Saturday, 16 May 2015

My Very Own Wedding Cake

People thought I was crazy when they would ask if I was making my own wedding cake and I would reply "yes". Why wouldn't I make it myself? I could come up with a design and execute it the way I wanted. My Mum worried that I was going to have too much to do if I made my cake, but soon realised it was futile to argue and that I had made up my mind. After all, and as Patrick will tell you, my motto is definitely "I can do it myself!" (a mantra which will more often than not just get me into over-worked trouble). I didn't want anything too fancy, I just wanted understated elegance which wasn't going to be too complicated. I have thought back on it and wondered if I should have tried to make it "fancier" but no, I am very well pleased with how it all turned out.

There were two cake-items that I prepared. One, the actual tiered cake for cutting, and two the cake pops that all the guests received. The cake pops were our thank-you gifts so they served an extra purpose.

Baking The Fruit Cake~
It has long been my plan that for my wedding cake I would have the traditional fruit cake. Using my Mother's wonderful recipe she uses at Christmas which is called a Light Fruit Cake. This recipe is full of candied fruit, and citrus peel with orange juice and pineapple chunks. The flavour is light and fresh, not dark and bitter. I have never made this cake before, but I got a crash course because my Mum wasn't feeling well so I had to do it for the first time. With her guidance every step of the way that is.
All the fruit and nuts get mixed together, making what I always thought looked like stained glass in a bowl.
Into the lined pans I poured the batter. These pans were hand made and have safely baked a few thousand fruit cakes in their day.
Once the cakes were suitably browned and done to my Mother's perfect standards, I poked little holes in the top of the cake, and drizzled brandy over the cake. The brandy bubbles as it seeps into the warm cake.
Mum then babysat the cakes and fed them every so often. A wee drizzle of brandy is always welcome.


Baking the Mint-Chocolate Swirl Cake~
 I knew Patrick wouldn't necessarily jump at the choice of having fruit cake at our wedding, they have gathered an unfavourable reputation of late. Despite my insistence that he would like it, I made his tiers in the mint-chocolate swirl cake that I made at the showers. This was also benefit of making the cake myself, I could choose what went in it. Patrick's cake was made using the same pans as the fruit cake in order to have even tiers, and I made the top two tiers the softer mint-chocolate cake. One we cut into, the other we saved for the baptism of our first small human. (The cake is now in the freezer)
Making the Flowers~
To decorate the cake, I made sugar roses. I made them for Patrick's cousin's wedding cake and loved how timeless they appeared. This time, I added sugar leaves as well. An added bonus to making these sort of decorations was that I could make these well in advance and let them dry.

I dusted all the flowers and leaves with gold dust, which on the night of the reception worked perfectly in the soft candle light of the hall.
The Cake on the Night~
All the tiers were covered in ivory fondant (my dress was a mix of ivory and pearl coloured lace, white fondant would have clashed). I wrapped a simple ivory ribbon at the base of every tier and placed all the roses on the ascending steps.
The look, I feel was elegant and was understated so in my mind, perfect.
Photo by Catherine d'Addario
Photo by Catherine d'Addario
Photo by Catherine d'Addario
Photo by Catherine d'Addario
  As my Mother and Father did at their wedding, we handed out boxes to each guest with a slice of each type of cake in it. Everyone got some to take home, and no one had to slice the cake on the night!
 The Thank-You Cake Pops~
 For all of you readers who have ever planned a wedding, a shower, or a large party, and have also provided thank-you gifts or bonbonieres as they're sometimes called, you'll know that anything half-decent will cost you more than you were hoping to pay. With my thank-yous I wanted to add a personal touch to the gift.
At every table, the gentlemen received a groom and the ladies received a bride, and yes the design of the pops was meant to mirror how Patrick and I actually looked on the day... as you do.

 Patrick wore the Macdonald Hunting Tartan tie, and I wore my Nana's pearls. I couldn't do lace on the bride pop, but I think for the sake of my sanity it's OK that I didn't try.

~ ~ ~
So was it crazy to go to the trouble to make my own cake instead of hiring someone, yes. And I would do it again. I feel quite privileged that I was able to do that for our special day, and I will have all the memories that go with the whole process.

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