Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Great Shoe Dilemma and the Cake Taste Test

Hola readers!

As promised, today we're going to discuss the cake tasting, since it smashingly. But first...a word about the Great Shoe Dilemma.

I bought these fabulous Nina shoes for the wedding and have been wearing them around the house to "break them in." There's carpeting throughout most of the house so I don't have to worry about scuffing or anything like that and when I take them off, I immediately put them back in their bag and back into the box and back into the closet (Lord knows if the dogs would want at them and these are the WRONG shoes for me to experiment with). I was pretty proud of myself for prancing around in them while making pasta, doing dishes, making the bed...etc...and my feet were loving me for how nicely their relationship with the shoes was blossoming. Then disaster struck. Now, don't jump to conclusions! The shoes are ok...each and every stone is still in a matter of fact, let me give you a visual on these three-inch-silver stunners:
(They're called "Urura" by Nina, if anyone is interested!) And they have this super cozy side and nothing about them is uncomfortable, which is a big relief because they day I had my first gown fitting, my left foot was literally growing numb in this shoe! I carried on wearing these babies and feeling so proud of my ingenuity and forethought when a friend of Dustin's commented that while it's great to break in the shoes so I can wear them all night, the "breaking in" definitely doesn't account for the weight of the dress that these little guys will be carrying.

Could you hear my heart drop to the pit of my stomach?

So what's a girl to do with a dress that weighs, like, twenty pounds and shoes that balance on a heel the size of a pushpin's head? I can't gain the twenty pounds of the dress...nor do I want to...just so the shoes will be more accurate...nor do I want to get other shoes since I measured the whole "hollow to hem" with these shoes and the dress is just PERFECT in length. I don't have the ankle weights that were super cool back in the eighties and I'm kind of stumped! Any suggestions would be warmly welcomed.

The Cake Taste Test, however, was a different carefree experience.

(Rewind back to Hilton Head-Spring Break, Friday night)
My brother Kiran joined us in Hilton Head at my parents house for the weekend late Friday night. Dustin and I had kept our two little test cakes in tact from our testing the day before and figured we'd taste them with as much family as we could get! We really wanted their input and were bound and determined to get as much feedback as possible from the fam!

Once Kier arrived, we opened up the cake holders and pulled out a bunch of forks, called the rest of the family over and went to town on the two little cakes. I should backtrack a second and explain that the cake we have chosen is a four-tier cake with a rectangular bottom layer, square second layer, pentagonal third layer and a small circle top tier for us to keep. We decided on four different flavors to keep things interesting. First layer: chocolate cake with white mousse. Second layer: white cake with chocolate mousse. Third layer: white cake with pastry filling and fresh mangos and, our layer, a chocolate ganache. Now because we wanted one of the layers to have a cool white monogram on it, that decision dictated the icing: fondant.

I have heard a great deal of complaints about fondant, but I was determined not to be one of those brides that "hated it." It seemed harmless enough when I saw it on the cake making shows we watched endlessly over Christmas break. I was pretty floored by how fondant could be used to make realistic flower petals and various other designs, how it smoothened out the surface of the cake so it looked flawless...and how it was made out of sugar! I couldn't imagine how something that could do so many wonderful things could possibly be bad! So we went into the cake-tasting feeling pretty confident in the fondant's ability to be functional and tasty. Boy, were we wrong. Sure, it served its function, but we basically needed a hacksaw to cut through the layer of fondant to get to the cake-goodness it kept contained. We literally sawed at it with our forks, (which, of course, was rather startling since we went at it with such glee, only to have our first taste of it postponed due to an unbreakable icing). Once we got through it to the cake portion, it was incredibly tasty. Pop pointed out that the white cake had a slight almond taste to it, which worried us just a tad. Not everyone loves almond and we don't want people leaving their cake, so I think we're going to switch that to a smaller layer. We also tried the ganache, which everyone loved, so we might make two of the layers ganache instead of just one. We didn't taste the mango or the chocolate with white mousse, but we might now that we know better about the almond.

At any rate, I should also mention that while I'm writing about this situation like it was scene-free, it wasn't. Kier insisted we shove cake on each other's faces since we don't want to do that at the wedding...and that boy really can talk a dog into walking on its hind legs if he felt like it. I don't know anyone as persuasive/taunting as my brother :)

Anyway, we had a blast and felt really good about having waited to taste it with my family. Here are some fun photos of us digging (literally) in. Oh...and incase you wondered--I found a solution to the fondant problem. The whole cake will be buttercream iced except the layer with the monogram (third one from the bottom which is less likely to be eaten...we think). The monogram layer: fondant! Whatever we have left over of the cake will be put into some pretty boxes and left on a table for our guests to take with them when they leave. We don't want to waste it!

That's my brother Kiran on the right. Doesn't he look great? He's been running and going to the gym and getting healthy. I'm so proud of him! Note how he has to hold down the paper plate while he cuts through the fondant! Ha!

On a non-wedding related note...we bought the movie Slumdog Millionaire this weekend and LOVE it even more now than before. D had never see it, but is now a fan. We've always been learning the Jai Ho dance at the end. Who wouldn't want to know it? You never know when an occasion to dance to that song will present itself!



  1. Aww loved this post! So about the weight of the dress- it may seem simple but I so wouldn't worry. You're already leaps and bounds above me (and everyone I know) by breaking them in so thorougly. AND on your wedding day - you're not going to feel your feet. Like - it's going to be such a wonderful, adrenaline-filled day with your closest and bestest - you won't even KIND OF complain!

    On to the cake testing - love the layers/shapes, etc. - sounds awesome! haha i hear you on fondant - we did buttercream with a fondant bow on top - it's just weird. And you should TOTALLY do the Jai Ho at your wedding and surprise all of your guests! hehe and video record it and post it here!!! Do it - you know you want to! hehe

  2. I have never had that abhorrence for fondant--a lady in Farmington made a couple of cakes for my family with fondant, and we all thought hers tasted great! Maybe it's different with different bakers. :(

  3. how about walking around the apartment in the shoes and with your backpack on--full with the stuff you would normally carry to school (laptop, books, file folders of teaching materials, etc.)--to account for the weight of the dress? Or at least to approach something similar to that weight?