July 23, 2008

Zao Gao

One of my favorite Chinese expressions that Katie has taught me is "zao gao" (rhymes with wow), which means "messy cake." The Chinese use the expression as a substitute expletive of sorts: darn, what a mess, too bad, etc. I said Zao Gao many times while making Katie's wedding cake, but I think it turned out alright in the end.

Katie & Porter's Wedding

The thing I wasn't happy with were the little piped white pearls at the base of each layer. Unfortunately, I didn't cut the support pillars short enough, and I had some air space between the cake tiers that I had to hide with frosting. That made it difficult to pipe uniform and level pearls.

Everyone's favorite part of the cake seemed to be the ganache filling. Ganache has only two ingredients: chocolate and cream. It obviously makes a difference if you use good chocolate. Good cream, on the other hand, is hard to come by around here. The grocery store I frequent just stocks one variety: ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. Mom has been buying milk from a local milkman who sells raw milk, which has a much better flavor than pasteurized. He hooked us up with some cream. You have not seen cream like this before. It is so thick you have to stir it with a spoon, and it pours out of the jar like syrup, not like milk. It's got a slightly yellow tint to it. It tastes like sweet butter, instead of a flavorless fat glob like regular cream. I credit the success of the ganache to said cream. More on that later...

Katie & Porter's Wedding

This is the only mishap of the wedding of which I'm aware. After Katie and Porter cut and fed each other their ceremonial cake slices, the lady that was hired to cut the cake and plate it for the guests came over. She reached up to remove the top tier, which is traditionally the tier that the bride and groom save and eat on their first anniversary, and when she moved it, the bride and groom cake topper toppled off and crashed. Both the bride's and groom's heads broke off. I couldn't see it all from my vantage point, but apparently heads were rolling.


Auntie said...

What is the Chinese word for "perfect"?

Catherine said...

zao gao is also "oh no!" "oh no..."

hm, what is perfect? zheng hao = just right. ...