Sake Gumi

Tmonkey and Ayagwa are getting hitched in March!!! But listening to them talk about their big day and planning was way too painful for me. "I will wear jeans, and Tmonkey will wear a Star Trek costume," or "We don't need any proceedings, we can just go with the flow and maybe it will become a poetry reading night," or "Why do I have to wear makeup?!"

I am not a wedding planner, but I know how parties work, and going with their instinct would result in a total disaster, so I intervened and took over important steps, including wedding cake baking, and making a bouquet for the bride.

I've made wedding cakes before, of course not fondant style, but big ass square ones. They told me initially the party will be less than 100. I was like, "Ok, it won't be that hard. I just have to bake big sheet cakes and decorate it". Turned out that they are expecting 150. Also Ayagwa wants a Japanese style strawberry short cake. It's basically genoise cake, very chiffony and light, sandwiching strawberry slices and whipped cream, then coated with whipped cream on top and sides.

I told them "Sure I can make a cake," but what I didn't realize was how much I have to bake. I found a recipe, that uses 4 eggs, 120g sugar, 120g cake flour, 30g melted butter, and thinking I can just multiply this to feed 150 people. Above measurement will make 18cm round cake (about 7 inches round).

By looking at the measurement of the round, it looked pretty small, and we thought it would feed 4 people. This means I have to multiply by 37.5 in order to make a cake big enough to feed 150 people. 4x37.5=150. 150 eggs!!! WTF!! For decoration, it calls for about 2 cups of heavy cream x 37.5 = 19 liters (about 5 GALLONS OF FUCKING HEAVY CREAM!)

I couldn't believe the massive volume of this project, and needed to find out how many can be served with regular recipe. So last night, I made a trial version.

Making genoise is simple, and because of that, it's very difficult. Similar to macarons. It's all about how you mix dry ingredients into a bubbly egg mixture. First you mix eggs and add sugar, mix it until it's thick and about 3 times bigger in volume. Then add flour, mix them WITHOUT losing a lot of air. This is the hard part. And I screwed up by adding the whole flour at once, so it took too many stirring to incorporate everything.

Hence the cake didn't rise well... But this time, all I wanted to experiment was how many slices we can get out of a regular recipe. Luckily, we figured we can get 12-15 slices. So instead of 37.5 multiplying, I can only do 13. I am relieved.

Cake looked ok, but whipped cream is a tough one. It starts running in room temp. I was reading how to make stabilized whipped cream, and bought piping gel at a baking shop. It's gelatin+water+corn syrup. Unfortunately they didn't get completely incorporated and I saw lumps here and there. Because of that, it didn't stay stiff.. On top of that, 2 table spoons of piping gel is basically ton of sweetness because of corn syrup, hence the cream got way too sweet. My friend suggests adding room temperature gelatin water. I will try that next time.

Hey, Chef the City, do you have an alternative idea for this? I don't want to make butter cream since I don't like it, and I really like whipped cream's pure whiteness. Totally perfect for bride and groom (yeah, right).

Genoise was another problem. It was more like a pound cake than spongy cake. I am sure my colleague will have to taste so many cakes until mid-March when I MUST make the MOST PERFECT wedding cake for Tmonkey and Ayagwa.

This is my Lent. I will give up my impatience, and keep trying this recipe until I can make a perfect cake and stiff and stabilized whipped cream.


  • i say do an italian buttercream, but use less butter… it comes out tasting less like buttercream and more like yummy, stable whipped cream… it’s my absolute favorite frosting (next to cream cheese of course).

    instead of a genoise, i would consider doing a regular butter cake recipe and adding some meringue powder for body. it’s my secret ingredient in all my cakes, esp ones that i am going to decorate. i would use 1-2 tablespoons of meringue powder per recipe (so if you multiply x recipe 3 times, then use 3T of meringue powder).

    speaking of: be VERY CAREFUL straight multiplying recipes… that has a tendency to throw the proportions wayyyy off, especially in the case of eggs. if you want, i still have my baking book from culinary school and it has large quantity recipes in the back. my email address is on my blog, or you can have kayoko send me a message via twitter.

    i agree w/ your friend who said stabilize the whipped cream w/ gelatin. should you decide not to do the italian buttercream (which is an italian meringue w/ butter whipped in at the end), i would suggest doing it that way, tho i must say that the cream itself may not hold up well at room temperature despite the gelatin (idk how or where you plan to serve it, so it would depend).

    are you going to make your own fondant/fondant decorations? if so, that is going to be fun! if not, i know a lot of bake/cake shops sell decorations pre-made so you could look into that.

