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pastryjen

Cake Fondant

199 posts in this topic

...In a moment of weakness and shocking ambition, I offered to bake my best friend's wedding cake. ...

Historically, I have beginner's luck in all manner of cooking, so I am relying on that to see me through. The second wedding cake I attempt to make will probably be a disaster, but I expect the first to turn out OK. That's why I'm not making a practice one (that, and the cost of good chocolate).

The wedding is January 22, in Whistler. I live in Vancouver, and the cake will have to be transported up there in a car; I am already collecting boxes. My major concern at the moment is timing: it seems as though this particular cake can easily wait four or five days to be served, and it probably will have to as I am also maid of honour and have other things I need to do, but can anyone offer tips as far as how long I can expect it to take me to put fondant on, whether I should roll or use the other kind (I think not as I think cool temps are important to this cake, I don't want to have it melt all over my counter--is that a valid worry?) and is store-bought fondant really OK, especially if you have no confidence in being able to make it!!! and is it OK to store it assembled like that, refrigerated, for a few days and then stick on the leaves on the day?

I plan to bake on the 18th, assemble and put fondant on the 19th, have the 20th in case of emergencies, and then it will be brought up to the site on the 21st.

I would be really grateful for any tips anyone could provide.

Thanks in advance :smile:

Deborah

OK I finally got it - I been thinking about your post - make three wedding cakes - two in advance so you know what you're up against - or at least three fondant covered cakes. Since the first will be perfect and the second will be a disaster, you need to plan on the third one for the real deal :biggrin:

Because the only person that can give you tips as to how long it will take is you.

You mean rolled fondant or ganache or buttercream??? In a not hot kitchen you should be fine with any of them.

Everything is a valid worry especially the part about beginners luck with wedding cakes.

I have an easy recipe for some great cake covering. You use one part candy clay which is candy melts and corn syrup and two parts marshmallow fondant which is marshmallows and confectioners' sugar - it makes a great rolled fondant to use on cake like this. Umm, but purchased fondant is fine - I hear that Wilton's is awful - I believed everybody & never bought it. So use one of the other brands like Pettinice and be sure to add some flavoring.

Let me know if you want that recipe. Marshmallow fondant maybe sounds inglorious but it's great great stuff - very user friendly for me anyway.

You really want to have a good handle on this. You will need to roll out a circle of stuff at least 18 inches big and be able to lift it over the cake and smooth it out & trim it for the 10 inch cake -

Do your last things first - put stuff in your car now to make the seat level for the cake box - get that bubbly kina shelf liner to set the cake on so it doesn't slide in the box or in the car - be sure your box fits in the car doors - like get your box ready - one box is enough btw - get your cake board/s ready - make in advance decorations - make your icing - make your filling - then bake your cake - that kind of thing.

Good luck!! Have fun!!

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Thanks for responding :smile: See, that thing about the Wilton's is exactly what I need to know. I will search out the other brand.

No, I'm quite serious about the beginner's luck: you should have tasted my first osso buco! it was better than any I've had in a restaurant. The second...not so much :laugh: It's a real theme. I truly can't afford to make three of these cakes...I'm going to price fondant today though, so yeah, maybe I can take a practice run on another type of cake.

I intend to give myself a weekend to do the ivy leaves, I'll get into a leaf-making zone. If I fail, I have those little flower watering test-tube things with pierced lids, we can use more real ivy in those.

Oh, when you have two layers, one dirctly on top of the other, do you cover them with fondant separately? and then plop one on top? I think you must, eh? rather than setting one on top and then covering them both. Hence those little bits of icing covering the seam. I have books, I should really read them again before I go asking stupid questions.

Thanks again, I will keep you apprised of my progress and probably bug you with additional questions as time goes by.

:smile:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Absolutely, check your books. Yes, usually you cover each cake individually. And another biggee is proper support so the top tier doesn't crush the bottom tier - some people use straws, or dowels or stress-free support systems. Each tier of course sets on a cardboard of some kind.

Umm, it's easier for me to put the cake on a board the same size or a teensy bit smaller than the cake & set that on my pedastel turntable - rough ice it with buttercream then roll out the fondant and apply it so the sides of the fondant hang down rather than pool on the tabletop & then trim. Then put the covered cake on the right sized board or whatever. That's what easiest for me.

