Sunday, November 20, 2011

Melissa & Jason's Wedding Cake

Happy Sunday! Today we spotlight my last wedding cake of the year. This four tier beauty feeds about 170 people and weighs a ton! LOL! The Bride is in love with Anenome flowers but November is not the time of year to have them be your wedding flowers. Fortunately sugar flowers don't have a "season" so she wanted to incorporate them in a big way on her cake.

Wedding cakes are made over days and days before the actual wedding day. This is not to say that your cake has been sitting out for days and days. I started baking on Monday with the largest tiers and ending with the smallest tier on Wednesday. All cakes are wrapped in layers and frozen. Three days before the wedding, in this case Thursday since the wedding was an evening wedding, the cakes are removed and filled and crumbcoated. I did the largest two tiers on Thursday and the smaller two tiers on Friday. Once you crumbcoat a cake the moisture is locked inside. A caker is always worried about a dry cake and this is one way to ensure it stays nice and moist. Later that day, after the cakes had a chance to settle, I covered those two tiers and then filled and crumbcoated the last two. Those were covered on Friday and, at that point, the cakes were ready to stack. Since you are apt to touch the cakes as you stack, to position them, you are likely to leave impressions on your cake if you don't let the fondant set up for a bit. Overnight works quite well. The fondant is still soft to chew but more firm to the touch. The cakes were stacked and flowers added with melted white chocolate on Saturday afternoon then delivered at 5pm for the Bride and Groom, who were thrilled with the cake.

This cake has a different flavor for each tier. Starting from the bottom, there was white cake with raspberry filling, then Mexican Hot Chocolate cake with vanilla bavarian cream filling (the Grooms favorite), then yellow cake with chocolate brownie buttercream filling (the Brides favorite) and finally lemon cake with raspberry filling. The black fondant is Duff's black chocolate fondant and the white is vanilla marshmallow fondant. The flowers are made of vanilla marshmallow fondant with some tylose mixed in and the centers are the chocolate fondant. The only thing not edible on the cake is the topper and the stamen on the flowers.

As I have mentioned before, flowers take a long time to make due to drying time. The petals have to be formed first, then allowed to dry a bit, usually a day or so, before being glued together. Then, depending on the flower, you need more drying time before you add the centers. These took a full week to make due to the fact the glue for the petals needed to be totally dry so that when the centers were glued on the petals would not move.

The really fun part of this cake was that I worked the wedding as well. I got to cut the cake and watch as people not only enjoyed their pieces but came back for more! People who had tasted one flavor came back to try another flavor. Now that's one of the best endorsements of your baking that you can get!

The cake on the Cake Table

The really cute thing is that out of the kids it was the little boys who wanted the flowers! They were fascinated by the fact that you could actually eat them! After saving some for the Bride as keepsakes I handed out the rest to the kids. Hard fondant tastes like vanilla sugar candy and is SO good. No wonder the flowers disappeared quickly!

In the end, the Bride, Groom and their families were thrilled with the cake. They thought it was too pretty to cut but the cake inside was yummy enough to make up for the destruction of the artwork.

And that brings up something that I was asked several times last night as I was cutting the cake. Is it hard for me to cut into something I have spent so much time and put so much work in? A "standard" cake, one that is round or square, isn't as hard for me but the carved cakes are still very hard for me to cut into. When it comes to a shaped cake, like a toolbox, a purse, a TV, etc. I have put even more time and effort into making that item look like a real item and not a cake. So, yes, it's hard for me to dismantle those. But I can understand how someone might balk at cutting into one of my cakes. Years ago we were on a cruise and they had a midnight buffet where the chefs had spent hours creating these wonderful works of edible art. I took tons of photos but didn't have the heart to actually dig into any of them. I saw others hacking away at fruit sculptures that looked like real flowers and my heart hurt. So I can totally understand how it would be really hard for a client to cut into one of my carved cakes and want me to do it instead. Happy to do so.

And here's a secret. I really do like to hang out and cut the cake. I love celebrations. I love cutting and serving the wedding cake while listening to the toasts. Or while watching the Bride and Groom dance their first dance. Or the Birthday Girl open up her gifts. I do charge a nominal cutting fee but my real payment is being able to share a bit of the day with share in your happiness for even that brief amount of time. It's wonderful being surrounded by joy.

Speaking of Joy! This week begins the offical Holidays for us and for my business so lots of holiday cakes and goodies coming your way over the next 6 weeks! With Thanksgiving coming up this week I will have pies to show off instead of a cake! Can't wait!


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