Smack Dab In The Middle: The Midterm

Well guys, it seems we are smack dab in the middle. In the middle of a slushy, sleety New York City snowstorm, on a day that marked the midway point in my pastry program at FCI. And you know what that means, don’t you?


The midterm for the pastry program at FCI is much different than the midterm for the classic culinary program – mostly because instead of turning out dishes of sautéed skate and roast chicken, pastry students have to make cake. Doesn’t that sound hard? Doesn’t it sound like a test you would just hate to take?

I know.

Actually, to be fair, today’s midterm wasn’t just about cake. It was about whole egg foam cake and separated egg foam cake and chiffon cake. And buttercream and Bavarian cream and fruit mousse and chocolate glaze and fondant and even (in some soon-to-be-revealed cases) rice krispie treats.

The assignment was to create a “celebration cake” and, using the medium assigned (I pulled Genoise cake, buttercream and fondant from the exam designation hat) decorate your cake to fit your theme. My class turned out some absolute stunners – birthday cakes and Mother’s Day cakes, cakes for baby showers and bridal showers and valentines:

Kelsey’s 4th of July cake
Jessica’s Birthday cake
Zoe’s Spring Celebration
Sarah’s Sweet Anniversary Cake
Chelsea’s Birthday cake
Audra’s Baby Girl cake
Mai’s Bridal Shower Beauty
Kristyn’s Mamma’s Day cake
Lawpo’s Sweetheart cake

And me? I chose the Olympics. Specifically, the popular (“popular?”) phenomenon known as curling. You know, curling? The Olympic sport (“sport?”) where the guys (or gals, or 6-month pregnant gals) wear a slippery shoe and throw a teapot down an alley of ice so that the other guys (or gals, etc.) with the Swiffers can yell and try to get the teapot to… to do something, anyway. It’s fascinating. Or, at least, it’s mildly entertaining.

And in some matches (curling matches? games? rounds? I don’t pretend to know), I hear it can sometimes get a bit delicious:

A curling cake! A cake designed to look like a curling stone! Happy Winter Olympics!

View from the top
View from the back

Info: this cake is a vanilla genoise, soaked with amaretto simple syrup, filled with coffee buttercream, and covered in rolled fondant. I molded the curling stone handle out of rice krispie treats and covered it with fondant before affixing it to the cake with toothpicks.

Amaretto-soaked vanilla genoise and coffee buttercream filling
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5 Responses to Smack Dab In The Middle: The Midterm

  1. Anonymous says:

    amazing amazing amazing!
    i'm blown away!

  2. Joey says:

    All the cakes look impressive.

    Regarding the curling stone handle–how did you conjure a useful, from-scratch rice krispie treat recipe?

  3. Maggie says:

    fantastic cake, clever olympic girl!

  4. Anonymous says:

    clever chef! what if i told you it looked like a cartoon character from the top????……

  5. Maris says:

    Each one of these cakes look a-mazing. I love reading about your culinary school endeavors!

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