On your timetable, you can bake the cakes a week or so in advance, and fill them, double wrap with plastic wrap and freeze. Then take 'em out & ice & decorate.

Your bottom board needs to be 16 to 18 big. It needs to be either thick enough or enough thicknesses to keep the cake from cracking. You may need a dowel to go all the way through to keep it from sliding. You need some thing to decorate the bottom board. Too bad my camera won't download.

I heartily recommend that you make a rolled fondant cake before you attempt this at the last minute. Marshmallows & candy melts don't cost much. You're making me nervous :laugh:

I already wrote that recipe out somewhere on here - I'm gonna go find it. brb...

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Candy clay is 14 oz of chocolate or candy melts or almond bark* melted** & add one third cup of corn syrup, slowly stir together. I let mine sit in the container that I melted it in and smooth it all level on top or it separates. Cover well & let that harden overnight and pinch off & knead it in small portions to soften. If it does separate, just knead it all back together.

Marshmallow fondant is nothing more than a 16 oz bag of marshmallows melted with two tablespoons of water and add two pounds of confectioners sugar - so put one pound of sugar in a bowl, pour in the melted marshmallows & water and any flavoring, mix and add the other pound of sugar - you will need to micro-zap this a few seconds (like 5-6 seconds) here & there to loosen it up so you can knead it all in.

So combine 2 batches mmf with 1 batch candy clay. You can multiply & divide this recipe.

Practice! You gotta' big learning curve, and a crash course here. Read the books!

Oh yah, when you roll this out, rolling it out onto plastic or between two pieces of plastic is a wonderful thing. Some people get upholstery plastic from the fabric store - I am not recommending that - I'm just saying that's what some people do - I use a giant plastic like a silpat that's food safe for sure. Because fondant sucks up confectioners sugar like a sponge and then it gets dry & cracks. Like if you are constantly dusting the table to roll it out so it doesn't stick.

And and and you can pick up the whole plastic to lay it fondant side down on the cake and just peel off the plastic.

Did I mention you were making me nervous?????? :rolleyes:

* cheap cheap ingredients!!

**wull if you can make great 'bukababuka' :biggrin: you know how to melt stuff like this over hot water right?? in a double boiler??? like a pyrex bowl over a pot of hot water - water not touching the bottom of the bowl.

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You can buy the Pettinice (made by Bakels) from Pfeil and Holing at www.cakedeco.com in pails of various sizes/prices. This would be ok with RLB's truffle cake (which is a delicious cake, especially the raspberry version). I've made the cake many times, and in my experience, it handles best when it is very, very cold. If you have any gaps or mishapen sides, use some just-firm ganache to fill in and then chill it again overnight. If you use the Pettinice, you don't need to use the veg shortening that RLB calls for when using commercially made fondant. Use a little cornstarch and a cool stainless steel table, along with a heavy rolling pin (use a french pin or a 14 or 18 inch rolling pin for best results). The home made fondant from the Cake Bible is more translucent than the commercially made stuff- hard to describe. The fondant in the picture (the Art Deco cake) is thicker than what I usually do; about a quarter-inch to a third of an inch is plenty.

Fondant can be frustrating for a novice the first time; how much do you use? how thin to roll out? what if it tears? Colette Peters' books include a chart for fondant amounts on various cake sizes - you might want to look into borrowing her Wedding Cake book from the library to skim through, but Margaret Braun's Cakewalk book has excellent pictures of fondant application that would be helpful to you. Fondant will show every lump and bump under it so be sure the cake beneath is smooth and blemish free. I would definitely practice putting it on a cake pan before doing it on a real cake.

Good luck!

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Hi Deborah! I use Pettinice brand fondant and it handles and tastes great. Personally, I would stay away from Wilton's fondant since I don't care for the taste of it. You really should try a practice cake to get a feel for the fondant. Once you get the hang of it, fondant is very easy to use and gives a beautiful porcelain smooth finish. As Jeanne mentioned make sure your icing underneath is smooth. I think the biggest problem most beginners have with fondant is pleats (folds) at the bottom of the cake. Here's how I avoid pleats. Once you have placed your fondant on top of your cake start smoothing it down the sides starting from the top and working your way down. If you notice you are going to have a pleat, gently lift and then cup the fondant down with your hand(as if you were gently fluffing the skirt of a dress). Continue to do this as you work your way down the side of the cake. This works really well for me and results in no pleats. Also, I would recommend purchasing some fondant smoothers to give a once over after the fondant is completely applied. HTH!

