Wednesday, February 10, 2010

F is for Fondant...G is for Ganache...H is for a Henna-Inspired Cake

F had me stuck.  Since Christmas (and my last blog posting) I have made a couple of Fougasse but was uninspired to write about either one.  I tried a Foccacia topped with tomatoes and onions, and it was good...but also an awful lot like just a thick-crust, bready pizza...and, again, it did not elicit the muse.  We had an absolutely wonderful (and 30 year overdue) weekend visit with some old Friends...truly the highlight of 2010 thus but no F-based baking to write about.

But then Sri got pregnant and, yes, I was called upon to make yet another baby shower cake.  And I'm happy to do much as I this-and-that about making fancy cakes for pregnant women, it does require me to tap into a different creative source than does making wheat bread, coming up with a good one-liner, or writing a (hopefully) entertaining blog...and that's a good thing.  Plus, and this crashed into my head from who-knows-where, I was thinking about babies and being a parent the other day.  (A little backstory...the road to parenthood once consumed a considerable amount of our time, energy, and emotional ugh...ending in a houseful of broken hearts, heavy sighs and regret that continue to this day.)  Anyhoo, I was driving home from Safeway, having finally located some white chocolate for Sri's cake, when I heard a song on the radio by a fellow named Colin...brain wheels start spinning and whirring and I think to myself, "If we had a baby I would want to name him Colin"...soon followed by a "hmmm" and the question, "Are we too old to be parents?"...a few mental math problems later I come to the conclusion that, yes, we really are too old to be new parents, but the thought stuck with me for a mile or so.  By then I had come to the red light at Camino Verde, was almost home, and my thoughts returned to Sri's cake. 

Sheesh...what am I, a junior-high school girl?  Well, in many ways, yes, I do share more than one trait with middle school girls...but really, who, besides Ellen-The-Eighth-Grader, starts thinking about being a parent because the folk singer on the radio had a name that you like.  And who, other than me, dismisses the idea (the life-altering, DNA-continuing idea) a mile down the road...I would guess, based on my circle of friends and associates, that the answer to that question is probably..."lots of people."  In fact, the majority of our friends have chosen to live a childless life.  Of course, for us, it really wasn't our choice - it was more just our fact.  So now we are in our mid to late 40's, and it's kinda too late...which, on the first reading, sounds pathetic and sad, but it really isn't.  I think that we are probably much better at raising dogs, tortoises, and chickens than we would be at raising something whose brain was a little more a child.  Because even though the name Colin is a responsible name for a baby, probably next time I get the parenting urge, I will have reason to think that Velvet or Saigon are good names for babies. 

So I will watch TV tonight with 3 dogs snuggled up close to me, completly happy with Merceredes' growls, and Mayor's warmth, and Miss Imogen's deep breathing in my ear...and I will be content and proud that I can bring a sweet girly cake to work tomorrow for Sri's baby-shower.  Congratulations, Sri!

Cake Facts...The bottom tier is a chocolate cake with espresso buttercream and whipped dark chocolate ganache.  The top tier is a Meyer lemon genoise, with apricot buttercream and a white chocolate sour cream ganache.  (There are a few cracks in the fondant, mostly along the edge, but I'm getting better at working with the crazy stuff.  Oh, and these pictures show the toothpicks that are holding up the little pink leaves on the top...hopefully they can be removed tomorrow before the baby shower.)


Jeff Linroth said...

That is stunning. How long did that take? Thanks for making the effort to share.

nightfairyscrapper said...

this cake is outstanding love it and looks yummy!