All posts by Nancy Oster

Lilikoi Chiffon Cake

And here it is! The final Lilikoi Chiffon Cake. The flavor of Adam’s childhood in a cake.

People who weren’t really tired of eating the numerous variations of passion fruit filling that preceeded this final cake told me it was really good. Even Kris and Shaun, who have eaten several versions, said they want it for their special reception in September.

Those are white chocolate curls on top. I think I’ve finally mastered the chocolate curl technique.

The orchids were more challenging than I’d expected. They didn’t hold up well, even though they were inserted into a tube of water. but they certainly fit the Hawaiian theme of the wedding and the cake.

Lavender Rose Petal Cake

This cake is light pink with white borders. The rose petals on top were picked from Kris’ mom’s garden, brushed tenderly with egg white and lightly dipped in superfine sugar. Then they were dried until crisp as a rose petal potato chip.

I woke up the morning of the wedding worried that the mousseline filling would soften and leak out through the Italian buttercream sides. So I took what was left of the taster cake out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 4 hours to reassure myself that this would not happen. It didn’t and the buttery cake with the buttery filling and buttery frosting was… well, exquisitely delicious.

Kris said this looked like a fairy princess cake. I carefully placed flecks of real gold leaf on the rose petals, lavender buds, and border, for a magical touch of fairy dust. (You can see it if you click on the photo and then click again on the enlarged image.)

Adam chose the tiles these cakes are placed on. They made an elegant presentation.

Chocolate Chipotle Cake

This is the actual wedding cake. As a result of its popularity, there are no photos of the taster cakes.

The chipotle is in the cake batter. The filling is vanilla bean and cinnamon-flavored chocolate ganache.

The coating is a pourable chocolate ganache. I was having a difficult time getting it to the consistency I wanted for pouring AND setting, so this one can never be re-created exactly. It’s a mixture of several batches of different recipes… good thing I knew what I was doing.

The top is bordered with shaved chocolate curls, then decorated with marigold petals and chocolate nibs. There is a Day of the Dead bridal couple at the center, which Dave didn’t get into the photo… a warning that this cake is not meant for the faint of heart. It begins as a smoky tingle of heat on your second bite, but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone from finishing it.

Good with beer or a dark red wine. There aren’t many wedding cakes you say that about!

Rose Petal Taster

Time to move on to the lavender rose petal cake. The filling for this cake is rose lavender chamomile mousseline. Mousseline means pastry cream with lots of butter beaten into it. Melt in your mouth delicious.

I decided to use an Italian Buttercream frosting (Italian meringue, with lots of butter beaten into it). However, I wanted it to taste like roses, so I pulled a jar of my homemade burgundy-colored rose petal syrup out of the freezer and heated it to soft ball to beat into the white Italian meringue. I actually had to call Dave over to watch this because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As I poured the deep red syrup into the glistening white meringue, the meringue turned bright green, right before our eyes.

It took a LOT of red food coloring to bring it to this shade of pink.

My friend, Coral, at The Berry Man offered me a bottle of intensely fragrant organic rose syrup to try as an alternative to rose water. (Rose water didn’t turn the frosting as green, but it didn’t add much fragrance.) Coral’s syrup folded into the buttercream at the end, gave the frosting a delightful fragrance without the intense green coloring… the light yellow green tinge was easily converted to pink with a much smaller amount of food coloring.

Kathi’s Cake

My friend Kathi happened to have a birthday during the two weeks of cake development. She mentionned that she liked passion fruit and I just happened to have a batch of passion fruit filling and some cake layers on hand. All we needed were the candles.

At this point I had perfected the frosting, which is a combination of heavy cream and mascarpone. It makes a nice light contrast to the complex intensity of the passion fruit filling.

Creating More Wedding Cakes

Adam’s and Cindy’s wedding was this past Saturday, two weeks after Shaun’s and Kris’ wedding. They wanted Chocolate Chipotle, Lavender Rose Petal, and Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Chiffon 10″ cakes.

I started working on the passion fruit filling right away since I’d already been working on chocolate chipotle and lavender rose petal cake versions leading up to Shaun’s wedding.

Adam wanted the taste of Lilikoi Chiffon Pie, so I found a recipe and converted the filling to a cake filling. By the time I got it right, we were pretty sick of eating passion fruit cakes. Here is one of the taster cakes. It’s actually decorated like a lavender rose petal cake because I hadn’t decided how to decorate the Lilikoi cake yet and I happened to have one rose blooming in the garden so I figured I’d practice lavender rose petal decoration at the same time.

The Wedding

Shaun and Kris head to the ocean with an offering for the Goddess of the ocean in celebration of their marriage. The wedding party followed with more roses.

Tourists on the beach were seen videotaping the procession.

A large playful wave sent our roses back onto the beach and got a lot of us wet as we ran for dry sand, laughing and happy that we were on the beach in California on a warm August day.

A good day for sure.

Note: These photos were taken by by nephew, JP (Evan) Ruwe. Great, aren’t they?

Lavender Mousse Cakes

This is how the final lavender rose mousse cakes looked on the plates we used to serve them at the wedding. No meltdowns.

Unfortunately you can’t see the flecks of real edible gold that Jessie applied carefully with a paint brush to each crystalized rose petal.

Kathy and Barbara helped me pipe the white chocolate decorations, which Barb placed carefully onto the cakes. Sharon and Kathy placed the crystalized rose petal and lavender buds on top before Jessie applied the gold flakes. I ran back and forth to the freezer exchanging finished mousse cakes for unfinished ones.

The next morning Michelann (the younger) and David came bright and early to help put the final decorations on the chocolate chipotle and lemoncello rosemary mousse cakes. JP (Evan) had the magical touch with the piped chocolate decorations so he put those on the lemoncello cakes. He must have inherited his mom’s patient decorating skills. David and I pulled flower petals off the marigolds and Michelann sliced strawberries. It all came together in record time thanks to all their help.

60 Minutes to Meltdown

I tried a test today to see how long a mini mousse cake would hold up on the counter in my 83 degree kitchen (or on the table at the wedding).

Imagine the dessert table beautifully decorated with trays of mini mousse cakes when the meal begins… 30 minutes later.

After the test we decided to put the mousses on trays and pass them to the guests direct from the refrigerator rather than set them out on the table.

The good news is the summer coating is working for the piped decoration. It’s sliding off the mousse cake, but it’s intact.

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