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Hi Deborah,

I've taken RLB's chocolate truffle torte on a plane across the country so it will definitely stand up to a trip up the Sea-to-Sky. (Even security at the airport smiles when you have a cake box in your hands) Make sure you chill the cake thoroughly before trying to unmold it and work with it cold because when it is warm it is very soft(and delicious). If you need cake decorating supplies, Ming Wo or The Scoop'n'save (Surrey) has a lot of stuff. I have tiered this cake, 9" and 6" and I used straws for support ans it worked just fine. I don't ahve any fondant advice, I had it once on a wedding cake and thought it was nasty. If you are looking for a white cake, maybe try covering the cake with a white cocolate ganache. 2 coats might be enough to cover the chocolate.

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Wow! you guys are the best!

I went insane today, I got pans, and boards, and I already have a turntable (thank God) and a smoother and a roller and shaper things and stuff to make gum with? for decoration stuff and stencils to help me shape things and colours and brushes...I got two lbs of Callebaut and one lb of Scharffenburger, this is going to be one fabulous damn cake.

I got some Wilton fondant to play with while I try to source the Pettinice in my neighbourhood, I couldn't make it to Ming Wo today, but I'll try there. and I'll go to Surrey if I have to LOL. Putting fondant on a pan to practice is a great idea! thanks! I will certainly do that.

Really, Kate, I appreciate your recipe and your great advice very much, but I will feel much more confident it's as it's supposed to be if I buy the fondant. If it's gross, everyone can leave it on the plate, it's all about the inside anyways.

I don't have Colette Peters' book; I have The Cake Bible, and Dede Wilson's Wedding Cake book, and Kate Manchester's and Bette Matthews'. Between them and you guys I think I have a good chance of pulling this off.

$300-odd later, basically, and I haven't finished yet! and millions in advice from those who know better than I :smile:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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check out www.qzina.com - they are a distributor in Canada. I don't know what brand of fondant they carry, but you will want to have more experience before you buy the Satin Ice brand - this is a very, very soft fondant and a challenge to work with.

You can ask them directly at www.americanbakels.com and find out who the closest source is to you.

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I just read your cake recipe and while I have not made that truffle cake, I'm writing to say don't apply this well-intentioned advise of mine:

"Umm, it's easier for me to put the cake on a board the same size or a teensy bit smaller than the cake & set that on my pedastel turntable - rough ice it with buttercream then roll out the fondant and apply it so the sides of the fondant hang down rather than pool on the tabletop & then trim. Then put the covered cake on the right sized board or whatever. That's what easiest for me.

On your timetable, you can bake the cakes a week or so in advance, and fill them, double wrap with plastic wrap and freeze. Then take 'em out & ice & decorate.

So in other words, when applying the fondant I am recommending allowing the fondant to pool around the cake on the table - this cake seems too fragile to do it the other way where it hangs down & the cake is suspended over the turntable.

And make it according to the directions - don't freeze it per my advice. I thought you had a regular cake recipe.

The point of the fondant recipe I shared is to give you something to practice with. But whatever works for you, at least you're practicing!!

You can zap fondant in the microwave for a few seconds to help it be more user friendly.

Applying fondant to a cold surface means you need to work quickly to smooth it.

Good Luck!

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I make RBL's chocolate oblivion torte frequently. The quality of your chocolate is very important in this item, it's the only flavor. Choose your brand wisely. It's much like eating a plain ganche. I like to add a liquor, oil or herbs to add dimension to it's flavor. This is a rather unusual item and combo with the fondant to use for a wedding cake.

I would suggest you serve it with whipped cream and some fresh berries or berry sauce. Something to lighten and counter balance the heaviness of this. A plain piece with rolled fondant will not be appealing to a wide audience.

