Sunday, April 20, 2008


Probably the largest cake I've ever made, this one was created to celebrate a new chapter in Mr.S's life, his quickly approaching move to San Francisco, and a sad departure from a lifetime in Baltimore. (Pardon me, it's really not as depressing as I make it out to be.) There was much excitement as friends and family all gathered on a rainy Sunday at Red Star to wish him bon voyage and happy adventures in Cali. For the fete, a white cake with a bed of white roses was the centerpiece, to represent new beginnings and a clean start.

Rich, white cake with raspberry filling and a white chocolate-sake buttercream.

I had great fun making the cake, in retrospect, but at the time, with an apartment that soared to almost 90 degrees, chocolate work was no easy feat. And to add to that, buttercream has difficulty coming together at that temperature. The final creation was not exactly what I had in mind, but was still beautiful. Originally, instead of the white chocolate curls on the sides, I had envisioned sheets of white chocolate, alternating in height, surrounding the perimeter. It was an image that I'd seen a while back in an issue of Donna Hay, and was recreated by Nordljus here.

I'm not going to post the recipe, simply because it's a cake that serves 35-40 people, and the measurements are for the most part, somewhat impractical. However, if you should ever find yourself in a position to make a 20-lb+ cake, and would like the recipe, please email me, and I'd be more than thrilled to part with it, and also to impart some words of wisdom in taking on an endeavor of such tremendous caliber.

The effort was well worth it as Mr.S was smiling the whole time, surrounded by his loved ones. He will be missed!

FYI: Red Star does wonderful private parties. The upstairs room is the perfect setting for any personal event you may like to host.


roopa said...

Wow. You have really outdone yourself with this cake. It is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure it tastes even better than it looks.

I just took a look at the Nordljus cake and quite frankly I think your swirly version is much prettier - sometimes a mishap leads to something that is better than the result you had originally intended! :)

Lynda said...

i have to agree. i like the white chocolate curls better! =) beautiful cake s'more. you surprise me more and more every day! if only you had discovered this passion when i was your roommate - i could've been your official taster! ;) can't wait to see you in napa!

Rachel said...

This is lovely! A beautiful cake for a farwell. And I love the idea of a sake buttercream. YUM!

BMoreSweet said...

That is an absolutely gorgeous cake. What did you do to keep the "taste" of the roses from infecting the buttercream?

crabapple said...

That is a beautiful, beautiful cake! And looks delicious too.

diva said...

such a beautiful cake! and with sake as well..just beautiful. i love to decorate my cakes with flowers too. i think it just makes so naturally pretty and reminds me of everything homemade and good.

Jerry said...

Beautiful! I'd love this as a wedding cake!

Noble Pig said...

Is there any other word but WOW for this cake? I don't think so.

Patricia Scarpin said...

That is a stunning cake! What a labor of love. Absolutely beautiful - and it looks delicious as well.

michelle@TNS said...

that's a hell of a good looking, enormous cake.

i love the sake-white chocolate combo. i'm gonna have to filch that.

HoneyB said...

What a beautiful cake!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

What a gorgeous the roses on top!

xiao zhu said...

Thanks everyone for the kind compliments! To answer some questions, the roses (which are simply small spray roses) are clipped near the petals, and just barely inserted into the frosting, right before serving, or else they will start to wilt. The roses don't actually flavor any part of the cake, since they are just resting on top. Everything must be kept cold cold cold, or the chocolate curls will turn into ugly gooey blobs on the sides of your lovely cake!

Julie said...

What a beautiful cake! It's a showstopper. Good luck to Mr. S in California.

Anonymous said...

It is a really gorgeous cake

Pigtown-Design said...

I did a white cake with raspberry and lemon buttercream last week, too. I had the same problem getting the buttercream not to be all melty in the warm kitchen. Luckily the restaurant we went to (Luca's in Locust Point) put it in their walk-in during dinner.

Good luck to Mr. S. We loved meeting you both at brunch!

jules said...

I would LOVE to have the recipe. I have two events that this would be great for.
Please send it to my email addy.

Anonymous said...

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Meghan said...

This cake is GORGEOUS! The white chocolate curls are so beautiful... reflecting the natural curve of the rose petals.

What a lovely blog!

John said...

That. Is. Wonderful. I wish I was eating that cake right this minute!!!

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