Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Cake: Part One

It was a four layer round cake, based on our favorite drink- the Margarita. Lime cake, soaked with tequila-lime syrup, filled with lime curd, and frosted with lime buttercream. Lime, lime, and more lime! Now I do not recommend to any bride that she make her own wedding cake, but I did it and survived (barely) to share the experience.
Day 1. The actually baking part was easy. Two cakes for each layer, 14 inch, 12 inch, 10 inch, and 8 inch. A bag of limes, zested. A few pounds of flour, a few dozen eggs, separated. 2 quarts of lime curd, cooked and in the fridge, cooling, waiting to be spread over every layer. Day 2, the buttercream went smoothly, 8 pounds of butter, room temp, melded perfectly into the batch of meringue whisking away in the huge Hobart mixer. I began to frost. And frost. And frost. Cake number 1, the biggest: filled, layered, frosted, and done! Same with number 2, the 12 incher. As I began to scrape the buttercream out of the large silver bowl I began to sweat. 2 more cakes left! Will there be enough? Cake 3 got frosted with the crumb coat, into the freezer to harden, and then back out for the second layer. From the huge bowl filled with fluffy, lime-y butter, there was barely a cup left. Did I miscalculate? Would I have to make a new batch? The top layer was for us, to freeze and eat on our first anniversary, would we miss out on the tradition because I did not make enough buttercream and had no more butter? As I filled the last cake with curd and nervously eyed the dwindling supply of frosting, my heart began to pound. I thinly, so thinly, coated the top layer of our wedding cake and chilled it, my mind not on the wedding, or the meaning, or the love that I have for my future husband. All I could think of was why. Why am I punishing myself? Who does this?
With my bright red spatula, an engagement gift, I scraped the whisk clean, I cleaned that bowl, I got every little bit of that buttercream I could find and managed to completely cover that last little cake, with not an ounce to spare. Disaster averted, I took a breath, remembered what I was doing it for, and thanked the pastry gods for the buttercream miracle.

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