Hi all !
Well I’ve done it! My first wedding cake! I wish I could say it was a walk in the park but there were plenty of stressful hours involved. At the end of the day it was worth it and the results are something I can be really proud of ! and I am !!
The wedding cake was a 9 layer, 3 tier Naked Wedding Cake which is a very popular style at the moment. I have never undertaken such an enormous task. The most difficult part was the logistics of getting it there, being that the wedding was 500 km (300 miles) from home, but with a big esky and some forward planning everything worked a treat.
The wedding was for my brother in-law and his beautiful bride, held at the top of the Blue Mountains overlooking the majestic cliffs and valleys that make this a perfect spot for a wedding. It was hard to wake up to this view but someone had to do it!
We arrived at our location early Friday afternoon to one of the heaviest downpours I’ve been in for a while. That being said after the storm cleared we not only had the beautiful sandstone cliff faces, we now had waterfalls too. We really do live in the lucky country! To have such amazing scenery right on the doorstep should not be taken for granted.
Once we had all taken in the view it was down to business and get this massive cake assembled. All 3 tiers were butter cakes (because I knew they would freeze and travel well) and all were different flavours. The buttercream fillings were all different too. The bottom tier was a 12″strawberry cake. Instead of milk as the liquid I used strawberry puree. We hand picked the strawberries from a local farm, topped them, cooked them down till they’d reduced by about half, blitzed them and passed it through a sieve to remove the seeds. The flavour was so good, the sweet bitterness that you get from the strawberries is intensified when you reduce it and flavoured the cake beautifully. The middle tier was an 8″ white chocolate and the top was a 4″ vanilla. All the cakes were baked and frozen before we left home. Even thought the cottage did have a nice big 900mm oven there was no time to bake them there.
I did make the buttercream there though, it was funny because my wife kept joking that who else would go on holiday with their kitchen aid but I had a job to do. The filling for the strawberry tier was plain vanilla buttercream, the white chocolate tier had a coffee buttercream and the vanilla tier had a dark chocolate buttercream. The entire outside was then crumb coated with the vanilla buttercream.
While the buttercreams were getting all light and fluffy I needed to trim the cakes. Because all the layers are exposed in a naked cake it was important that they are all the same height.
Naked cakes are very popular at the moment as wedding cakes and I really like the simplicity of them. There are a few different ways to present them from simply stacking one cake on top of the other with a little filling between layers to the full crumb coat effect that I was asked for. One thing that is fairly consistent for all naked cakes is that there is minimal decorations and usually only consists of a few fresh flowers, fruit – mainly berries and a dusting of icing sugar.
Placing the first layer of cake on the cake board it was time to begin building each tier.
Once each tier was built I put them in the fridge to harden overnight ready for the big day.
The next day was assembly day, unfortunately there are no photos of the assembly mostly because I was pretty stressed and secondly the bride told the video crew to tape me assembling the cake. Like I wasn’t stressed enough!! It didn’t matter I rose to the occasion ! I cut and placed all the dowels in the first two tiers and began to build. I had lightly traced the cake boards onto the cake below so I knew exactly where to sit the next cake so it was supported by the dowls. Though next time I’d work out the front of each tier before I put it on the cake, the beauty of them having been in the fridge was they were easy to spin into the right spot. Once all the cakes were piled on top of each other it was time to sort out the floral arrangement. Unfortunately some of the flowers were used the night before for other things which didn’t leave me much, but I enlisted the help of my wife and her sisters for a brainstorm and made the most of what we had.
It was then back in the fridge till after the ceremony when I would add the finishing touches of blueberries and a dust of icing sugar. I’d been worrying about whether the icing would hold up as it was another smoking hot day in the 30’s. I didn’t want it to melt but as it turned out just before the wedding it started to rain and cooled everything down. Then after the wedding the rain stopped which gave me an opportunity to bring the cake from the house to the marquee and finish it off.
The results were awesome, I was really happy with it and even the caterers were commenting how lovely it looked and asking if I was a local cake decorator.
The biggest complement was a message I received from my new sister in-law a couple of days later on my phone. ” Hey Mike, I just wanted to say a big thank you for making such a gorgeous cake! It was perfect!!”
Who needs any more reassurance of a job well done than that!
Well that is where I would normally sign off
It’s a family tradition to cut the cake in a special way. Now I had forgotten about this until they mentioned it and a sudden rush of fear washed over my face. My poor cake!
It is tradition to cut the cake with your HAND!! and while there was hesitation at the start not to do it, once the chant ” DO IT! ” from around the tables started there was no choice. Thankfully for me I did manage to convince them to remove the top tier.
And below is how we chop the cake!
Thanks for Readin’