Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wishes and Cakes and Such

We will never win any awards for our cake decorating skill over here at BURP!... but we do luv us a creative outlet. So, sometimes we create delicious, buttery masterpieces just for fun.

This beauty was created four our newly-nine-year-old niece, Olivia.

Underneath all the glitz (and yummy chocolate glaze) is a chocolate chip pound cake filled with whipped chocolate ganache. And since we believe that even the decorations should be edible, those are made with dark chocolate.
Mmm. Probably a heart attack waiting to happen, but even the adults couldn't resist a nice big slice of this cake.
Most of the damage came from the Whimsical Bakehouse cookbook (Kaye/Liv Hansen). Not only are Kaye and her daughter, Liv, tremendously talented, but this book actually contains recipes that TASTE good.

Which brings me to a (deeply) personal rant about cake decorating (and food, in general, when it all comes down to it). I have the utmost respect for individuals who place emphasis on the presentation of food. However, when the food is ALL presentation and no flavor... I get irritated.

In the cake decorating world, I'd just like to ask: What's with the gorgeous cakes that LOOK fantastic, but that are made of completely nasty things? At the top of my list:
  1. Buttercream made without... er... BUTTER (The classic example of this horror is the frosting you'll typically find on a wedding cake -- made of sugar, shortening, and imitation vanilla. Real butter and real vanilla would turn a white cake into an OFF-white cake, so most people opt for appearance over flavor. YUK.)
  2. And don't get me started on how you don't need nasty hydrogenated oils to make a moist, flavorful cake...
  3. I am also NOT a fan of nasty, tasteless purchased fondant. Wilton, I'm talking to you. (Seriously, if you're using fondant, you've GOT to make your own... totally worth it... )
  4. Another waste is imitation butter flavor. Good for the heart, maybe, but completely wasteful in the flavor department (see #1; see, you're not fooling anyone... people CAN tell)
  5. Black and red frostings that taste horrific because they're comprised of mostly food coloring.

On the upside, if EVERY cake tasted good, I'd eat a heckofa lot more of it. And that, my friends, would not be pretty.

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  1. That cake looks so cute! I'm glad you used normal candles...the sparkly candles I used were no bueno as you can read in my blog :)

  2. Very cute cake. However, it doesn't matter how it looks when it's covered with chocolate. ;-) I'll bet it tasted yummy.

    I agree about fancy cakes vs. tasty cakes. Wedding cakes can be the worst. I know for my own wedding my first concern was a cake that tasted good. What it looked like was secondary - heck it was tertiary. I wanted people to enjoy their dessert and I sure wanted to enjoy dessert on my wedding day.

  3. Wow, that looks amazing. I mean both from a visual and a taste perspective. I know what you mean about cakes that look great but can't be eaten without a healthy dose of liquid courage... I LOVE the idea of the chocolate chip pound cake.

  4. Ready for a big slice of this one! Looks really good. And you're right...give us real butter!

  5. This cake is so fun and creative! I really love it! Plus it looks absolutely taste, which is obviously the most important part!

  6. I am completely with you on the butter imitation issue. Your decorations looked just wonderful, and the cake too!

  7. Yellow cake with chocolate chips and chocolate frosting...yumm. It looks so big and and fluffy--the batter really rose well.


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