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Archive for July, 2010

For the frosting, we made an Italian meringue. We had thought about making an Italian buttercream but, after a practice run, decided we liked the frosting better before we added the butter. An Italian meringue is really simple to make, though, on such a large-scale and with a hand mixer, it did take a while. I started by making a simple syrup that we heated until the soft ball stage. While the syrup was heating, I separated and beat the egg whites. When the whites were nice and frothy, I added some cream of tartar (to help stabilize the eggs.)

I continued beating the egg whites until they were pillowy.

At this point, I slowly added the hot simple syrup to the fluffy whites and continued beating them until they had cooled completely and they were nice and glossy.

Time to assemble the layers!

We placed the bottom half of the layers on their boards with bits of paper lining the edges for easy clean-up. We started with a layer of raspberry jam and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs (we didn’t put any nibs on the vanilla layer.)

Then a layer of the sour cream pastry cream…

Each layer was topped with rows of fresh raspberries.

The layers were then covered with their respective tops…

…and frosted with the chilled meringue.

After frosting all three layers, we measured dowels and placed several of them in the bottom and middle layers for support. Then we carefully stacked the cakes onto their posts and measured and sharpened one final dowel to act as the support for all three layers.

We put the cake in the fridge and made a little bit of colored frosting for decoration. There was a small gap between the layers so we hid it with meringue and raspberries. (We would have put the meringue and raspberries on for decoration anyways.)

We topped it off with a couple of daylilies.

Birds eye…

Rebekah and David, cutting the cake…

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Last September, Sarah and I picked a lot of red raspberries and made them into jam.

We saved a couple of jars to use for the wedding cake.

We made a simple vanilla pastry cream..

..the we lightened with some sour cream.

And since it was the beginning of raspberry season, we couldn’t leave out fresh raspberries.

With all of the fillings ready, we were ready for the frosting and the assembly.

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My good friend Sarah’s, little sister just got married. Sarah and I  were in charge of making the cake. We do a lot of baking but neither of us had ever made a tiered cake before, let alone one for 100 people. We planned on doing a lot of practice, and we did but it was more like a cake here, some frosting there, and a little filling on the side. No fully assembled mock-up cakes before the big day. We did  get all of our materials and ingredients in advance so we were ready when it was time to bake the layers. The wedding was Thursday evening so we baked the layers Wednesday night and made the fillings and assembled it on Thursday.

We started with the bottom layer, a 16 in square chocolate cake. The recipe that we were working off of was for 2, 9″ rounds so we doubled the recipe. It is always a good idea to start by preheating the oven and preparing the pans (grease and dust with flour for white cakes or cocoa powder for chocolate cake.)

Sarah mixed the wet ingredients together

while I mixed the dry ones.

Our lovely assistant and photographer, Monica, melted the chocolate. (We cooled the hot melted chocolate in a cold water bath so that it wouldn’t cook the eggs.)

We added the chocolate and a little lemon zest to the batter after we had combined the wet and dry ingredients.

We poured the batter into the pan and smoothed it out with an offset spatula, it was ready to go into the oven!

We opened the oven an slid the cake in only to discover that the oven wasn’t deep enough! Needless to say, Sarah and I freaked out! Luckily her sister had her head on straight and suggested we take it down the street to her grandparent’s and see if it fit in their over. We covered the cake in big sheets of butcher paper, to protect it from the rain, and took it down the street. With our fingers crossed, we slid it in the oven and it was just deep enough! While it was cooking we made the top-tier, which was also chocolate, though only an 8″ square, and then moved on to the middle tier which was a vanilla cake.

We finished baking the 3 layers and went to bed. When we woke up in the morning we decided to whip up one more layer to give the bottom tier some extra height. Then it was off to the event hall to make the fillings and get ready for the wedding.

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