So, Ladies and Gents, due to popular demand and Slay Belle's blackmail I will pontificate upon you masses as to how this monstrosity gave me all the cancer. Yes it's real cake and yes it enormous. The bottom tier is eight feet and 2 feer high and with all six tiers plus icing its scrapes in at 12'9" tall.
About me, I'm the Assisstant Pastry Chef for two large convention hotels that total up to 1500 rooms with a crapload of convention space. I've spent 13 years in the industry and at the ripe old age of 25, my boss is trying to induce suicide.
So when you come to a hotel to book space you'll get your original quote from our sale department who will hook you up with an event manager. When this quote came up and they asked us to price a twelve foot cake we did wnot want them to buy it. So, we jacked it up to around $2400. Now, this was for a children's charity. So, naturally, we though oh they'll never buy it. Whelp we were totally wrong.
So. I started working on this on Saturday. Myself and an associate made 80 sheets of vanilla chiffon cake
Basic Chiffon Cake
- 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour pan, knocking out excess flour.
- Into a large bowl sift together flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Separate eggs. In a small bowl whisk together yolks, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and whisk mixture into flour mixture until batter is smooth.
- In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites until they just hold soft peaks. With mixer on low speed gradually add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Stir about one third whites into batter to lighten and fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Spoon batter into pan (batter will reach top of pan).
- Bake cake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean or until teh sides feel the same as the middle. Like a fleshy part of your hand, about 40 minutes. Immediately invert pan onto a rack and cool cake completely in pan upside down on rack. Run a thin knife around outer edge of pan and turn cake out of pan onto a serving plate. Cake may be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at cool room temperature.
Granted our batches we're about 15000x bigger than this. On Saturday we also started making decorations, like these fondant pinwheels.
She and I did 200 of these, 200 multicolored flowers and I made about 600 bright red french macaroons. ( No I won't share the recipe because it is a super secret one).
On Sunday we started assembling the cakes. We got dish dollies, the kind you put racks of glasses on and just built them straight on them on wooden platforms Engineering made for us. We build them seven layers high ( I KNOW). One of raspberry jam, the rest were filled with buttercream. Now this isn't what you get on a birthday cake from Korger. That shit is made of crisco and powdered sugar and WILL KILL YOU DEAD
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. In a small heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/4 cup water and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 230°F. DO NOT GET THIS ON YOU. Cooked sugar is pastry napalm. If you lay a curse on me for you peeling a portion of the skin of your hand off, Roose Bolton style. at least make it a good one.
2. While the sugar is heating up, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on medium speed until frothy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat the meringue until medium peaks form.
3. Continue heating the sugar mixture until it reaches soft-ball stage, 240°F. Reduce the mixer speed to low and pour the soft-ball-stage sugar into the meringue in a slow, steady stream. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until the meringue cools to room temperature and holds a stiff peak, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Exchange the mixer's whisk attachment for the paddle attachment and reduce the speed to medium. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, until all of the butter has been incorporated and the buttercream is thick, fluffy, and very smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat briefly to incorporate. Use the buttercream immediately or cover and refrigerate it up to 3 weeks. If you're gonna cool it. when you pull it out just let it warm up and rewhip it. It may look broken but have faith that shit will come right back together if you beat it like Susan Lucci at the daytime Emmys.
Yummy right? Anyway I iced them up and put them in the giant fridge we have upstairs so it would harden up. After that it was just construction we stacked the bottom 3 tiers, after inserting about one million dowels, to keep the cake from collapsing. After the first 3 tiers were down, the cake was taller than me so we staked the last three and carefully placed them.
Now you're probably saying ," Silly ProtheanUnicorn, why didn't you put all the decorations on them first?" To which I respond. Because I am fucking dumb and filled with rage by this point. Once the cake was together I just touched up some spots I fucked up, piped on vines and started placing all the decorations.
The Best part was trying to reach the top layer on a 20 foot ladder without falling to my death. I cursed everyone, even Betty White. All in all it turned out pretty good. He's a picture of the construction process.
The texture is mad easy. you just tap your spatula into the icing and make little peaks. It looks like those stucco walls in Italy. Ballin' and better than trying to get a smooth coat.
Well, that's it guys. I'd be happy to answer any questions in the comments!