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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Learning to Cater...

The last three weekends I have had some type of catering responsibility.  First the wedding cake, then a morning tea birthday party and last weekend a 70th birthday buffet lunch for 40 people.  I am learning a lot! 

Over-catering is easy to do and we live in a society that tends to do just this, which sadly means a waste of money time and food!  This is something I am working on.  I have realized it is easier to do when you have finger foods or canapes or you are plating the dinner yourself, otherwise it is hard to know how much people will eat.  Generally you can expect guests to eat 4-6 peices of food and also you can know exactly how much should fill a person up.  With buffet style things I am learning this is a lot harder...go figure there was a lot of salad left over!

As for me and catering, I have decided I would probably be better at making specific items for people such as a cheesecake or a cake.  I think I might have to stick with the 10 people dinner parties or smaller until I get a better functioning kitchen!

Although the next BIG tablenosh event is for 30 people...I am throwing a Tablenosh One Year celebration/birthday party on April 30th.  If you are interested in coming book yourself a spot now!

Monday, March 7, 2011

My first wedding cake!

So, about a month ago a young couple we know called me to see if I would be willing to make their wedding cake!  They were having a fairly low budget wedding and said anything would, it has been a dream of mine to make a wedding cake before I die, little did I know it would come before I had even taken a class!  Obviously I said yes and then decided I might as well give it my best shot.  I emailed the woman who made my cake in the US and asked for her help and also sought help from my cousin who has just gotten into making cakes.  They were both VERY helpful!

After the practice round last weekend I took a short break and then got back into making the REAL thing!  I started baking on Thursday night for a Saturday wedding.  I was going for 3 tiers, two would be chocolate with a raspberry glaze and filled with vanilla custard cream and raspberries.  The middle tier was a Lemon Sour Cream Cake with a raspberry glaze and filled with lemon custard cream.  The icing was Swiss Meringue Buttercream with a hint of Maple. I am just not a fan of fondant icing or icing that does not taste good.  However I now realize it is VERY hard to get this icing smooth...I did not quite figure it out, I will have to learn the trick next time.

So Thursday night I made the first batch of cakes, basically I had to make six cakes, two of each size.  I also made the frosting and started on the mascarpone custard filling (which I must admit is a Leila Original and a favorite!).  To make the swiss meringue buttercream frosting you use a LOT of egg whites and butter and begin by whisking the eggwhites and the sugar over heat until it reaches a certain temperature and the sugar can dissolve.  The you whip the eggwhites until glossy peak form.  I must add I am EXTREMELY thankful for the new mixer I bought last week, I am not really sure how I operated without it!  Next you add the butter and keep mixing until it begins to look SO smooth and delicious.

Friday I finsihed baking the other four cakes, they all seemed to turn out pretty good.  I finished off the custard filling, made the raspberry glaze and started to ice the cakes.  I needed to have each tier iced and filled so they could go in the fridge overnight.

Saturday morning I got up and made another small batch of frosting and then I hit a problem...I could NOT get the frosting the same color as the day before.  I ended up trying to re-ice all 3 cakes...with a very THIN layer of icing.  As you can notice from my picture, there is a little bit of a two-toned look happening! Oops.
I put wooden dowels through each tier and then boxed each section up and got ready to transport.  Needless to say I was feeling a little nervouse about the drive!  But they all made it safe and sound. 

Once I got to the church reception site I unloaded and set out to stack the cakes and do the final decorations.  I went with a very simple 'pearl' border since I was going to use fresh flowers to decorate it as well.

I managed to get all the tiers stacked and the icing as smooth as possible, I am still sad about my 'two-toned' look but hey what can ya do!  Here is another picture of the final product. 
This is Scott one of our friends who claims the cake was also really yummy!  Yay!  First wedding cake what next?