Ever feel like you are living under the Big Top and your life is a three ring circus? Uh-huh. Last Saturday was Project Wedding Cake day and we could have charged admission to the circus that was our home in the morning--all we needed was a trapeze artist or two. We had the rest of the show: clowns (the boys of course), monkeys (yep, boys again), elephant (me after all the cake scraps I ate), gravity-defying acts (4 tiers of cake) and so on.
It wasn't lively only because I had a wedding cake to pull together on a standard rowdy Saturday morning, but the fact that we were all attending the wedding too; that added a challenging element. (Wait, who's idea it was to bring the kids anyway?) So of course that meant there were babies to bathe, tiny shirts and pants to iron, and many bags to be packed with activities, sippy cups and the appropriate stuffed animal.
Do NOT ask me how Brangelina do it--I only have two and it's work. Oh right, they have like 6 nannies.
All day I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did and the four of us plus four cakes made it to the ceremony and reception without incident. Oh, did I mention that it was pouring rain? Like the kind of intense downpour that hits the ground so hard it splashes up under your dress.Yeah, not nice.
I assembled the cake from the bottom up at the reception hall and decorated it with simple purple ribbon and fresh daisies. The bride's colors were purple and yellow and we worked together to incorporated them into the cakes design. She also had picked a cute Precious Moment's cake topper which suited her to a tee, and I think both the bride and groom were happy with the final result.
Later on that evening, as he busily snapped photos of the cake cutting, the wedding photographer asked me how I felt about my creation and the fact that it was about to be destroyed, ie: consumed. I assured him that unlike some wedding cakes, mine focused first on taste and second on appearances, meaning that it's ideal destiny was to be consumed down to the last crumb, not just to sit pretty. I would be ten times more upset if it was only for show and never got eaten and enjoyed!
That said, here's the lowdown on what went into the cake with recipes at the bottom. Hope you weren't expecting a DIY wedding cake tutorial, because frankly I am not the patissiere for the job! This is my sixth wedding cake over the last 10 years, not a very good ratio. I should probably decide soon if I'm serious about this wedding cake calling or not.
Alright, there was both One-Bowl Chocolate Cake and Yellow Butter Cake in the cake layers, with the exception of the second layer, which was double chocolate. After all, chocolate is a more popular flavor and I wanted extra. Cakes were filled with Chocolate Frosting and covered with Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Rolled fondant covered the cakes for the final touch.
Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about making these recipes in large quantities.
Yellow Butter Cake
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
One Bowl Chocolate Cake
From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two round 9-inch cake pans or one 9x13 pan; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to ensure batter is well mixed.
Divide batter evenly among pans. (If I have any extra batter I like to make a few mini cupcakes.) Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed.
Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Frost as desired.