July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am , by nicole
Neither Devon nor I had ever made a cake before. While we were very excited to spend the afternoon learning about Ace of Cakes Chef Duff Goldman’s new baking products, we were a little hesitant to do it ourselves. The Astor Center in New York City was set up like a kitchen with hundreds of personal cakes waiting to be covered in buttercream fondant and frosting. We were given the choice of chocolate, vanilla or yellow cake, and handed an apron to aide us in our first semi-professional cake decorating pursuit.
With the Food Network star only a few steps away, we struggled with the first simple step of merely placing the fondant in the microwave to soften it. Luckily, the cake master himself didn’t see us! Instead of just ten seconds in the microwave, it took about thirty-five, and from there it was a piece of cake! Rolling fondant is a lot easier than we thought. After a few attempts, we learned that small imperfections can easily be reversed with a smidge of water, a touch of frosting or Chef Duff’s edible cake tattoos–the kind parents would prefer to the real ink! We opted for the flower patterns over the animal prints and other graffiti inspired designs.
In less than an hour, our finished cakes looked like they could be displayed in a bakery window. With just one flower-shaped cookie cutter and blue sprinkles, our black and red fondant cakes bloomed to life. No one would have guessed this was our first time!
October 29, 2009 at 2:05 pm , by Arpita Joshi
Fear not – just because this post is about cranberries doesn’t mean it has anything to do with Thanksgiving (I know you already can’t get over the fact that Halloween is already here). I spent a chilly afternoon in Rockefeller Center, New York, to watching a taping of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes that will be airing tonight at 10pm/9c and 10:30pm/9:30c. For the episode, the host, Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes and his cake team (known for making elaborate, out-of-this world custom cakes) made a cake celebrating cranberries and appreciating the work of Ocean Spray’s growers – who were all on hand at the event to tell their stories about growing up in cranberry bogs and continuing generations of harvesting. While he stood in New York City’s very own” bog”, Duff told me about the event and the incredible cake commemorating it.
Before he became Food Network’s cake-making master, Duff Goldman grew up in Cape Cod – where he says the whole town was surrounded by cranberries and everyone grew up in a cranberry bog. “Bogs were like the cool place to hang out — we would hang out and drink beers there in highschool, we’d meet up there… it was just a huge part of the culture and I have a lot of memories. So it’s a very exciting thing for me, I really wanted to get involved and make a cake when I heard Food Network was partnering with Ocean Spray on this.”