Monday, November 16, 2009

The Biggest Cake Ever

I find myself making a lot of extreme statements lately. The best focaccia, the best hot chocolate, the greatest cookie icing ever, and while it might sound like slight exaggerations, this one certainly is not. This cake was meant to feed 175 people and it could have easily taken care of over 250, especially if you consider the tiny slices the caterers chopped this monstrosity into. It was a yummy lemon cake with a buttercream heavily spiked with fresh lemon curd and it was the wedding cake I made for my coworker's big day. For once I planned ahead, I went to Home Depot and had them cut down a block of wood to use as a base and I wrapped it with a pillow case (a quick pat on the back for resourcefulness), lined with saran wrap layered the freshly baked cakes and spread with the frosting I made the day before (I still have a day job you know), and decorated with white chocolate leaves I made while the cakes were baking. And then I went to pick it up. I tried, I really did, and I promise you, I'm no weakling, but I could not pick this thing up to save my life, let alone carry it down several flights of stairs to my car. I made this realization maybe an hour before I had to leave the house, with cake in tow, and carefully make my way to the land time forgot where the wedding was to be held.

Fran's Wedding Cake

I had to call for help. Luckily I have a friend that lives near by and after she stopped laughing at me, she grabbed her brother and rushed over to help load the beast into my trunk. I'll skip the story about how I got lost on the way there and saw the "Welcome to Indiana" sign 6 times before I finally found my exit, and just tell you that the cake was very well received...even if no one but the bride, the groom and the photographer saw it. You see, they ran to the cake right away for pictures and then the caterers whisked it into the kitchen to be cut. I was a little sad at first, but then I decided that as long as the cake was good and the bride was happy, I'm happy.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour curd through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd and chill until cold.

It should be made the day before you want to use it so it has enough time to set, and you can either slather it directly onto cakes, muffins, and toast, or whip it into your favorite buttercream recipe as I've done for the wedding cake. Be sure to lick the spoon, this stuff is great!

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