Now that everyone knows I'm decorating cakes, I've been named the official cake-maker for every body's birthday in my office. One of my co-workers had a birthday last week.
My boss asked me to make a cake for him so we could celebrate. The birthday "boy" also asked me to make him one to bring home and share with his family, not knowing that I was already going to make him one for work. He had the recipe for Martha Stewart's Orange and Almond Cake and politely asked if I could try it. I said that I was certainly up for the challenge.
Monday was my cake class. Tuesday I went to our local co-op to get organic oranges and almonds. I boiled the oranges for 2 hours (which is really a weird thing to do) and ground the almonds into fine powder. I also baked two small cakes for his surprise cake. He's a musician, so my idea had been to create a large music note. I frosted those with chocolate buttercream left over from the week before.
Wednesday I rushed home from work to blend the oranges. I didn't have a food processor that was big enough, and it was quite entertaining. Blenders don't like oranges, especially the peels. I finally managed to get the 3 cups-worth that the recipe required and baked the cake.
Trying to be a multi-tasker, I also made the orange topping that his requested cake required. That meant 20 more minutes of boiling orange chunks. I didn't assemble the cake since I knew he was eating it two days later and didn't want it to get soggy. I didn't take any photos, but it looked yummy.
Back to his music note - I frosted it and covered it with fondant. At this point it was close to 10 pm, I believe. I cut out stars from fondant and quickly assembled it. I was messy - and again, I didn't plan for this cake as well as I should have. Upon reflection, I realized that I should have covered the cake with only one piece of fondant, as opposed to the multiple coverings on each piece. I have since invested in some pearl dust for decorating. I wanted to add metallic effects the entire time I was decorating, but had nothing to do it with.
Both cakes were successes. Paul said the orange cake was delicious, but recommended using fewer oranges (I only used 4.5 out of the 6). He said he ate it with whipped cream and the cream was a nice addition (I would have done the same thing!!).
The music note-cake was probably too chocolaty - but I was trying to use up what I had. I believe that the co-workers enjoyed it. It's always good to have some sugar to look forward too during the day. I was just relieved to have two more cakes under my belt