October 3, 2010

Cake week, take 2...

My apologies for it having been a little quiet here of late, but as you’re all no doubt aware it was wedding cake season, and so things have been a little busy.

A few months ago, as you watched Miss Rose unveil her incredible masterpiece I hinted as to what K&T’s wedding cake may comprise, and in saying that it would “involve an awful lot of this” I was by no means exaggerating. I’ve never bought five dozen eggs before, let alone the two kilos of butter, four kilos of white chocolate, three kilos of berries and the two and a half litres of cream that went with them. But it was certainly a sight to behold, and to think that it was my responsibility to make it all become cake was admittedly rather daunting. I suspect the providore who said “looks like there’s some serious baking going on here” didn’t fully appreciate how much of an understatement that really was... 

 This becomes cake…

Now I must confess I was a little nervous about this one, and for a number of reasons. It wasn’t until the first layers were in and baking that I actually stopped to think about the fact that I’d never made a four-tiered cake before, let alone dessert for seventy people. And even ignoring all fears of transport and structural calamities, personal standards of execution meant I wanted to deliver something that tasted good, looked good, and was frankly above and beyond everything K&T had hoped for. 

So there was a reasonably high bar to be met, but it wasn’t this pressure of expectation that was the only source of nervousness. You see, things had started to go a little awry in the pre-wedding lead-up, to the point where it seemed inevitable that something would go drastically wrong. I mean, how often is a football grand final replay scheduled for you wedding day? (For the record, only twice in the history of the game, and just this once for K&T.) Add to that the travel agent stuffing up the honeymoon booking, and the best man calling a week before the wedding to say that he’d just broken his ankle, and to my mind at least, this certainly did not bode well.

But there’s nothing like a bit of a challenge (I haven’t even mentioned my bridesmaid responsibilities yet), and since the plan was to deliver a four-tiered white chocolate raspberry cake, layered with strawberry white chocolate mousse and covered with white chocolate ganache, then that was exactly what I was going to do. 

 I’m sorry, what kind of chocolate?

Day one, and the cakes baked according to plan. A lusciously rich mix was spread between a number of pans, and while the resulting layers turned out without ado, I will most certainly be happy not to be double lining cake tins for a while. 

A quick visit to the fridge meant the cakes cut like a dream, and the double layers of strawberry mousse went in to each tier surprisingly uneventfully. At the day's close, the resultant mountain of dishes was conquered, the floor mopped and the dowel cut, and while evidently I had inherited my father’s talents for misadventure when it comes to home handiwork, barring a few minor incisions, the cakes were sent without fuss to chill out overnight, and all was in readiness for day two.

The following morning was met with perhaps the largest pot of ganache I have ever seen and the revelation that wedding cakes are indeed the mother of repetition, for not only must tins be doubly-lined for baking and then setting with mousse, but three or so coating of ganache are also required for the desired finish.

I did, however, manage to make it through the many tedious hours of palette work, at which point it was time to get serious. Already weighing in at over twelve kilos, my little lovelies were in need of a bit of support, and so the lower layers were measured and doweled, and I took great delight in performing one of the more enjoyable baking activities - that which requires a hammer.

So with construction near complete, and each layer suited with ribbons and bows, it was time to pack up and drive the few dreaded hours through the Victorian countryside to the home of the main event. Thankfully the journey concluded drama-free, and after a day filled with glamorous girliness, a beautiful ceremony, and more photo poses than I ever imagined were possible, it was time to stack up the tiers, rejoice at the lack of imbalance, and emit a little ta-dah!

Admittedly while I was a little disappointed the reception centre's choice of service meant the guests missed seeing each tier in all its layered glory, by all accounts it was delicious, and I could not have asked for anything more.


And so after a very long and happy day, the second of our wee wedding cakes had finally come to fruition. It was an honour to share in K&T's special day, not only as head cakestress, but as a friend and witness to their commitment to each other. Thank you, and congratulations. You are both beautiful people, in every way...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Emily- the cake looked amazing and it was very, very delicious!! It was so yum! I could have quite easily have eaten a whole tier myself. Well done, awesome job.