Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Antique Book Cake with Yellow Vanilla Bean Cake and Vanilla Buttercream

Quick question:  Does this look like a book?

Hopefully it does!  But it's not!  It's all CAKE!

I look in amazement and smile at this thing every single time I pass it sitting on my counter.  I made this.  

I stared at it for over a day before I finished it (had to 'title' the darn thing) and let's face it, I stink at writing on cakes (if anything blew my cover it was the writing on the cake...).   After a 4 hour cake class with Michelle Bommarito this weekend, I came home with this.  It truly is a work of art.  (This took me WAAY more than 4 hours to complete folks...this does not include baking the cake, making the frosting, or completing the darn thing...)

I must say though, I struggled a bit through the class.  On top of the fact that I work extremely slow:  I, a home baker, and cake novice, practically a no-body at this point, was surrounded by other cake bakers or should I say, cake bussiness/cake decorators/cake artists extraordinaer (someone help me spell this?).  It was humbling at best.

There I was, knowing nearly nothing.  Wondering what mess I got myself into this time and how on earth was I going to pull this off without looking like a total fool.  You know what she said when she came to my work station and saw my Williams Sonoma rolling pin?  "Yea, that rolling pin?  It looks like Susie Homemaker, you have to get rid of that!"  THINK Courtney, THINK..."Ummm", I stammered..."It was a wedding gift".  "  "Baby (she called all of us Baby), get yourself one of these," she say's pointing to a long wooden rolling pin.  I nodded, "I will. I will".

Humor aside, the class was not short of fabulous.  An eye opener to many things other than JUST cake.  Michelle is a true bussiness woman, and I admire her work very much. She worked with everyone on their cakes and spoke quickly in between helping.  It was so much fun and I can't wait to sign up for another class.  I kept thinking, I wonder what it would be like to work in her bakery.  I'd be lucky if she helped me wash her dishes.

Anyway, all you care about is the cake right?

Here we go:  The cake is made of a 9x13 sheet cake.  I carved out the areas to make it look like a book binding, iced the cake, covered it in chocolate fondant, then use tylose mixed with fondant (tylose stiffens up the fondant to the point that makes it dry extremely hard--if you throw it, it will shatter) to make the binding squares.  I used a clay imprinter to make the design on the squares that I borrowed from another student (God bless America).  I then 'painted' the book with clear vanilla extract for sheen.  I used gold disco dust to 'paint' the binding squares then adhered them to the cake.  I wrote on the cake with white royal icing--I know...I need to find a new method- OR- just work on my writing method period.  My Wilton cake instructor always said, "Don't stall when writing on the cake....just keep moving".  It's great advice...now I just need to practice.

Even after this cake sat on my counter for a couple of days...when I cut it...it was still moist.  This is one of the best yellow cake recipes I have used thus far.  Super flavorful, great crumb texture and ultra moist.  I really love the vanilla bean flavor coming through.  It's a surprise, but I haven't made it since my "future sister in laws" birthday 2 years ago!  I think I need to bring this recipe back into my regular rotation because it's the best I have tried thus far.

For the cake recipe, click here.


AllThingsYummy said...

That's amazing. Truly is a work of art. Can't wait to see what else you make.

Dana said...

Oh my gosh, that looks amazing!! You did a fabulous job! I am going to have to sign up for one of her classes!

Sweet as Coco said...

Thanks Dana! You should have joined us! It was a lot of fun!

ginger said...

I just had to comment on this post because it's a beautiful cake. Great job!