Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fern Wedding Cake. Top tier dark chocolate cake with fudge filling.
Middle tier yellow cake with fudge filling. Bottom tier lemon chiffon cake
with lemon curd buttercream. Covered in vanilla marshmallow fondant
with handcut and placed fern leaves with a fondant waterlily cake topper.

This week's cake is a wedding cake for two dear friends of ours. Working out the design for a wedding cake that didn't really look like a wedding cake was challenging for both me and the bride. In the end she wanted a modern look without a frilly feel so the Fern cake seemed to fit the bill perfectly. For a change the sugar flower cake topper was not the hard part of this cake. It was the handcutting of each fern leaf and then placing them onto the cake that was painstaking work and worth every minute I put into it for the final look.

The secret about this weeks cake is actually the cutters I used to make the fern leaves. Gumpaste cutters often look pretty much like cookie cutters. Often they are just the shape you want them to be but more often than that they are parts of a whole puzzle that you must cut out, shape and piece together. This is a fortunate thing for those of us who look for shapes that will fit what we want to do rather than always completing the "puzzle" the way it's meant to be. I had seen fern molds and just didn't like the way that they looked so I went on a hunt for cutters that I thought would make the shapes I needed in order to make the fern leaves look the way I wanted for the final look. So in the end I ignored what the cutter are supposed to be used to make and just started to look for the shapes I wanted and was able to find them at one of my favorite websites:
The other secret of this cake is the filling for the top two tiers. I often make a chocolate fudge buttercream filling but the Groom loves fudge so I actually made the candy fudge as a filling. Very firm it made for a wonderfully rich filling. Sometimes a non-traditional filling is the right fit for a non-traditional wedding cake.

The last part of this story ends with some luck. Wedding cakes, or tiered cakes of any sort, are a construction project using wooden dowels and cardboard rounds to provide the structure. In other words, your cakes are not really sitting on eachother, they are sitting on the cardboard which is sitting on small wooden dowels. One of these dowels slipped inside the cake somewhere along the way and, thanks to my cake safe, the cake held together all the way to the venue over 2 hours away. Once we set the cake on the cake table we saw that one part of the structure had begun to lean but were lucky enough for it to hold all the way to the cutting of the cake looking like it was tilting just a bit but it did not collapse. I was very thankful for that! Once I dismantled the cake I quickly found the tilted dowel and realized that it was only because the other dowels held up that my cake didn't collapse. But when dealing with cake you have to remember that it's not a solid medium, things move and shift and sometimes it's luck that sees you through to the finish line. The Bride and Groom loved the cake so at the end of the day it was worth everything.

This week brings a Disco Fever Birthday cake for a 10 year old girl. I'll share it with you next Sunday!


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