Tuesday, July 14, 2015

An impression of impressionism

My birthday was this week, and it's funny the number of Facebook messages I get that say something to the effect of, "Happy birthday! I hope someone else is making you a cake!" Since I can remember, I have always made my own cake - why wouldn't I?! I get to decide on the flavor combination, the design, the size, etc.

This year, I wanted to try something different and, admittedly, went a bit overboard. As soon as I saw this post on the Craftsy blog, I knew I wanted to recreate a Monet-inspired water lily cake. I have always loved Monet, and the design seemed simple enough to execute, but fancy enough for a birthday party. 

I decided to go with Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Butter Cake because it pairs well with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which is the best option for decorating. It is also DELICIOUS.

I loved the look of the hand painting on a 6" tier, but I was worried a 6" cake wouldn't be big enough. So instead of making an 8" cake instead, which would have been the best choice, I made a TWO TIERED cake, with 8" and 6" tiers (I really wanted that 6" tier!). The water swirl and painting were easy to execute, and I made two "water lilies" (really, they are succulents, but I think the color really helped the look), one for each tier. 
Full cake

Close up of water lily

All in all, I was really happy with how this cake turned out. I will definitely be trying this technique again!

And, spoiler alert, I did go overboard with the size. We actually only ate the top 6"! The beauty of that, though, was that I was able to re-ice the bottom tier and gift it to the kitchen at my favorite restaurant in Chicago, and it looked like a completely new cake that had been made just for them!


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