Move Over Mary Poppins!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Tipsy Birthday Cake, a three day Odyssey

My dad turned sixty a few months ago, and to celebrate, my mom took him to see Peter, Paul & Mary in Hartford. A pretty cool birthday gift, as they are one of his favorite performing groups. What he didn't know was that she planned a big surprise party for him, for three months later.

Aside from helping her to collect RSVPs, I was charged with assembling a playlist for the party, focusing on all the music my dad loves, and with making him a birthday cake.

The party was scheduled for Sunday, July 5, which gave me the whole long weekend to work on it.

On Friday, I baked the cakes, and froze them overnight (frozen then slightly thawed cakes are easier to slice for layers). What you see here is a thin 12" vanilla square, to be sliced into two layers and used as a pedestal, two 10" chocolate rounds, one thicker, to become three layers, one 8" chocolate round, one 6" vanilla round, one 4" chocolate round, and two 2" stacks, each to be three layers cakes. Normally, I'd wrap the cakes in plastic and foil to store them in the freezer, but these went in late Friday night, and came out Saturday morning, so I didn't worry about it.

Saturday was frosting day. I started with the vanilla Italian meringue buttercream for ringing and crumbing the cakes, since it's the most labor intensive, and I needed the largest quantity.
Sugar syrup coming up to temperature.
A pound and a half of cubed butter, a cup of egg whites, and vanilla extract.Meringue in the mixer.

After that, chocolate fluff buttercream and raspberry buttercreams for the fillings, and a second batch of vanilla for coloring and decorating the tiers. I got all six tiers ringed, filled, and crumbed, as well as colored before calling it a night. With a little shuffling, they all even fit in the fridge!

Sunday morning, Mark helped me rig a box to transport the partially assembled cake and additional tiers, and we packed up our stuff and headed west to my parents' house.

Between the stake I drove through the bottom three tiers, and the front flap of the box, and some judicious application of parchement paper, all six tiers arrived unscathed, and I set to work assembling and decorating.

Here's the finished cake, tilting its way up six tiers of yumminess!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, A labor of love. I hope it was a great party.

7/10/09, 3:13 PM  
Blogger brushfiremedia said...


7/10/09, 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful! When my husband and I were getting married (almost 10 years ago)we had trouble finding a baker to make this sort of cake for us because most of them weren't ready for the challenge!

Your cake is marvelous!

We found a european baker who loved making crazy wedding cakes to make ours- here it is:

7/10/09, 5:13 PM  
Blogger JDT said...

Good Lord what a beautiful cake. All that work and what a beauty to behold. I hope it was tasty...

7/11/09, 8:59 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Well done!

7/12/09, 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's genius! What a great cake! Hope your dad had a wonderful surprise party. :) samm

7/12/09, 7:17 PM  

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