Friday, March 20, 2009

An Italy-inspired Cake: Buon Viaggio!

We were recently commissioned to create a festive Buon Viaggio (that is, good-bye and safe travels in Italian) cake for a client who was saying good-bye to some dear friends headed to Italy. A cake in "the shape of Italy," but large enough to feed fifty hungry celebrators was requested. We headed to the orenji test kitchens to get started.

The first challenge was flavoring the cake... We opted for a two layer cake, the bottom layer a dense bittersweet chocolate, and the top layer a buttery caramelized hazelnut layer soaked with Frangelico syrup. We filled the layers with a Gianduja (Italian hazelnut milk chocolate) truffle and bittersweet buttercream. All in all, the cake was as deliciously rich as it was beautiful!

In constructing the cake, we frosted the two-layer sheet cake, and then draped it with a hand-rolled "Italian flag" constructed from rolled sugar fondant. Atop the sheet cake, a second layer cake was added, carved topographically in the shape of Italy (including Sicily!) and covered with bittersweet chocolate fondant. Festive Italian ribbons and hand-modeled white and dark chocolate roses and leaves completed this celebratory cake!

We enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to such a special event, and dust off our specialty-cake skills... and of course, we welcome the challenge that cakes of this sort will bring in the future!
Next up on comparing apples and orenji, a baby shower themed as a "high tea." Be sure to check back, as you won't want to miss this!

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