To cover this item with rolled fondant will require a thick layer of fondant or you'll have to frost it first with butter cream to whiten it up or your dark cake will show through. You could use white chocolate ganche with added white food coloring-that would probably taste better then frosting this cake. If you could, I think a simple whipped cream frosting would be the best way to finish this cake. But that would effect your traveling and decor.

You'll need to level the batter in your pan before baking this. Attempting to level this "cake" is nearly impossible afterwards. To unmold this, I freeze it in the pan then use a torch to heat the pan. It pops out perfectly and this cake always is smooth, easy to finish.

Typically when I make this item I add other elements to it to make it more interesting. Eating it plain becomes boring to your taste buds quickly. I often use a cake layer or a base of white chocolate for contrast. Then I use some sort of topping too to add a textural contrast too.

I'm not fond of traveling with stacked wedding cakes but because of the density of this cake it should travel well. I also do not believe you'll be able to use straws as your support system with this particular cake. I don't believe you'll be able to insert them thru it's density. Your cake could break as you insert a doweling or any support system to this, so proceed with great caution. If it was 3 layers or less I probably wouldn't use any supports for this item.

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Like I said in my previous post I have stacked this cake and travelled with it (Whistler to Squamish) and it was fine. I used straws and inserted them while the cake was fairly cool, not really cold as I was glazing it. The top tier was on a cardboard round, and I think I just let the bottom cake sit on the cake platter so it would "stick" and not slide off on the curves of the road.

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Sinclair, thanks...yes, as I stated in my initial post, I am adding raspberry sauce and Chantilly, and my audience is far from broad...it's 20 die-hard chocoholics, so I expect my Callebaut and Scharffenberger concoction to be enthusiastically received. The bride and I went through a bunch of cakes before deciding on this one.

Hmm, it sounds as though I really do need a layer of ganache..oh well, that's not a problem, although I haven't made a white chocolate one before. I am very happy to know the cake can freeze with no ill-effects; it may need to be stored outside when we get there.

Choux, I am glad to have your same-highway tale, too! I have a friend in a bar that has those nice sturdy black bar straws, so I'll swipe a few of those when the time comes.

If it weren't a challenge, I probably wouldn't be interested in doing it :raz:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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but you will want to have more experience before you buy the Satin Ice brand - this is a very, very soft fondant and a challenge to work with.

Nice. I'm reading this with great interest as my sister and my niece are expecting a trial run of a wedding cake on Christmas Eve, like I don't have enough to do that week. It's probably going to be chiffon genoise with a dacquoise layer, raspberry ginger ganache, Pierre's flourless chocolate brownie, lemon swiss merinque buttercream and ta-da...Satin ice rolled fondant, which I already bought. I don't have a ton of experience using this stuff, but nothing to do with a rolling pin scares me.

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Ice down your table before you roll the Satin Ice fondant, keeping the rolling surface as cool as possible helps a lot with this brand. (don't use one of those ice-filled pins, though!) Or you could try using a silpat or roulpat, but I don't like the pattern it picks up from the mat if you simply place therolled out fondant on the cake and peel off the mat. When I was searching for the Bakels site, I noticed that they were featuring Julie Bashore from House of Clarendon and Colette Peters- both of whom had been Satin Ice advertisers/users previously.

Because it is so soft, it tears easily and that's frustrating to patch or fix. You can avoid some of this by rolling the fondant around the pin to place on the cake rather than using your hands/arms and make sure you're not wearing any rings or bracelets, a watch, etc.

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Sometimes when you have a really soft fondant I find it best to leave it thicker when I roll it. Then when I lift it to place it on the cake (I usually drape it across my arms) I find it stretches easily into a thinner layer, just how I would have intended.

If your thin to begin with, thats when you have to worry about it tearing as you adjust it over your cake.

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The safest to transport multi-tiered cakes would be to box each tier separately and assemble on site. However, for a six tier cake you could do that by stacking every two tier hence end up with 3pcs for easy stacking on site, a stack of two-tier cake is very stable, especially for fondant wrapped cakes.

Straws can be used as dowels for butter cakes filled and frosted with bc and wrapped with fondant, tried and true but make sure you use those solid type of straws like the ones we get from McDonnald's.


