A Musical Sweet 16 for Raphaella

November 11, 2010

A few weeks ago, a long time friend of mine left me a message about a cake for her niece's Sweet 16th birthday.  She wanted to give her a pretty cake that was custom made for her and her alone.  Cecilia and I went over ideas and details, from cake flavor to the shade of blue.  Most of the cakes I make are my interpretation and designs based on themes or personality traits of the recipient.  This cake was entirely designed by Cecilia, and I had to make her vision a reality.

Raphaella was a pepped up cheerleader with an appreciation for music.  Hence, the theme of this sweet 16 cake came naturally.  The part that took a little pondering about was the cake itself.  This cake would be the introduction of fondant to a group of whipped icing devotees.  Did I mention that they were used to having fresh fruit in their cakes?  That is a no-no when it comes to an icing that prefers the tabletop in an air-conditioned room over a fridge.  Exposing fondant to extra moisture would created a collapsed catastrophe.  Not to mention that refrigeration would make the fondant rock hard.  Coming from a similar background, I completely understood.

This cake consisted of two stacked layers of coffee flavored cake sandwiched around velvety layers of mocha whipped icing... hint: Wilton's!  I used their mix and added cocoa and instant coffee for a rich mocha flavor.  This recipe can withstand being at room temp up to three days so don't assemble the cake too ahead of serving.  Each 4" stacked cake then received a thin blanket of buttercream and it was time to decorate!  The bottom level was a canvas of that "Tiffany" blue that all girls love, while dark silvery musical notes danced whimsically around its sides.  The top level was covered in Raphaella's fave pink and surrounded by black and white piano keys that I wanted to play "Hot Cross Buns" on... sorry, that's all the piano I could remember.  The other key elements to this cake was the pink guitar and the message plaque.  These were made a day ahead out of gumpaste and left to dry prior to assembly.   The top level was finished off with petite strings of pearls, and the bottom was circled by alternating blue and silver fondant balls.  Now that's a sweet 16!

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