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CHEF GEOF MANTHORNE


Charm City Cakes   
2936 Remington Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21211
410-235-9229

About CHEF GEOF MANTHORNE

As one of the stars of the Food Network’s hit reality show Ace of Cakes, Geof Manthorne is known for his incredible cake creations and dry, sardonic sense of humor. Viewers of the show have likened Geof's skewed viewpoint and quick wit to watching the show with a close friend. Most recently, he contributed to Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes as both an author and a consultant. After beginning his employment at Charm City Cakes, Geof used the skills learned from his previous occupation as an architectural model builder to create his own style of cake decorating. Combining Geof’sdedication and attention to detail with Chef Duff Goldman’s know-how and vision, they have taken Charm City Cakes from a kitchen in a Baltimore rowhouse to an internationally known bakery and mischief troupe. A diverse range of skills are present at their cakeshop, permitting the belief that no cake idea is impossible to produce, be it a giant Hogwart's castle or a life-sized motorcycle. As Executive Sous Chef and a project lead, Geof mainly oversees replicas; with a meticulous eye has constructed cake models of Notre Dame cathedral, Taj Mahal, and "nearly every building sacred to Baltimoreans". Geof grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania and moved to Baltimore in the early nineties. He spends his free time as a singer/songwriter and also plays trumpet in a Fela Kuti tribute band.

A recipe from CHEF GEOF MANTHORNE…


FRENCH BUTTER CREAM ICING

Ingredients:

10 egg whites 
15 oz. granulated sugar 
2 1/2 lbs butter (room temperature) 


Directions


Start whipping egg whites slowly in the mixer by themselves (no sugar or butter yet) until the whites are foamy.  Make sure to have a completely clean and dry bowl when you start our process; any fat or liquid at all in the bowl will stunt the protein development of the albumen (egg white protein) and you will not have a proper meringue at the end -- results can be disastrous!

Increase the speed of the mixer and slowly start adding the sugar until all the sugar is incorporated.

Once all the sugar is in, increase the speed of the mixer even further and whip until the mixture is shiny and stiff.  You now have a meringue.  You know when your meringue is done when you pull out the whip, hold it horizontal, and you have what looks like a “sparrow’s beak” on the end of the whip.

Replace the whip, turn the mixer on medium and start adding the butter a bit at a time.  Once all the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer on high and leave it for a while.  Depending on the weather, the butter cream could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to form.  You will know when it has formed when you hear the motor of the mixer start to slow down and whine a little bit.  Also, when you first add the butter, your meringue will break down and look nasty.  This is good and is what you want.  When the butter cream is done, the mixture will be homogeneous and consistent...and tasty!

Remove the butter cream from the bowl and place in an airtight container.  Butter cream can be kept at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for a week or two.  But, remember to always use warm butter cream when icing a cake.  To warm up the butter cream, put it back in the mixer using the whip or the paddle, and apply direct heat with a propane torch (which you can find at any hardware store).

NOTES: Using a blowtorch directly on a good product is a very standard practice (see crème brulee).

Don’t worry about using raw egg whites in your butter cream; the sugar cooks the egg whites and makes them perfectly safe to eat.  If you are still uneasy about this, use a pasteurized egg product.