After a successful first attempt at opening a Restaurant Day stall yesterday, I am back on the blog (which I should update more!) with a post about… CAKE.
Talking to friends and customers yesterday, I realized something: desserts have come a long, long way. They are now (more than ever) pieces of art that are expected to be strikingly beautiful. Gone are the days when dessert equaled quickly mixing up a brownie, popping it into the oven and greedily cutting it into squares that go directly into hungry mouths — okay, well I still do that. But with TV shows like The Great American (or Australian/British, depending on where you are) Bake-Off on the air, the standard for presentation has risen leaps and bounds.
I could go on and on about these beautiful works of art – but for this post, I will limit myself to CAKES.
Birthday cakes during my childhood in Manila looked like this:
…and I would threaten anybody who wanted to take my sugar flowers!
By the time my little brother was celebrating childhood birthdays, cakes looked this:
(another photo from Google)
… and Goldilocks was the ultimate source of birthday cakes!
I celebrated my 12th birthday in New Jersey, and I was SO SO excited because I had an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins! Mint Chocolate Chip! And it was a much bigger version of this:
(yet again, from Google)
…and my dad freaked out because we had an ice cream cake fight with a bunch of people, using this very overpriced cake!
But cake has continued to evolve…and as I started to delve into baking and decorating, I beggggged my parents for a Spongebob mold and ALL the colors necessary to make this:
(photo from Google)
…and I felt so accomplished and proud of myself. I thought I was the bee’s knees!
But nowadays, cake decoration has gotten SO fancy and SO fondant-y. And I still don’t know whether or not I am a fan. Fondant just doesn’t taste as yummy. Unless it’s marshmallow fondant- but the normal fondant has no taste (best case) or YUCKY marzipan taste. 😦 In any case, my wedding cake was a fondant cake made by Martha’s:
(photo not from Google!)
…but as much as I wanted to eat that little snowman bride, it had no taste PLUS it had a weird aftertaste. 😦 which reinforces my doubts regarding fondant. My tastebuds yearn for good old buttercream….
And with all these fancy cakes going on, I have my heart set on a new project:
(photo from Google)
…a CHECKERED CAKE! I plan to make this in more vibrant colors.
Andddd, there is my little brief piece on the Evolution of Cake. 1986-present.
P.S. My older brother once celebrated his birthday in Brunei (where my Aunt used to live) while I was happily swimming around my mom’s belly. When asked what kind of birthday cake he wanted (there’s no Goldilocks in Brunei!), he said he wanted an ORANGE cake. This wouldn’t be a problem in this day and age, but in Bandar Seri Begawan 1985, it was a little bit of a hiccup. They ended up with: