Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Making a Wedding Cake: Part I
Oh my. I did it! I made a wedding cake! Crazy.
I've been dreaming about making a wedding cake for ages. After making the groom's cake for a friend's wedding this summer, I was even more excited about someday making a wedding cake. So when Tracey said, "Hey, you could do our wedding cake!" I jumped at the chance. I've had so much fun with this project and I'd love to share the behind-the-scenes details with you! (I'll write about the day-of-the-wedding details next, if those interest you too :)
Thankfully Tracey and Greg were very laid back about the whole thing, and weren't looking for something super fancy or perfect. That really freed me up to focus on how it would taste, knowing if my frosting style is a bit homemade-looking, that's ok. We decided on a fall-flavored cake, with a tier each of carrot, pumpkin and apple cake covered with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.
After the question of flavor was answered, I turned to the Internet to answer the million other questions I had. Like, how does a three-tiered cake not cave in on itself? And how on earth am I going to get a giant wedding cake from my apartment in Chelsea to the venue in Queens? The Internet was very helpful. Thankfully, Queen Deb had already attempted this feat and I learned (as always) a lot from her.
After the Internet taught me about using dowels (I used straws) to keep the cake from caving in on itself, I made a full-sized test cake. Which was maybe a bit insane/wasteful, but turned out to be the best thing I could have done for my sanity and my confidence level. I tested all the recipes, built the cake, figured out that it was super easy to hide the cake boards in between each layer, gained confidence that it wouldn't cave in, and saw how the frosting would behave after sitting out all day in a warm apartment. As a little cheat, I only frosted half of the test cake.
After the test cake survived the day in my apartment without anything catastrophic happening, I took a giant box of it over to Tracey and Greg, who gave it the thumbs up. Then I threw the rest away (I know! I'm sorry) and waited nervously for the wedding day to make the real deal. Oh, and I suppose since this is the behind the scenes post I should tell you that I made all the cake a week before the wedding day and froze it all. It worked beautifullycake is much easier to move around when it's frozen solid, it thaws to taste exactly the same as it did when it went in, and it allowed me to enjoy the pre-wedding festivities without having to come home to bake nine cakes at the end of the night.
I think I've bored you enough with the details for now (or, if there's anyone out there like me, fascinated you), more on how it all went down later today.