One thing I know about myself – I don’t do presentation well. I mean I can cook up a storm like nobody’s business, but when it comes to serving on nice dishes with a garnish of parsley or a master chef drizzle of sauce, yeah that is just not happening. It’s not that I don’t have nice dishes. I do. It’s not like I don’t appreciate the finesse in which a fine meal looks when it is presented well, I do. I love looking at table setups like this…
But somehow the presentation escapes me. I have all the little pieces to make it happen, but what? Is it time? money? motivation? I have no idea. Well actually, I am convinced it is a gene. Like folding a fitted sheet. I can watch it a million times on that ridiculous you tube video. But let’s be real. It ain’t never going to happen. Instead this is my closet.
Still sometimes you have to step up to the plate. So this month I had two cakes I had to make for various family members, a gius party and a bat mitzvah. So I decided to bite the bullet and make decorative cakes ala Cake Boss.
These are not my cakes.
I am happy with both of them, even though they took an incredible amount of time to produce, more time than it should. But the presentation is still not exactly what I would have wanted. I realized after putting these two together that presentation of these cakes is key. It adds to the over all look and it says “I put effort into this.” More than anything else it elevates the credibility of the product itself. So sadly I guess, packaging is important. Sometimes I wish it weren’t but there you have it.
I got most of the supplies from Shum Pilpel Shemen Zayit a store in Shilat, near Modiin. (Not to be confused with the foodie blog, Shum Pilpel VeShemen Zayit, – thus confirming what I already expected that I am missing some cultural references as clearly this name has deeper meaning…).
Here is what I used to keep it cost effective – (thank you Kosher Frugal ).
One package of white fondant
at 13.90 Shekels.
Various food colorings
prices range from 8.90-26.90 for the gold (which is not worth it as you can see from the picture. I should have just used yellow.)
Food paint brush
8.90 I don’t have a picture for this because I forgot to take one – but sprinkles are sprinkles. These were the nice sparkly kind that look like glass.
Powdered sugar bag
13.90 for 1 kilo bag
I made the frosting from margarine (AHHH!) I know but I needed it to be parve and I don’t like Crisco, which I don’t think is any better than margarine. And powdered sugar, dash of salt, (cuts the sweetness) and maybe 1 tablespoon of water.
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
pinch of salt
1/2 an Israeli stick of margarine
Mix with electric beater. (no I don’t own a big mixer – just the regular little hand held thing). It has a very good consistency. For chocolate add 1/2 cup coco and tablespoon of coffee instead of water.
Although I purchased the fondant because I didn’t have time to make it, here is a tried and true recipe for good and quick fondant that actually tastes good. (That is one of the reasons I frosted the cakes, because fondant looks great but is not so tasty.)
Recipe for Marshmallow Fondant
(I always thought it was marshmellow – because they make you so mellow)
My cakes were gobbled up, so I know they tasted good. Maybe some day, along with an organized closet, I will be able to make a cake and also have the presentation look like something from Martha Stewart. NAH!