My daughter, Katy has always been a child that knows what she wants. Even at a very young age she was focused and relentless about getting it.
Her birthday is on July 26th, and about one month before that she began telling me and all her friends that she wanted a 17 layer cake for her 17th birthday. She even announced it on facebook!
Katy; 19 days to get my 17 layered birthday cake baked, assembled, and iced people....
In the beginning I gave the standard New York reply "Fah get abuoot it!". But she wore me down and 2 days before the grand event, on the hottest day of the year (so far) I began a journey that ended 48 hours later. It involved having my son put an air conditioner in the laundry room, (the buttercream was melting!), using over 4 pounds of butter, 3 pounds of cake flour, untold numbers of eggs, (I dropped a carton) and feeding all the neighborhood kids cake scraps! On the evening of the first day, her best friend Laura arrived with her version of a 17 layer cake! It was clearly a winner. She made a sheet cake and used star cookie cutters to stack the layers. She had even iced each layer a different color. The pressure was on. Could I let a 17 year old baker out bake me? No way! I couldn't let it happen.
It was no easy feat. Being that I can't cut straight to save my life,
( Not to worry David Lebovitz, a pastry chef job is certainly not in my future). The cake had a decided lean.
I didn't let that stand in the way of building layers. I shored it up with cake scraps, covered it in Icing and hoped for the best!
Then I added a finishing touch.
And there you have it! A 17 layer cake, fit for my Princess!
If you should decide that an enormous layer cake is needed for the princess in your life, I would keep a few things in mind.
You, of course probably already know this but it was a revelation to me. Any many layered cake needs a dense cake mix. I should have used Rose Levy Beranbaum's wedding cake recipe, but I didn't. I tried her roll cake, Chocolate Dream(?) way to squishy for this project. Although it does make a great addition to ice cream sundaes. But then that's another blog!
The All American Chocolate Cake however did hold up to the weight of the layers. I know, I could have put a few dowels in for strength and to keep the cake straight. But that seemed a woosie maneuver.
I had worked for days on the cake and then it was time for dinner. The Princess, of course had a birthday menu in mind; steamed lobster with drawn butter,
Vegetable Tian and of course homemade cherry ice cream to be served along side the cake.
All said and done, it was a magical evening!
Even Daddy got in on the act!
After all you are only 17 once.
Make a wish Princess and blow out the candles!Happy Birthday!