Saturday, April 17, 2010

Portfolio: Celtic First Communion Cake

This weekend we celebrated my godsister's First Communion.  Mathilda's mom has me do lots of cakes for her and I really wanted to do something special for her first communion.  If you're not familiar with what First Communion is, in a nutshell it is a right of passage for young Catholics in which they are now able to receive the Eucharist at Mass (the Eucharist is the little bread wafer).  Mathilda is one of a kind and I knew that she wouldn't be happy with a hum drum cake to celebrate this milestone in her life.  I used our church's Celtic influence to inspire this simple cake.

The cake is a vanilla cake with a bit of cinnamon and ginger added to it to give it some oomph.  The frosting is an American buttercream that is flavored with lemon extract and zest.

Now let me just state that I can't claim entire credit for the idea; I saw a version on Cake Central and just fell in love with it.  The baker had sculpted a large sized cross and decorated it with knotwork, but in the essence of simplicity and party size, I chose a round, short armed cross.  I did a Google search until I found a cross I liked, then used it as a guide for my piping.  In order to make sure I hit all the right spots I took a knife and used it to trace the basic lines, which I then piped over using a large round tip in brown buttercream and a smaller round tip for the green buttercream.

To finish it off, I piped more knotwork around the side of the cake.  The trinity is a big deal in the church, so I chose a triskel type of knotwork.  Triskel or triskelion is the word typically associated with a symbol of that type, FYI.  You didn't know you were going to get such a culture lesson with this post, did you?

I really love the concept behind this cake, but to be completely honest, I wasn't thrilled with the final result.  I had a lot of things going against me and I think that if I were going to do this again, I would at least pour some royal icing within the cross border to give it some more color.  I think I might also do some more elaborate knotwork along the sides and within the cross.  I just feel like I could have done so much more but because of time, sick/cranky baby, and humidity (my buttercream started getting really finicky on me) the end result was not as impressive as it could have been.

Regardless of MY opinion, Julia told me later that everyone loved the cake and that Mathilda and her brother each ate several servings they loved the flavor so much (and to think that Mathilda wanted plain jane vanilla)!

Congratulations Mathilda!

And Happy Baking!

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