Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Classic Wedding Cake – Oh Crumbs!

Pin It
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..."
Pin It

30 comments:

S.V. said...

The cake looks beautiful. Fantastic job and I'm glad it stayed upright. :)

Parsley Sage said...

WOO HOO! You're the Queen of non-collapsing cakes! So proud :) Stunning job, my dear. You really did an incredible job! Buzzed

The Culinary Lens said...

Very clever use of suspense with the intervening pictures..

The cake looks beautiful. I will refrain from telling any Cavan jokes.

Giulia said...

Che meraviglia!!!!!
Complimenti, Giulia

Three-Cookies said...

Wow, amazing cake. Simple and professional. 13 kg of icing? What did the cake weigh?

WiseMóna said...

Hester. There is just no end to your talent.
I know the feeling, though, when you know you should stop talking and offering to 'do things' like that.

But, wow. What a lovely gift to be able to give those you love. You are a rock star.

AND - so now that the bouquet has been caught can we expect there to be another wedding?

xx

Anne@frommysweetheart said...

Hester! I am absolutely in AWE of you! That cake is unbelievably gorgeous! It is just stunning! Loved your pictures! Hope it was a wonderful day for all! : )

Ann said...

STUNNING! Absolutely stunning! Congrats on an amazing cake that stood the test of time!

Manu said...

Ohhhhh I am speechless (and that is in itself quite an event ;-P)! This cake looks so professional! I wish you had made my wedding cake too Hester! Fantastic job!!

Spinneys Cauldron said...

Well done you, perhaps use human sat nav, select the setting 'avoid cliffs' :)
Wow what a gorgeous, most elegant cake & what a most talented, endlessly so, cook you are!! Ooh soo creative one. Looked a fabulous day, wishing the loved up ones many many happy years together.

Lilly said...

I had so much fun reading your post. The pictures are beautiful and the cake...well the cake is just tooo pretty. Great job!

Beloved Green said...

Beautiful, simply beautiful! It is still standing, and looking gorgeous. They must have been delighted.

Veronica Gantley said...

Stunning my friend, absolutely stunning. I was on the edge of my seat. Thank goodness it didnt colapse!

Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

Such a beautiful cake! This was a pretty intense post. I think I held my breath all the way to the end!

Ali B said...

What a beautiful cake! I love the simple design and the gorgeous flowers. Congrats on making top 9!

firefoodie said...

Beautiful story and photos. The 'construction' element particularly appeals to my architectural interests!

Sharon said...

I make cakes too and had a recent disaster. A beautiful (really beautiful) white chocolate, summer berry and sponge creation collapsed en route to a birthday party. Thankfully, I had a very resourceful friend with me and having returned home, we managed to recreate the loveliness so that it was almost as good as new!
So, I totally empathise with your use of the word 'phew'!

5 Star Foodie said...

A gorgeous cake, wow!

Skylar Wolfe said...

Lemmings disorder. Brings back such memories! Cake looks great, wonderful job

Eating Deliciously said...

Beautiful cake!

Val said...

Amazing cake. It looks like you make them every week - so professional!

purabi naha said...

WOWWWW...I am dumbstruck!! What a lovely wedding cake! The kids are so cute! I am surprised how nicely it is upright! Incredible job indeed!!

Tiffany said...

AH-MAZE-ING! … and still standing! :D The ribbon is gorgeous by the way!!!
..

Johanne Syron said...

And the cake tasted as good as it looked - Absolutely wonderful! Thank you Hester!

Jacqueline said...

The cake is so pretty! You are so talented Hester! I had never heard of Lemmings disorder but my hubby who suffers from slight vertigo says that when he sees a cliff or high building he wants to jump off. I was always baffled. Maybe it was to escape me ;-)

Caroline@Bibliocook said...

Looks amazing - well done!

Pauline said...

Wonderful! All those bubbles too :-) you are very brave I chicken out of wedding cakes.

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

You had me going to the last crumb of suspense, Hester. Of course it would be standing. What beautiful wedding shots. Congratulations to the happy couple, the flower-girl and Hester the cake maker. There's really no stopping you now, eh?!

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

You had me going to the last crumb of suspense, Hester. Of course it would be standing. What beautiful wedding shots. Congratulations to the happy couple, the flower-girl and Hester the cake maker. There's really no stopping you now, eh?!

Elena & Ivan said...

Hester, your cake looks phenomenal!! perfect!