rather than one large cake. This helped me to control the cooking so each cake was evenly browned, and the edges were nice and sharp. I absolutely loved the cake and it was so easy to make. I am in love with pretty much anything with brown butter as an ingredient, and the nutty flavour of the butter was really prominent in these little cakes. I am now coming upwith all sorts of uses for this recipe, it is definitely a keeper!

 

 

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