Saturday, January 15, 2011
When the opportunity to make this Marchesa confection came up, I pushed up my sleeves and threw myself into it. Marchesa is one of my absolute favorite labels. Feminine and soft, but with an edge that always keeps you guessing, I practically turn into a five year old dying to play dress up whenever I lustily ogle the designs.
With all the dollycakes I make, the process always starts the same: pick the singular element to make the cake "read" and attack, attack, ATTACK! The obvious centerpiece here are the undulating waves of delicate ruffles, punctuated with lace eyelets. I am by no means a pastry chef, so when I realized sugar sculpture was the best way to go, my soul cried...hard. It cried so hard I watched Seinfeld reruns and ate double stuffed oreos instead.
So I practiced. I busted out the silicone pads, boiled the sugar syrup, and spun my little heart out. It worked like a champ! I molded the sugar into these flowing, flowering, lovely little shapes. The hardest part was over, right? RIGHT?
Well, it was, until I found out my parent's kitchen was being used for a photo shoot so I'd have to decorate the cake at my boyfriend's apartment. Not really a big deal, until you realize that guys in their 20s have nothing, literally NOTHING in their kitchen. So like some nomad on a caravan I had to bring over all of my ingredients, all of my cooking equipment, my mixer, cookie sheets, paintbrushes, the whole shebang.
To save on space, I stupidly brought a roll of wax paper assuming it would work just as well as the sil pads. Well, you could imagine the melted, hardened waxy mess I crumpled into the trash. I raced over to the house, hoping to sneak into the kitchen, snatch some silicone pads, and escape unnoticed, but, as Murphy's law would have it, the kitchen was the first shot of the day.
Eventually I get back to the cake, and started decorating. It was a marathon, but it worked. I spun out the sugar in a Jackson Pollack-y round, molded it when still warm, and put the them in muffin tins to keep their shape; covered them in a little white chocolate, and there you have it: lacy, swirly, pretty ruffles to cover my cake. Not quite the same as getting to wear an amazing Marchesa gown, but hey, it's a delicious consolation prize!