Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Classic Wedding Cake – Oh Crumbs!

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I have Lemmings Disorder – that’s when you see the “cliff-edge” in any given situation and feel compelled to head directly towards it.
Here’s a good example: I was utterly delighted when my brother announced his engagement to the lovely Rosie – a true treasure who has been part of our family for quite some time now. I was so busy being thrilled, that I didn’t notice that my mouth hadn’t stopped at “Congratulations! Fantastic! When’s the big day?”
At the last moment, my brain noticed what was about to happen. Nooooooo! it yelled, trying to head me off at the pass. Remember what happened the last time?!!!!!
But there was no stopping that mouth. It just kept right on going...
            “I’ll make the wedding cake if you like!” I announced 
                                                              ...straight over that cliff.
I was touched by the happy couple’s faith in me, particularly as they had been present the last time.

Now, some of you will know what happened the last time and will have had the same concerns as my brain. That infamous “last time”, my engineering skills failed me and most of my sister’s wedding cake ended up in crumbs on the floor. Oooops!

Remember 'last time' - Oh crumbs!

The bride selected ‘Champagne Bubbles’ - a design by May Clee-Cadman, from Sweet and Simple Party Cakes– an elegant classic, decorated with fresh flowers to echo her bouquet.
The cake consisted of an e-n-o-r-m-o-u-s fruitcake, baked by Marie, the bride’s mother. I made two smaller tiers of vanilla sponge and buttercream.
Thirteen kilos (that’s about 26 pounds) of sugarpaste covered the multi-storey construction, which was dotted with 1,668 royal icing “champagne bubbles”.  My (fairy) Godmother conjured up the gorgeous flowers that made up the mezzanine tiers and crowned the cake.

It survived the trip from Wicklow to Cavan – a miracle because in parts, the main highway resembles a cart-track. So far, so good!

"I could get used to this"

All the time, my brain waited, ready with a smug “I knew this was going to happen!” or a scornful “I told you so!”

"I caught the bouquet!"

After the ceremony, I disappeared to start the construction. There were pins, dowels and glue. There were mathematical equations and a spirit level. The confectionary skyscraper rose storey, by snowy-white storey. With the last ribbons in place and a meadow of flowers scattered around the base, I took photos to prove that - whatever happened now - it had once been standing.

All through the reception, I held my breath. The last time the cake had made it this far too. When the joyful new Mr and Mrs rose to cut the cake, I crossed my fingers - hard. Would the bank of cameras snap the moment the cake collapsed and send it all over Facebook to my eternal mortification? Or had my engineering skills been up to the task this time? 
Does “Phew!” answer your question?

"I'm still standing..."
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