Over the weekend I had my first wedding. I had always refused to do wedding cakes because 1) I'm not a cake decorator, and 2) they're about memories and I don't want to screw that up. But the universe aligned for this one.
I was approached just two weeks ago about the event. The conversation went something like this:
Bride: I was referred to you by my caterer because she said you do wedding cakes.
Me: Sorry, but I don't do wedding cakes.
Bride: Oh (disappointment in voice)
Me: Your caterer must have thought of me because I do pastries.
Bride: What's the difference?
Me: I don't do traditional cakes with piped frosting. I do mostly unique and unusually flavored mousses, creams, and cakes that aren't what you would consider cake.
Bride: (Beaming) That's exactly what we want! We don't want a foo foo cake.
How could I pass on that then!? What the couple eventually wanted was 80 individual pastries for their guests and one ceremonial cake for the cutting. After much discussion (since the bride wanted a bit of foo, and groom wanted none) we settled on a raspberry mousse with a vanilla bavarois center and fresh berry, set on an almond cake brushed with raspberry syrup and campari. I took artistic license from there to spray tinted cocoa butter on them for a velvet effect, a fresh raspberry and a bit of edible silver.
The ceremonial cake was a simple cylinder covered in fresh berries with thicker layers of the almond cake.
The 80 pastries:
A close up:
And the final presentation:
The recipe for the almond cake can be found two posts lower in the comment section. Here's the mousse:
160 g seedless raspberry puree
40 g raspberry compound
40 g sugar
4 or 5 sheets of gelatin
In a double boiler warm the puree, compound and sugar; meanwhile soak the gelatin sheets, wring and add to the puree mixture; whisk until dissolved; remove from heat stirring occasionally.
120 g sugar
65 g water
10 g glucose
2 egg whites
Make an Italian meringue by heating the sugar, water and glucose to soft ball stage; Whip whites until just past soft peaks; Pour hot sugar into whites and continue whipping until glossy and stiffer.
255 g Cream
Whip the cream until soft peaks form; Fold puree mixture into meringue and combine thoroughly; Gently fold puree and meringue into cream; Pipe into form or cups.
Farina Alto – Albuquerque, New Mexico
5 days ago