Edited by miaomee (log)

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These are the results of my day of fondant-play:

fondantleaves.jpg

Please don't laugh, professionals among you! I am pleased with my results. It took a long time to get a good colour; I started with Wilton Leaf Green (the only green available at the store I was in at the time) and as I suppose you can all imagine, that was no good. I made an emergency run to another shop and got some Kelly Green and some Black as they were out of Moss, which I think is probably close to the colour I wanted. There seems to be a whole world of other colours out there, but I still don't know where to buy them. Oh well.

Then of course by the time I had added enough of these other colours to get anywhere near the tint I wanted, my fondant was all goopy...so I added a bit of icing sugar to get back to stiffness. I feel as though I have been pulling taffy all day, and I suppose I actually have. Then rolling, and transferring stencils of ivy in various sizes, then cutting with a knife, then shaping and making the little veins. Then the luster dust! I know they are not really realistic, and they are imperfect and far from uniform, but I think I will be able to make it work.

The fondant I ended up getting for the cake itself is McCall's White Chocolate rolled fondant, which supposedly tolerates refrigeration better than the regular stuff. I was not able to source Pettinice, and American Bakel did not return my email query. If I had realized, I would have gone down to Bellingham or wherever, but by the time my various queries came back, I just ended up with the McCall's which I still had to order from Toronto. But that's OK! So that will be off-white, and I think will look nice with the green I ended up with.

I will post more pictures when I take them; I will not assemble the cake until the day of, I've decided, in fear of the leaves bleeding on to the white fondant.

I will use your recipe for white chocolate ganache to put under the fondant, Wendy (1.5 lbs. white chocolate, 1 c cream, .25 lb butter); do you think that quantity will make enough to cover a 10 x 3 in layer and a 6 x 3 in. layer? I think I might need to double it...:unsure:

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and advice :smile:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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First, real quick: no one here dare make fun of anyone one elses work, we are about learning and sharing.............so no one should ever feel shy about showing their work. It's a great way to learn from others more advanced.........and there's always someone more advanced, around here!

Sorry for the quick rant.

Anyway I think your leafs look great, I'm certain your bride will too! Yes, shades of green are usually horrible straight out of the jar. I usually wind up adding yellow to get a more life like green as well as black or blue sometimes.

As far as your question on the ganche...........yeks.......you might even want to triple it. It's so thick that you need alot more quanity then you would with a dark chocolate ganche. It's also easier to pour it and have enough that you don't have to go back and patch in ganche on the sides. When your done if you have too much, you can reheat that ganche and use if on or in other desserts.

I can't wait to see your finished cake, I'm sure it will look great! Good Luck!!

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Your leaves are beautiful! And you cut them all with a pattern & knife - wow

insert clapping hands smilie faces :smile: Great job.

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So what is the "weavy" stuff in the background supposed to be?

It's braid I may or may not use at the seam of the two layers...I may unweave it and just use one strand; or twine two; I won't know till I see it in front of me. My friend who was helping me was good with rolling the fondant out like that, though, so she did a bunch of it (she saw it on the Wilton box and tried it out).


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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It's braid I may or may not use at the seam of the two layers...I may unweave it and just use one strand; or twine two; I won't know till I see it in front of me.

You don't think it will dry out to the point where it will break or crack when you go to place it?

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      + + + The Cakewalk played an important role in the history of America -- a long-forgotten chapter that tells the story of the struggles forced upon the enslaved, who in spite of their burdens rose above the oppression of race and found a new form of the expression of freedom.

      The seeds of the Cakewalk were sown in the segregated deep South sometime around 1850, as a parody of the way plantation owners escorted their ladies into a formal ball. The women wore long, ruffled dresses of silk and glass beads with long, white gloves that reached above the elbow. The gentlemen were outfitted with top hats and tail coats. Couples pranced and paraded into lavishly decorated ballrooms, arm-in-arm in high-stepping fashion, marching into the center of the party, often to the music played by a banjo-strumming fiddler who worked in the fields.

      The winner of the dance contest sometimes won a cake presented by the master of the house, leading many to think this is where the name the “Cakewalk” comes from.

