This post is a over a month late, but I've meaning to take my time and write it, because I'm not really posting a bunch of recipes here, just a bunch of links.
I am sorry that the photos are so awful, but for some reason we weren't able to take pix of the cake that weren't shakey or dark some are from the phone camera and half the time, we weren't sure who was taking the photo so no credit. Perhaps it was the excitement, perhaps it was the time of night, whatever it was we were able to only take these.
This is a flower pot cake. I know I am stating the obvious, but I want to emphasis that that it's completely edible except for the candles and the toothpicks.
The cake is a chocolate cake that I make super often, you can read about it here, Filled with coffee liqueur and chocolate ganache. But the thing was it was the first time I'd be working with fondant. I opted to make the simple fondant - marshmallow fondant. And troubled my friend Amrita for two whole days while I worked with the fondant.
Have you seen Amrita's cakes? They are beautiful. You can check them out here (and do like her page). She literally guided me through the process. I'd call her up for everything - how long should I roll, how should the fondant feel, how should I carve the cake, how should I make the leaves, how should I stick the flowers. The list and query were endless. And she, very patiently explained things to me and gave me some suggestions.
Suggestion number one was to bake the cake in a borosil mixing bowl, so that I'd get the dome-shape and not have to carve too much. Suggestion number two was to start on the flowers pronto because they were going to take ages to dry up (it was much too humid end of august). Suggestion number three was to use and a bit of fondant and a toothpick to attach the flowers.
I learnt how to make fondant roses here. The daisy-type flowers I just cut with a cookie cutter. And the leaves I cut by hand and made indentations with the back of a toothpick and let it dry on the ledge of the plate.
To cover the cake - which was the pot - I used cocoa powder and fondant, which made it a bit too malleable, but it helped me get the colour correct. I used a wooden block print block to make the designs on the pot, to make it look a lot more authentic and ethnic. For the mud effect, I used crumbled oreo cookies.
So why did I bake this cake at all? Three reasons really, I been trying to challenge myself with the next step in cakes. Two, I needed to get over my irrational fear of fondant. Three, it was my friend N's birthday and I wanted to something special for her, especially since she's had quite a rough year this year.
You'd have seen her name peppered through the blog. It's for many reasons. It's because she started this blog for me a couple of years ago. It's because she took the photos for it when I started off seriously. It's because she comes with me, when I drag her to blogger events. It's because she gives me a danda for spending so much time on the blog. It's because I love her.
We've not been friends since we were children or anything. We've known each other for barely five years. But in that five years we've shared so much that like she says it, "we are a part of each others family" We've worked together, shared bylines, shared stories that make sense to nobody else. We've gotten drunk together, we've laughed so much about other's stupidity. And then been stupid ourselves.
She was my bridesmaid for my wedding. She metroed across Delhi, to see me in the hospital. She'd cover for me at work. She'd walk me to the loo. She's speed dial number 6.
We've always been made fun off - called husband and wife, conjoined twins, shadows. But we're more Laurel and Hardy, really.
And now, with both our futures uncertain, I am nothing but maudlin.
The thing is, I will miss her immensely. Heck, I miss her when I haven't seen her in three days. From a point where we'd see each other everyday to not working in the same office for about year and a half now to just not able to if we are in different cities, it's been a roller coaster of an emotional journey.
So this cake was for her. The lover of flowers and trees. The lover of things with the ambi-prints. The lover of things brown and green.
I will miss you. Immensely. Terribly. God-awfully.