Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Wedding Cake

I did my first wedding cake this year: my own! I couldn't resist the challenge and am so glad I did it.

It all started a few months before the big day. The bottom tier was fruit cake and was done under supervision by a professional baker, my grandad :) He advised (and it definately was needed) a new clean bucket as I didn't have any bowls big enough to take the volume of a 12" cake, my biggest yet.

Here's it all mixed in using a cake tin that's seen more wedding cakes in it's life than Elizabeth Taylour.

It was so heavy going in the oven! A few nervous hours later it came out smelling lovely and was cooled then wrapped up to mature.

The other tiers were a 10" chocolate madeira and a 8" lemon madeira. I made them a few weeks before and froze them undecorated. They came out fine and were filled with (a whole jar of) choclate spread and lemon buttercream respectively. In fact they defrosted in a few hours which was lucky as I had actually forgotten to take them out of the freezer the night before!

Actually stacking the cake was pretty scary but was fun. I used wooden dowells and pushed them into the fruit cake, then removed aand cut to the hightest length.The middle tier was stacked on top. My 2 tier birthday cake was a good practice for using dowells, especially as I found that plastic ones are tricky to cut as they 'squished' instead of leaving a nice flat edge. The top tier went on with pillars which were a bit harder than they looked! One of them sank into the middle tier a bit as the dowell was slightly too short but it wasn't noticable unless you looked carefully. I don't have any pictures as I didn't have enough hands.

The design was from my previous lace cake, as it was simple, easy and relatively quick. I don't think I could have handled the stress of fancy piping. I used thicker fondant than last time to remove the lumps and bumps and create a smoother effect, though I have since invested in an icing smoother that might have come in useful. The lace was also great for hiding a not so perfect edges. I also covered the top and bottom cake boards with fondant to finish the look. In the end I chose ivory as it was such a rich colour and matched my dress, plus the pillars came to match the icing.

My toppers were nearly more elaborate flowers. I'd looked in the shops for a bride and groom topper but they were all ugly in my opinion. I spotted these the week before and ordered thinking if they came on time all well and good if not I'd do more flowers. Luckily they arrived in a few days to finish it off and they're now safe on my mantlepiece.

Here's a picture of the final result. There are a few things I'd do differently if I was making another one but I love it and am so pleased with how it looked. Unfortunatley I can't tell you how it tasted, I was too full after dinner and it got eaten over the rest of the night!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Silicone Bakeware

I got some silicone sandwich and loaf tin recently and am still experimenting. I do love the colours and getting things out of the tins is really easy as it just peels back. In fact it workss particularly well with ice cream type desserts. I think it's supposed to be oven microwave and dishwasher proof.
It does have its limitations though. I've found that you don't get a nice crust round the edge as the silicone doesn't heat up as hot as a metal tin would. Also they are very flexible (on purpose) meaning that for the sandwich tins you really need to put them on a baking tray or you'll probably spill batter all over the oven if its even nearly full.
I think a light mixture works well, but for anything heavier I'd stick to traditional pans, my barm brack showing the reason why. It took ages to get burnt mixture off the bottom of the oven!