If a lack of leftovers testify to the taste of a dish, then my cake must have been awesome. Two slices of cake, a few trimmings and small pastry bag of icing are all that remain of the towering mountain of sugar. Even the sticky icing drippings have been mopped off my kitchen floor and
licked wiped from the refrigerator handles.
I honestly enjoyed the project — despite a near breakdown, one sleepless night and a gooey kitchen. I’m also very, very glad that I had an opportunity to practice producing a tiered cake before the wedding in February.
Notes on assembling and decorating:
The icing consistency is extremely dependent on temperature. I made it a day in advance and stored it in the refrigerator. When I removed it the next day, it was very hard. When I could, I scooped some of it into my Kitchen Aid and whirled away. To my horror, the icing separated into butter chunks and egg-y soup. Quelling my panic, I stepped away from the mixer for a half hour or so. When I whipped it later after the icing warmed to room temperature, the butter and liquid blended together beautifully.
I used a rather elaborate design, which might have been a mistake for that size cake. I spent 3 hours piping, and as I worked, the icing began to separate some from the heat of my hands. However, when the icing was the perfect temperature and the cake was also at room temperature, it spread beautifully.
Despite my struggles, I will probably make this icing again. Its light lemony flavor and smooth consistency make it well worth the hassle. One woman approached me to tell me how much she enjoyed the icing.
Finally, I wish I had been more zealous in leveling the cakes. A cake that was passably level for a birthday cake failed in a tiered cake. I noticed that each new layer exaggerated the overall unevenness, and as a result my cake resembled a frosted Tower of Pisa.