Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Game of Thrones: Red Wedding Cake

I had no idea just how enthusiastic Lars' painting would be.
This past Sunday, Game of Thrones had its highly anticipated season 4 premiere. Since my friends and I are huge nerds fans of the show, we decided we needed a ridiculous evening devoted to our return to Westeros. For my cooking, I wanted to focus on the two biggest aspects of the show: dragons (see the upcoming Dragon Eggs and Fire Sauce) and the (in)famous Red Wedding (I figured focusing on the equally famous gratuitous nudity would be a little less blog friendly).

Could I, along with the decorating skills of cooking neophyte Lars, come up with a cake that fittingly honored the over the top violence of the fight for the Iron Throne?

Dun Dun DuDuDun Dun DuDuDun Dun...

Red Wedding Cake
Servings: 1- 2 level tiered cake
Time: 2 hours

Almond Wedding Cake (recipe below)
Blackberry Curd (recipe below)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
Fake Blood (recipe below)
  1. Prepare the cake, curd, frosting and fake blood. Once everything is cooled begin assembling.
  2. Cut each of the two cakes in half. Fill the larger cake with curd and replace the top. Cover well with frosting. 
  3. Place the bottom of the second cake on top of the frosting and fill with curd. Cover and finish frosting.
  4. Take out your inner aggressions by creating blood splatters all over the cake with the fake blood.
Much like the outside, the inside lived (or should it be died?) up to its name.
This cake was even more Red Weddingy than I had hoped. Lars really embraced her inner Lannister to deliver a confection worthy of the King's table.

Almond Wedding Cake
Adapted from I am Baker
Servings: 1- 9" and 1- 7 1/2" Round Cake
Time: 30 minutes

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup milk,  at room temp
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temp
2-3 tbsp sour cream
6 large egg whites, at room temp
1 tbsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

So white and pure. Just like a silly Stark.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. Whisk cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the milks, sour cream, egg whites and extracts together.
  4. Cream the butter in a stand mixer at medium speed.
  5. Add in the flour mixture and let go for 1-2 minutes until you see a change in texture from the butter.
  6. Add half of the milk mixture and mix well at medium-low speed.
  7. Scrape the sides down and beat in the rest of the milk.
  8. Pour the batter between your two cake pans.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the toothpick test comes back clean.
  10. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks. Let cool to room temperature before any other steps.
Not to be outdone, it's actually a really tasty wedding cake.
If your intentions are far more wholesome, this recipe actually makes a phenomenal wedding cake. The almond flavor comes through nicely to go with a wonderfully moist cake. I did adjust this recipe slightly from the original by adding a little more flour, sour cream, and splitting the milk into half buttermilk, and the result was undeniably delicious. My only regret was not making the cakes taller for bigger layers once I cut them. Perhaps a little more baking powder would be in order next time.

Blackberry Curd
Adapted from Cupcake Wars
Previously Seen Here
Servings: About 4 layers worth
Time: 20 minutes

1 quart blackberries
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Blunt force instrument of blackberry death. I call this whisk "Ice" now.
  1. Combine the blackberries and water in a pot. Simmer until the blackberries change color and start to come apart easily.
  2. Pour the hot mixture through a strainer and press the blackberries to get all the juice out.
  3. Mix the sugar and flour together in a separate, clena pot.
  4. Slowly pour in the juice while whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
  5. Add in the eggs and egg yolks while still whisking over medium-low heat until it begins to thicken (about 5-7 minutes).
  6. Once the curd has formed, remove from heat and stir in the butter. 
  7. Cover and cool in the fridge.
I could never get it quite the right level of red from its starting purple.
My first and perhaps favorite curd made the natural growth from Wedding Shower treat to full on wedding cake filling. The curd itself is a brilliant purple/red color that is packed with the sweetness and tartness blackberries are known for. Additionally, the consistency of the curd was perfect for building healthy, structurally sound layers despite my seeming inability to cut the cakes in half evenly. One brief word of caution: no matter how much red food coloring you add, you won't be able to change its appearance.
Thanks to the curd, my kitchen was beginning to resemble a scene from the show.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 1 tiered cake's worth
Time: 10 minutes

16 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp almond extract
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted 
  1. Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temp (this will help avoid lumps).
  2. Cream the butter for 2 minutes until smooth using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer. Beat in the cream cheese and extracts.
  3. Gradually whisk in the powdered sugar until it reaches your desired level of sweetness.
  4. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Even before the drizzle, the frosting wasn't free of some fake blood swirled in thanks to the inner curd.
This was a bit of a departure from your traditional buttercream/fondant loaded wedding cake, but it's my Red Wedding and I can do what I want. I merely altered my go to cream cheese recipe to highlight an almond flavor, and I kept the sweetness level on the low side since the blackberry and fake blood drizzle would take care of that.

Fake Blood Drizzle
Servings: Enough to satisfy even the most depraved decorator
Time: 5 minutes

10 oz strawberry preserves/jam (make sure there are chunks of strawberry)
8 oz red raspberry preserves/jam
8 oz cream cheese
Red food coloring
Don't forget, chunks of berry are key for pulling this off.
  1. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth and the desired level of red is achieved.
I've determined that all decent parties should have at least 2 fake blood options.
This was really a last minute thought as to how I could generate a second, more liquidy blood for outer decoration. The chunks of fruit in the preserves added a little much needed texture and made our coating properly gory. Both of our blood options were extremely tasty, so I highly recommend letting your guests further decorate their slices of cake as they see fit.
It looks like the Hound himself sliced it.
This bloody cake just may have been my baking opus (I honestly stopped after my first bite and thought exactly that). Every layer was delectable on its own, but together they only managed to strengthen each other for a truly exquisite dessert experience. All of the sweetness and acidity of the bloods were balanced sublimely by the delicate almond cake and creamy frosting. In the end, it really was everything I had envisioned when I first thought of making a Red Wedding Cake.

Stay tuned for the conclusion to our premiere party- Dragon Eggs with Fire Sauce, where I also attempt to teach Lars a thing or two about cooking.

2 comments:

  1. That is fantastic! I love how it looks like blood got spluttered on the flesh, but it doesn’t look too gory at all – just like how Game of Thrones portray death. Haha! This is just the perfect treat to eat while watching the season premiere. Thanks for sharing!

    Jason Underwood @ La Patisserie

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  2. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. cakes to order

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