Friday, May 2, 2014

From New York to New Orleans!

instagramming cakes all day every day
 There are a lot of great aspects to baking for events. For me, it's a ton of fun to go back and forth with whoever is throwing the event and figure out the perfect desserts for the occasion (and in the case of cakes, how best to flavor and decorate them). I think that the greatest part, though, is getting to feel like in some small way, I'm helping somebody celebrate. Last year, I had a sweet sixteen, and while the bakers who made the cupcakes, the people who set up the chairs before guests arrived, and the DJ's assistant weren't there during the party, they were all a part of my celebration in some way. So, I like to think that even though I'm not at some of the events my cakes go to, I'm actually contributing a little bit to their fun.
  My friend's dad is a caterer, and a few weeks ago, he asked me to make cakes for a dinner he was cooking for; it was for a couple who was moving from New York to New Orleans. They wanted three cakes centered around the theme of their trip, somehow tying in the NOLA flag and Mardi Gras colors, but the rest was basically up to me. We played around with some flavor combos, and one long night later, I had three pretty cute cakes.
Given that they were leaving New York, I figured the big city had to be represented in some way. There's nothing more symbolic of here than the "I Heart NY" logo, so I traced white chocolate shapes and painted them with gel food coloring.
 This cake was the most interesting of the three in terms of flavor - it was made up of layers of spice cake, filled with Meyer lemon curd and frosted with vanilla buttercream (as were all of the cakes).
The next cake was supposed to represent the flag of New Orleans. I'm all for gold accents, so I kept the borders simple and used edible spray paint and glitter to glam up the white chocolate fleur-de-lis. This was definitely my favorite of the three cakes!
Flavor-wise, this cake was pretty simple, but I'm sure it was also the most popular; it was a chocolate cake with whipped bittersweet chocolate ganache filling layered with fresh strawberries.
The final cake was so much fun to make. All I was told was to include Mardi Gras colors, and the rest was up to me; so I made more white chocolate shapes, this time a crown and two eye masks, and painted them gold. I sprayed the entire cake with edible purple spray paint (seriously, this stuff is awesome), and threw in a bright green border to make it pop. The cake flavor was pretty simple, but it was a yummy combination: vanilla cake with a mixed berry cream filling.
  I'm still learning when it comes to cake decorating, and there's a lot that could be improved about these, but I had a great time making them. It's easy to get totally wrapped up in this kind of thing, and although I don't even know the names of the couple, I'm so glad I got to be a little part of their goodbye! 


Cathy Z said...

these cakes are beautiful!

Sophia said...

Thank you!