Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Grandfather's Birthday

May 22 is my grandfather's birthday (I call him Baba). Jorg was, once again, a very nice man, and let me make a cake for the small gathering consisting of me, Grandma, and Baba to celebrate the special occasion. I chose a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling.

The first picture is of the cake in its unaltered state, after it's come out of the oven and cooled a bit. The top of the cake is cut off so we get a flat surface to decorate. Because there are so many cakes at Jorg's, the tops are usually thrown away. They do save some of the tops in the freezer and restock that supply when it's low. I don't quite remember what they use them for. The second picture shows a buttercream border with some chocolate ganache filling the inside. The cake is cut in half and buttercream is piped onto the sides of the bottom half to create a border. The ganache is poured into the center. The buttercream border is so the ganache filling doesn't leak out, since the ganache has to be melted to pour.

The top is then put back on the cake, as seen in the picture on the left. Then the cake is covered in buttercream, as seen in the picture on the right.

Next we rolled out some fondant and placed it over the cake, smoothing it out so that the cake was nicely covered in pretty white fondant (left). We also made some stones out of fondant. They were basically balls of dough flattened with some paper so that they had creases in them and looked more realistic. Because I wanted the cake to have a sailboat on it, we decided to decorate the cake like an ocean. We headed over to the spray station and Jorg air-brushed the cake blue so that it looked like an ocean. He also made the rocks more rock-colored (right).

And now you see the final product! I made a white chocolate sailboat using moulds earlier today. That was air-brushed and placed on the cake. We also took some of the seashells made out of fondant from the other day and sprayed them and placed them around the bottom of the cake. Jorg wrote "Happy Birthday Baba" on the cake, and I put barnacles or lots of bird poop on the rocks (my grandparents thought they were barnacles, Jorg thought it should be bird poop). My grandparents loved the cake and were very pleased. My grandmother got a big kick out of it and ate some of the shells and rocks because she likes fondant. I thought the cake was delicious, especially the middle with the ganache. We ate it with some vanilla ice cream from Gifford's.

My grandfather wasn't the only one getting a birthday cake. Kristen was as well. I got to air brush and glitterize the little silver projections that come out of the cake. I also got to put them on the cake. They're supposed to be like water spouts or something like that. This cake is such a busy cake. Lots of pretty sparkles on it.

This cake has Bono on it and it's for Jess's cousin's party. Sean painted the picture of Bono onto some fondant, and I think he did an amazing job on it. It looks really great.

Even though making my grandfather's birthday cake was a highlight of my day, I spent most of it making mini balls of cookie dough. The order was for 1000 mini cookies, and the dough they had was in balls that were too big. So one of the other interns and I had to use a smaller ice cream scoop and make 1000 mini cookie dough balls, which took such a long time. On the left side of the picture, you can see the bigger balls, and on the right side you can see the smaller balls. I also piped frosting onto some cupcakes (not pictured) for the first time today. People make it look so easy, and then you try it and it's hard. The first couple of times i tried it, there were weird spaces in the frosting and sometimes the frosting wouldn't come out of the bag. Jess gave me the tip to stay really close to the frosting you've already put down, which was a good tip because then I didn't get the weird spaces.


  1. Quite a few people are going to be lining up for your baking after viewing the photographs of your grandfather's cake-in-the-making!

  2. Not to contradict your boss, but those are definitely barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides, if I'm not mistaken). You can tell because they're distributed along the intertidal zone.