Monday, September 27, 2010

Cake #2... All Done!

So I have finally reclaimed my kitchen and office. In the past 2 weeks, I've baked enough cake to feed 350 people. Yowza.

This last one, however, was fulfillment of a promise I made nearly 15 years ago. The bride has been my friend for a long time and is the last of our core group to be married. We 3 others in the "pack" used to joke that we'd wear the tartiest dresses we could find - in fact, we'd delight in picking out the most inappropriate dresses we could find on our quarterly shopping trips (and our ages ranged from md-40s to nearly 70) and we'd tell Bride that "that's what we're wearing to your wedding."

I'd kid her that she'd better get married before my hands got too old to do her cake. And finally, that day came. The Groom looked a little stunned. We all laughed during the ceremony, held outside, when it started to sprinkle. It must've discombobulated the groom because he got all flusterpated and couldn't even recite the vows. Bride ended up cracking up and saying, "Close enough!" But seriously, the fun is what makes the ceremony memorable.

A deacon friend of ours (he officiated at our wedding) mentioned that he'd had a ceremony that morning "that was perfect; and the couple won't remember a thing. If you can't laugh or have one personal moment during the ceremony, it's pretty boring!"

Formal Wedding Cake
So here's the cake. Sorry the picture quality isn't great. My camera decided to flake out on me and the flash went wonky.

This cake was much more formal than the Softball Bride's cake. This is a yellow cake with chocolate buttercream filling and white buttercream frosting. The ribbons were ordered online and took me a good 2 weeks to find! They're cake ribbons, and the top one(as you'll see in a close-up shot) had Swarovski crystals in it. I could've put that ribbon on the entire cake except it was $20/yard!! The crystal-studded ribbon looked lovely when the lights were dimmed and the spotlight was on the head table. I have to find the link that I used; they did have ribbon where you could customize the colors of the crystals, but for the small amount I knew I wanted, it was easier to go with the plain crystal. Particularly since I knew what her topper looked like already. I didn't want to clash with it - I wanted to accent it.

The cake stand was something we found online, and I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it. It does look crooked, and I think it would've worked better with a 3" cake that was torted (cut into thinner layers) and then frosted. This cake was (from the bottom) 16" x 2 (2") layers; 12" x 2 (2") layers; and 8" x 2 (2") layers. That's six layers of cake plus the filling. Maybe it would've worked better with less cake in the middle! At any rate, I can use it for a lovely cookie display for the holidays.

The chocolate buttercream actually made my hubby's knees wobble! Three words: organic dutch process. Oh. My. It was such a rich chocolate; you really got the scent and then the hit of chocolate in your mouth. The white buttercream kept it from being overpowering, and the overall effect wasn't a tooth-rattling sweetness, which can happen with some cake fillings.

I ended up glazing this cake with apricot preserves. That keeps it from crumbing too much and also keeps the cake moist. Only a few people caught the apricot. Usually it's a pretty neutral taste, but if you're good, you can tell!

I used Duncan Hines butter recipe golden. That's a lovely firm cake with a nice texture that holds up well.

Cake Top with Crystal Studded Ribbon
 Here's a close-up of the top of the cake. The cake topper was provided by the Bride, and my hubby had to make the base for it. She wanted it on the top, and we weren't sure, since it was lead crystal, if it wouldn't end up IN the top! We also put a piece of cardstock in the back so you could see what the inscription was.

It almost ended up on the floor!! We were watching, after the ceremonial "cake cut" to see when the wait staff was going to take the cake. And I happened to see Hubby dash up to the front. Look at the picture above. Do you see anything anchoring those cakes to the stand? That's because there ISN'T anything holding them in place. Except gravity!

The waiters were just about going to whisk the cake onto a bus cart. Hubby grabbed the topper and told them, "STOP!" and then explained that you had to take each layer off the stand; it couldn't be moved all of a piece. Whew! Disaster averted... till I saw how they were cutting it.

I think that I'll start including cake cutting diagrams when I deliver them. You know you have a problem when the woman says, in a somewhat snippy tone, "I know how to cut a cake." Well...any 4 year old can cut a cake. But do you know how to properly cut a wedding  cake? This woman didn't! The pieces ranged from clumsy chunks to slivers. I was disappointed. The other thing? They're cutting it and whipping it onto a table, but didn't bring forks out! Hello, people!! They finally got forks out for the guests.

One thing I did like was that they cut a certain portion of the cakes and then they put the remaining slices into lovely little cake bags. That is such a nice way to allow the guests to take the cake home, and hopefully it avoids waste of the cake.

Little Buddies...
 One more picture: the bride loves teddy bears. I couldn't resist parking these two next to her cake. Yeah, she probably has 6 or 7 of the same ones, but what the heck... I had to have a little fun! I put their names and date on the tag. Also, in their wedding card, I gave her two snips of the ribbon to put in her album. If nothing else, the bears are just a little bit of fun for a bride who's found the love of her life.

I am not sure that I want to do that many cakes in that short of time as a regular thing! I enjoyed the real creativity that I was able to use. Even this one: I was told "I want simple and elegant" and I think that's what I gave her. I did have some white satin ribbon roses, but it ended up that I really didn't need them. The complete simplicity of just the topper and the ribbon was enough.

No telling when my next cake will come about. Or what the subject will be. But to me, that's half the fun.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Wow, I'm SOOOO impressed, Pat! I had no idea you did cakes too! I'm amazed!