Recipes

THE wedding cake

On 1st July, my brother got married, and my wedding gift to him and his now wife was their wedding cake.

For ease it was on a tiered stand rather than stacked and as neither of them like fruit cake, I made a lemon sponge layer, a Victoria sponge layer and a red velvet layer (recipes below)

All 3 were iced using techniques from Wilton’s ‘I taught myself buttercream flowers’ and colours from their wedding colour scheme.

I was rather pleased with the result.

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Recipes/Method

Victoria Sponge (for the large layer)
6 eggs
12oz caster sugar
120z self raising flour
12oz margarine or butter (I use Stork)

Lemon sponge (the smallest layer)
4 eggs
8oz caster sugar
8oz self raising flour
8oz margarine or butter
zest and juice of 1 lemon

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and smooth.
  2. Add eggs one at a time (with a little flour if it starts to curdle)
  3. Add remaining flour and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. (If making lemon sponge add lemon zest and 1tsp of lemon juice)
  5. Transfer to lined tins and bake at 180 degrees until sponge springs back at touch.

Red Velvet cake (I used the Hummingbird Bakery recipe and doubled the quantities below for the middle layer)
60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
150 g caster sugar
1 egg
20 g cocoa powder
40 ml red food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar

  1. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed.
  2. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste.
  4. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
  5. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
  6. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again.
  7. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture.
  8. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
  9. Transfer to lined tins and bake at 170 degrees for 20-25 minutes until sponge bounces back when touched.
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Wedding cake practice

In July I am making my brothers wedding cake and wanted to learn some new skills to make it pretty. Whilst browsing Instagram I came across a beautifully decorated cake using buttercream flowers – actually a promo for a teach yourself kit that Wilton sells. The first challenge I had was locating somewhere in the UK that actually sold it (massive thanks to the UK Wilton Customer Services team who helped me locate one!) once that was done, last weekend was a practice run.

Slightly over the top colours (some testing with my ColourRight colours) but generally, not a bad first go!

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The big day arrives

 
So the big day is finally with us, and for me the big day isn’t the actual wedding it’s the day in which I need to ice the cakes!

Firstly, the actual cakes – the baking, freezing and defrosting has all gone without any hitches which is good, but I am starting to worry that this means the problems are still to come…

  

So on to the icing, the first task was evening out the cakes, they didn’t end up as flat as I would have liked, but probably only really noticeable to me!

The buttericing went without a hitch, but the fondant icing was a little more difficult than I anticipated. Never having fondant iced such a large cake, this was a pretty big test for the first attempt! Nerves started to set in, along with a fair dose of the shakes, so I decided to opt for the smaller one first! With my confidence built, the second, larger cake actually ended up better iced than the small one!

Ribbon tied and packed into boxes to transport (not without it’s own challenges, as the larger cake was actually too big for my largest cake box!) the cakes arrived at their destination safe and sound, sugar flowers added and placed onto the cake stand!

The bride and groom were really happy with the finished article and that is the most important thing!

A little too stressful for my liking… don’t think I will be offering to make a wedding cake again in a hurry!!

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The big test

This weekend gave me my first test when it came to creating my friends wedding cake.

When you buy a wedding cake, before you commit to spending a couple of hundred of your hard earned pounds, you get to taste the cakes. So before expecting my friend to commit to which cakes she’d like, I thought it only fair she got to taste them first.

The first cake was a chocolate cake. Just a simple chocolate sponge with vanilla butter icing. Fortunately it all went well and my friend, her fiance and his parents all enjoyed the cake, and one tier has been decided! Good job really as i’m not sure what she’d have decided to do if she didn’t like it!

The next test will be a lemon sponge. This time, I think the trial is going to include some practice icing as it’s been a while since I did my cake decorating course.

Luckily I have found a great website that sells all kinds of ready made sugar flowers, including this calla lily piece that I think is going to take pride of place in the top tier!