My mother-in-law is celebrating a major birthday on New Year's Eve and I am excited to make her cake. True to form, I was wracked with indecision right from the get-go. What flavour should the cake be? What should it look like?
Pat simplified things by asking his mom what flavour she prefers. Lemon it is. Now all I need is to settle on its appearance.
I decided early on that I wanted a two-tier cake although I did not want to hew too closely to formal wedding cakes. This needs to be whimsical. I perused my blog to look at my past work and began sketching:
Up top is the lemon curd cake that I have made on several occasions over the last couple years. I like the dots and stripes that festoon its surface. Below it is a swirly chocolate cake. I'll have to decide later which direction I'll go. In the meantime, I went ahead and the baked génoise layers.
I mistakenly used an 8" pan instead of 9"; baking without my usual early morning coffee is my excuse. An 8" layer will not stack well with the 6" cake - visually, the proportions would be off if the smaller cake was placed on top and centre. Clearly, the layers will need to be stacked off-centre:
The bulk of the work was done today - baking, making the filling and buttercream, initial assembly and crumb-coating. Here is one of the cakes after the crumb-coat:
Now all that needs to be done is put on the final coat of buttercream and some finishing flourishes.
This is a new buttercream from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes. It starts with a white chocolate custard base that is incorporated into whipped butter and flavoured with lemon curd. A definite find!
Some génoise pointers can be found in this post.