Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Gabriel!

One thing about Gabriel's birthday is very predictable: dinner. We always eat at Todai; the Mother of all Seafood Buffets. He not only gets a free meal but,... he gets to eat all he can, wants, or cares to, and for Gabriel that is like landing on the mothership.

I love this man!

I admit, it's my mothership too.

Since sushi is not only a given but an absolute must for Birthday festivities, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to double the fun!

For this endeavor I enlisted the help of cake maker extraordinaire, Linda Pedersen. She's incredible; this venture was an amazing learning experience for me, she has a first rate attitude, and I just love her.

Everything on this cake is edible, from the wasabi to the chopsticks. I watched, but credit goes to Linda for everything except the part that you can't see; the cake.

Cake: Chocolate Dew Marbled
Frosting: Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(I made this blind, but I think I remember everything)

1 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Cream until smooth
4 egg yolks (separately, mix well after each addition)

1 1/2 cups Mountain Dew (this is also a Birthday tradition and lends a wonderful quality to the cake)
Separate the batter into 2 bowls making sure to keep equal amounts in each

In bowl one, add:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mix well

In bowl two, add:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4oz. chocolate melted with 3/4 cup water (2oz. milk, 2oz. dark)
Mix well

Whip 4 egg whites to stiff peaks
Fold half into yellow batter, other half into chocolate batter

Pour into a fancy cake checkerboard cake pan, like I have, but I can't figure out how to use, or scoop integrating spoonfuls into a regular 9" round and swirl around a bit - simple.
Bake at 350°F for 25-30, or until cake springs back at the touch
Invert on wire rack, let cool
Frosting: Lemon Swiss Meringue
Recipe & Instructions

I used 2 cups sugar
8 Egg Whites
20 tablespoons butter
Enough for middle and covering two 8" cakes, and filling and frosting 12 cupcakes

*Also I will add: While mine was not curdling, I was still freaking out because it was super runny. I thought maybe my kitchen was too warm so I put it in the fridge and milled around a bit. About 15 minutes later I thought, "Maybe I stopped too soon?" So, I put in back in the mixer - and approximately one minute later... it was perfect. So, lesson learned - whip, whip, whip.

Time for fun!

Frost cake as normal
Cut out a divot in the center about 3" across for the sushi fixins
As I'm no expert, I can only simply tell you what I enjoyed watching Linda create - which will do no justice to the process or the creator

First, she covered the cake in a beautiful white satin fondant
I helped color and create the seaweed!! - that she rolled into one long piece, textured and smoothed, and affixed to the side of the cake
We used the meat grinder attachment on her kitchen aid, to create rice, it took a half hour and it was really fun

Color and mold wasabi, carrots, crab and avocado - and chopsticks
Linda created these amazing chopsticks a few days in advance and hand painted the exquisite Chinese lettering along the tops
Such detail!

This was all a secret from Gabriel, and it was well worth it. His reaction was priceless! Last year I planned a surprise party for him, (which his guests did not really keep a surprise, but only because he's so snoopy!) so when I was telling him at dinner I didn't really have anything "special" planned I loved the goofy grin he kept giving me, indicating, "Sure you don't...".

8 Sweet Talkers:

Gabriel Olson said...

My birthday was fantastic! Thanks babe! I love you. Holy moly that cake was amazing!!!

fatboybakes said...

hi fahrenheit, thanks for dropping by my blog. what a fantastic effort for the sushi cake, and WOW, chopsticks with chinese lettering!!! what a feat!
you guys are so creative. i wanted to share with you another edible sushi cake platter that my friend got for her 40th last year. (no, it wasn't made by me). how i admire you creative sorts.

Pamela said...

You put me to shame! That is an amazing idea. How to fun to make a sushi cake. Submit it to Tip Junkie! Happy Birthday Gabe.

Naomi said...

That cake is GREAT! Your friend has incredible talent and you're right - she should totally start her own blog/website/something. Good for you two!

Breanne said...

That is fantastic. Happy Birthday Gabe! I need your help Kitty. I am not doing a carnival for Millie's b-day anymore it was being to stressful for this time in my life so instead, I am giving her a pinkalicious party. Hence where you come in: I need some ideas for pink foods that are 4-7 year old appropriate. I looked up pink foods and all the ideas were like salmon rolls and stuff. Millie loves salmon I don;t think her little friends want thtat at a b-day party however. Do you have any ideas?

Heather said...

Catherine that is outrageous! i can NOT believe you did all of that!!! THat is out of this world! wow! wow! wow!

Kara said...

What a cool idea! I think it would be really fun for April Fool's Day. I'm saving the idea!

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