02 September 2010

The Icing on the Cake

Well hello Pink Champagne readers!!!  My name is Jen from  I'm a Nola Girl, and I couldn't be more honored to be guest posting for our girl while she is on her honeymoon.  It has been nearly six years since I qualified as a newly wed, but I will tell you I still get that pitter patter in my heart when I think about weddings.  What's not to love about two people celebrating the start to their new lives in front of the people most important to them?!  At the end of the day, that commitment to each other and the promise of a lifetime of memories is what a wedding is all about.  

The rest is just icing on the cake.  
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  My sister Stephanie is the pastry chef at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse in New Orleans, and when I decided I'd feature some of my very favorite wedding cakes, I thought it would be fun to let you in on a few of her baking secrets.    Here is the advice she passed along to me:

"Use the best quality vanilla...it makes all the difference in the world."

"Bring all ingredients to room temperature before making the cake batter (about 70 degrees),  including eggs and any liquid you may be using."

"You want to mix dry ingredients as little as possible when making the cake batter.  If you beat them too much your cake will be tough."

I can't wait to start baking and put these tips to good use.  Perhaps I'll even try my hand at the perfect layer cake.  Maybe one made with my dad's signature buttercream frosting.  When I was a little girl, I would tell him that when I got big, I wanted him to make my wedding cake so it would be iced in his buttercream.  My cake ended up being covered in powder blue fondant and chocolate "sugar snow" covered pinecones just like the photo featured above, but it doesn't mean that I don't still think his buttercream is the best I've ever tasted.  It's one of those recipes that has been perfected over time, but whose ingredients are never fully recorded.  I chatted with Dad last night and he shared with me his recipe:

Dad's Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1 box powdered sugar
1 stick of butter (softened)
1/4 cup of milk 
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Add softened butter to mixing bowl.  Beat until creamed.  Add in sugar 1/3 cup at a time until fully incorporated.  Slowly blend in milk a bit at a time until you reach your desired thickness.  Blend in vanilla.  

Voila! 

Well, it has truly been a pleasure to spend this Friday with you.  I hope this post brought a little something sweet to your day.  Please come by my little corner of the interwebs when you have a chance.    You'll get a dose of the daily musings of a girl from Louisiana.

7 comments:

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Fabulous cakes...loved looking at everyone of them...nothing like wedding cake

Paris Pastry said...

*sighs* The cakes are so pretty! Thanks for sharing some of your sisters tips!

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

That's so cool that your sister is a pastry chef!!!! I wish I'd have known that and I would have visited there when I was in NO. I have to go back (because I LOVED NO more than any place I've ever been) so I'll have to go there for sure! :)

Candy said...

What GORGEOUS cakes! I love the yellow one with all the daisies! :) xo

Bridget said...

i like the one with the yellow daisies!

the pink prep said...

yum and yum!
thanks for the sweet treats for the eyes and that delish-sounding recipe!
my newlywed days are over...but i'd love a big slice of one of these to celebrate my 9 years next week!

Trish said...

Jen, OMG, the cakes you found here are absolutely amazing! I can't get over them, each so unique! The one with the monograms encircling the cake is awesome, but I think my fave is the pale blue with the "lace" looking frosting decor, gorgeous! So elegant! Thanks for the recipe, I think I'll wait to visit Brennan's with you to taste your sweet sister's confections! heehhe!! :) xoxo