      African-American slaves who watched the proceedings took the dance on as their own in the yards outside their shacks, mocking what they saw as the frivolous customs of the plantation owners. According to the oral histories of slaves and their descendants, the Cakewalk was a marriage of traditional African tribal dances and rhythms combined with the dance steps of the upper classes. When the land barons and ladies saw the slaves dance, they missed the satirical element entirely, but the popularity of the Cakewalk had been established among the elite and it now transcended the boundaries of class.

      Wealthy farmers went on to sponsor competitions between plantations and the dance moved to large cities in the South and then to the East where it became a staple of traveling minstrel shows and ultimately to Vaudeville, the lights of Broadway and throughout Europe.

      On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with these humble words, “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Inspired by the renewed freedom gifted to them through Emancipation, a freedom that allowed them to express themselves openly through dance and music, African-Americans led a creative revival that would usher in new forms of dance and music that had never before been seen or heard. The artistic contributions of former slaves and their descendants would forever change the creative landscape in America.


      From this humble beginning in the sweltering, humid heat and back-breaking work of picking cotton, African-American artists penned the notes of a new from of music called ragtime that would eventually evolve into jazz. It was the Cakewalk, unintentionally and ironically, that crossed the bounds of race and class status as it burst into the popular consciousness of America By the 1890’s, African-American actors, dancers and musicians had started forming their own production companies and staged versions of the Cakewalk became all the rage.

      Scott Joplin, (1867-1917), was an early musical pioneer of the Cakewalk style of music. Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Joplin wrote and performed in the style of rag—a combination of dance and marching music entwined with the “ragged” rhythms and soul of African music. One of Joplin’s most famous pieces was “The Ragtime Dance,” (published in 1902), that included a Cakewalk:

      “Turn left and do the “Cakewalk Prance, Turn the other way and do the “Slow drag, Now take your lady to the World’s Fair and do the ragtime dance. Cakewalk soft and sweetly, be sure your steps done neatly.”

      The vaudeville team of Mr. Egbert Williams and Mr. George Walker were two of the first African-Americans to take their musical show on the road in a grand scale. Crowds packed into The New York theatre in 1903 for 53 stunning performances of song and Cakewalk dances in William’s and Walker’s new production “In Dahomey” -- the first all-black musical to be performed on a grand scale in a major Broadway venue. After its raging success in America, “In Dahomey” crossed the Atlantic, performing for seven months of standing-room-only audiences at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London before returning to New York.

      By the turn of the century, Americans were moving off farms and into towns and cities in record numbers. Ragtime music transformed into a new genre called “Jazz,” with emerging talents like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington playing at the Cotton Club in New York.

      By 1930, the public fascination with dance theatre began to fade as America was lured by the intrigue of other forms of entertainment like talking motion pictures. But the early concepts and the heritage established by the Cakewalk endured throughout the twentieth century and into the 21st, namely, as a contest to raise money at church socials and school functions. The Cakewalk also delivered new words into the American vocabulary-“take the cake,” and “it’s a real cakewalk,” are terms used to refer to something that is “the best,” or a job easily done. Cakewalk software is a cutting-edge firm today that produces award-winning digital audio and recording software to the music industry.

      + + +
      I’m nearing my 54th birthday in November, some 46 years removed from my second-grade class. I had been lost until that Cakewalk at Yoke’s, yet now I’m found. I’ve learned a lesson in respect through the Cakewalk -- a lesson that taught me how emancipation allowed the enslaved to express themselves through music and dance. A lesson that freedom is an unalienable right bestowed upon all Americans. I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the place that this little ditty we call the Cakewalk plays in the history of America, opening our eyes to a world that was color blind.

      I found my personal truth in the Cakewalk -- a truth far richer and deeper than the dreams of a boy winning a cake.

      * * *
      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food and reviews restaurants. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
    • By Tennessee Cowboy
      I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream.  This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at 
      I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook.  I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe.  I am going to try two basic approaches:  The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste.  Lisa Shock and other People who commented on the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.    
      Any advice is appreciated.  Here is where I am now:  I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through nuts.com named "Love 'n Bake."  When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil.   I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios.  I bought raw pistachios through nuts.com.  The only raw ones were from California.  If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them.  I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
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