Wedding Cake Archive

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

project wedding cake: ta-da!

cake, smallcake top, small

[Previous Project Wedding Cake episodes: An Introduction, Mango Curd, The Cake is Baked and Swiss Buttercream]

Oh, I’m sorry. Were you looking for me? Was I supposed to tell you something? It’s just that I left this wedding at 5 p.m. on a Sunday so exhausted, I’m pretty sure I stormed home in my 3-inch gold heels, promptly fell asleep on the sofa and didn’t wake up until 8 this morning.

But here I am, all caffeinated and human again! And look! Someone took some pictures of the wedding cake. (What, you expect me to remember the camera? I thought remembering all three cake tiers and some offset spatulas was enough!) And, lo, we had a wonderful time and the cake was great and there are smiles all around.

And the rest is history.

cutting the cakecake, plated, small

Wait, you want more details? Well then here’s my attempt at a run-down that you can feel free to skip if the details of cake assembly rightfully bore you.

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, July 5, 2008

project wedding cake: swiss buttercream

swiss buttercream triumph

[Previous Project Wedding Cake episodes: An Introduction, Mango Curd, The Cake is Baked]

Oh, hi. Are you still out there? Oh, right, it’s the middle of a holiday weekend and you’re probably a) at the beach, b) sleeping on a hammock in a backyard or c) taking one of those media breaks the kids are so into these days. And believe it or not, I had a few days off too.

egg whites

Because of my overly-paranoid baking schedule, I was actually able to not work on the wedding cake for a few days. Once I made a big vat-of-curd, I was pretty much done for a few days, on one of them even making dinner. Like, from ingredients you buy at a store. True story!

egg whites

I made also made a tiny practice batch of Swiss buttercream, frosted it onto an even tinier cake and declared it my new favorite frosting. All of your advice was tremendously helpful in getting me through the oh-my-god-this-isn’t-working-FAIL period after I added the butter to the egg whites and once again ended up with a bowl of curdly soup. But with my laptop on the counter, I read what you all said–in short, “whip, whip, whip!”–and you know what? It worked. In a span of about 2 seconds, this frosting turns from slosh to, well, a mayo consistency which I know sounds revolting but I can assure you is anything but.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

project wedding cake: the cake is baked

the wedding cake is baked!

[Previous Project Wedding Cake episodes: An Introduction, Mango Curd]

That’s right, folks. The. Cake. Is. Baked. I mean, sure, it’s not filled. Heck, I haven’t even tracked down Indian or Philippine mangoes yet, bought the chocolate for the ganache filling or successfully tackled Swiss Buttercream, but we’ve got time for all that–FOUR WHOLE DAYS in fact. Pshaw, it should be nothing at all.

12-inch chocolate cake

But the cake is baked! I made the 12-inch square chocolate cake layers on Saturday and the 10-inch and 8-inch vanilla cake layers on Sunday, which if you’re keeping track at home is nine squares of parchment paper, washings of the Kitchen Aid bowl and beater, nearly four pounds of butter, three boxes of cake flour, a five-pound bag of sugar and at least one minute and twenty seconds of projecting Bakers Joy spray, which was indeed the Joy of my cooking this weekend. They are each frozen and wrapped in triple layers of plastic wrap and separated by cake boards.

cake flour

All of the dishes are done and the cleaning lady will hopefully not break up with us when she sees what this process has done to the kitchen floor. And walls. And surfaces.

eggs, eggs, eggs

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, June 29, 2008

project wedding cake: mango curd

project mango curd

[Previous Project Wedding Cake episodes: An Introduction]

So [wipes hands on the filthiest apron you have ever seen] where did we leave off? Oh right! You see, I am making a wedding cake. And despite the fact that I have made more birthday and celebration cakes in the last two years that I can count on all of my fingers and most of my toes, wedding cakes are a whole ‘nother scene. I thought “I’ll just bake three cakes and snap ‘em all together.” Hoo-hoo-hee-hee, how much I have learned!

battered mangoes and lime

Since we last spoke, we’ve made a lot of progress. I have baked 6″-square samples of both the vanilla and chocolate cakes we will be using with their requisite fillings, the bride came and tasted (also Joc, when I begged her to remove the thigh-offending goods from our fridge!), brought home samples and everyone involve declared them a raging success. How wonderful, right?

the lime was juiceless

I have also read all 240-and-counting of your comments and Internet, I am just filled with glee that you all came out to help this project along. I’d bake you all a cake, but I think we’ve already seen what kind of trouble that gets me into. Instead, I have made several adjustments based on your advice: the largest cake layer is now chocolate (in an effort to balance the number of white and chocolate cake slices) and I know with absolute certainty that I will be assembling the cake on site (I mean, phew, I was hoping you’d suggest that anyway).

mango, ready for the chopper

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

project wedding cake: an introduction

cake testing looks like this

As there is no casual way to say this, ahhhem, let me just blurt it out: I am baking a wedding cake!

Like, a real live honest-to-god wedding cake. I have always wanted to make a wedding cake. Alex and my wedding cake was well-intentioned but ultimately disappointing, the obvious product of all the shortcuts bakeries get themselves into when quantity trumps quality. In the same way that I believe that everyone deserves a cake baked with a symphony of butter, eggs, flour and devotion on their birthday, a wedding cake should be all that and more. No mystery-ingredient toppings, no highly unnatural silver dust, no fake cake for display with a sheet cake in the back for serving.

cake, cake, cake

That said, although I volunteered, no insisted upon making this a few months ago as our friends discussed their upcoming wedding, I am currently freaking out over the magnitude of this project. Typical, right?

With this, I want to kick off a series of mini-entries over the next two weeks–yes, the wedding is in less than two weeks–in which I work out the details and steps, and those of you out there that have ever baked a wedding cake before will come forward and tell me all of your secrets. And share your Xanax with me.

batter up

Continued after the jump »