Happy Anniverithday Grandmama and Grandpapa!

I invented a new word: Anniverithday. It is what you get when you combine a 59th wedding anniversary with an 80th and a 78th birthday party. Alot of reason to celebrate, so it needs a special word. Hence, Anniverithday!

These are my grandparents, for whom we celebrated with a big family pot luck party. While my grandfather is still as silly as he always was, neither of them is in the best of health anymore. They have always been a huge part of my life, so it is especially hard to see them declining.

A few weeks before their anniversary, my grandfather "requested" we do something, if only for my grandmother's sake, who's memory is very bad now and only getting worse. He wanted all of his children, plus spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and most of us were able to attend, along with a few of my great-aunts and second cousins.

There were alot of people, and alot of food.

I was put in charge of the cake for them, and this is what I eventually settled on. (My grandparents were very uncooperative in helping me choose what type to make, instead telling me, "We will love anything you make." How unhelpful is that?)

The bottom layer is a white cake, from The Cake Book, with a layer of brown sugar buttercream, while the top two layers of the cake are the sour cream chocolate cake, also from The Cake Book, with the same brown sugar buttercream filling. I used a store bought fondant, my last choice but I had run out of time to make my own, and had a friend who is very talented with fondant, make me the flowers that I used to decorate the tiers. Finally, I used some pretty ribbon to decorate the layers (and hide my lousy fondant job, but I learned a few things doing this cake, such as don't roll the fondant so thin!)

Oh, btw, Hx of Aardvark Cakes wanted to know what I was making that would take 3 pans (hence I did not buy a madeleine pan,) and this was it. The sizes are 9 inch, 7 inch and 5 inch.

Did I mention that to get to this party, we had to drive almost 4 hours away?

I didn't bring the cake to them all assembled and looking pretty. That would have had me chewing my nails and filled with anxiety with every bump on the road (and let me tell you, Hwy 17 has ALOT of bumps in the road.) Instead I packed up the 3 layers, covered in fondant, and assembled it in their kitchen, while family kept walking by for a peek. Despite my careful packing, I still had to do a bit of repair work to the layers, but for the most part, they were good travelers.

While I was not totally satisfied with the results of the cake, everyone else was thrilled with it. Especially my grandparents.

I've been blessed with two loving, wonderful grandparents, and was glad I could take part and contribute to such an amazing celebration of them and their life together.

Brown Sugar Buttercream
*This is a variation of a buttercream recipe that I used for something else, but I don't at this exact time know the source of it. I will update with the original source later, when I figure out what it is.

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¾ sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1.Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.

2.Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 225◦F (107◦C). Once it reaches that temperature, remove the syrup from the heat.

3.While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.

4.When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature and you remove it from the heat, reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden!

5.Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes or so).

6.While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass.

7.With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks. When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny.

8.Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes).


Unknown said...

How sweet!!! They are precious and I know that they appreciated and treasure every minute they had with family that day. You'll treasure it, too. Beautiful cake!

BC said...

That is amazing! I bow down to you oh baking goddess.

glamah16 said...

Oh what a lovely cake and such a grand occasion to celebrate your Grandparents Anniversry!

creampuff said...

Oh, Jenny! That is so sweet. Your grandparents are adorable and I'm so glad the entire family got to celebrate with them.

And that cake is stunning!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that cake is gorgeous! and that wedding picture is beautiful...old photos like that make me a little teary eyed.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story - and you did a spankin' job with the cake. Ribbon was a great idea!

Casa Costello said...

Cake looks gorgeous! Your grandparents looks like real cuties - thanks for clearing up the 3 pans question (My word, I didn't realise how nosy I sounded!) Hx (Helen plus a kiss)

Sonya said...

Bravo to your grand-parents !!

and bravo for your cake lloll