    GOOD LUCK!!! i cannot wait for more posts on this and if you need anymore ideas, just let me know ~ i am glad to help.

    kayce. on

  • YAMAHOMO!!!!!!!! You are amazing!!!! I had two slices of the first trial cake today — and it was delicious! If he keeps making a cake every week between now and our wedding, I’m going to be a humongous walrus! In which case, I WILL have to wear jeans to the wedding after all… tee hee

    ayagwa on

  • Chef, I see your point but this is “traditional” and “Japanese” “strawberry short cake” that are different from what’s available here. I feel making butter cake will be way too dense, and using butter cream might be “cheating”.. After all, it’s wedding and I feel the need to follow bride’s “request”. I will see what’s my options are. Unlike many other times, I still have 3 weeks to see what’s possible. Kayoko will be coming to town and it will be documented in video. It will be something similar to Ace of Cake, but more like Gays of Cake. Be hold for the first episode.

    Yamahomo on

  • Wowzas! That’s quite a task. Best of luck to you and the engaged couple!

    Paystyle on

  • gays of cakes! i will totes tune in, LOL.

    @paystyle: butter does add more flavor, yes, but it also HOLDS up, butter being (somewhat) solid @ room temp and cream, well, isn’t…

    i am sure there’s a way, tho, yamahomo. i am thinking something along the lines of marshmallow creme… that technique at least, which is basically an italian meringue w/ gelatin added to it. you may also want to research traditional flour (also called boiled) icing… i know it sounds gross, but it is an old-school, southern-grandmother technique that is coming back in vogue ~ it makes amazingly white, fluffy, and not-too-sweet icing.

    you may have to compromise, but you are absolutely right that the req of the bride need to be #1. we have to come up w/ somet that fits what she wants AND takes into account building/decorating/holding time.

    i guess all-in-all, i don’t really have enough info to give very accurate help, but i will try to help where i can nonetheless. :)) i will wait patiently for the first ep… _

    kayce. on

  • Ahhhhahaha!!! Gays of Cakes, I love it. You oughta really call it that!

    I do agree w/Chef though that butter cream is the way. There’s no comparison as far as taste when comparing a really well made butter cream vs. a whipped cream.

    Maybe Chef can verify this, but it seems to me that butter cream lends itself to flavoring much easier than whipped cream.

    Paystyle on

  • Which one do you think is better? Gays of Cakes
    Queen of Cakes (Ace and Queen, ya know?)

    Yamahomo on

  • The wedding cake looks really yummy and the strawberries on top…perfection!

    Yum, Yum.


    Wedding Cakes on

  • Gays of Cakes: I’ll tune in whenever, wherever. If you produce it, they will watch.

    yoko on

  • Bridedog here:
    - Gay of Cakes, hell yah!
    - I will be the cake assistant slash camera person for this show. I fear for my life.
    - But anything for my dear Ayagwa and Tmonkey.

    Also, I’m twittering awesome wedding-related posts here. I update frequently so check it out!

    kayoko on

  • Gays of Cakes BY FAR! It’s funny and clever b/c it plays on an already recognizable show about cakes.

    Paystyle on

  • Yeah as you’re screaming at me for getting the flour all over your precious Gaga stovetop???

    Looking forward to it, dude.

    kayoko on

  • I can’t believe how much buzz I am getting about Gays of Cakes. Kayoko, we have a big task to make the premiere a successful one.

    Yamahomo on

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