Monday, June 30, 2008

What To Do (And Not To Do) When You Make a Wedding Cake...Or...Wedding Cake Making 101

Yes, a very long title. Don't knock it, it's late. ;-P
As some of you know, my sister Robyn and I made Cherie's wedding cake. Whew! It was an adventure. Not really the kind of adventure where you want to jump up and down, do a little dance and throw your hat in joy and then do it all over again and again and AGAIN....more like a...jump up and down, stomp your feet, do a little dance when your mixing the umpteenth attempt at a good SPREADABLE frosting and throwing your hat on the floor and promise that you wont do it ever, ever again kind of adventure. Ok, it wasn't that bad. :) It had it's great moments and it's scary moments. Let me put it this way, there was more prayer than flour in this cake and believe me it took a lot of flour. It was the holiest cake ever made.

Cherie saying in an awe-stuck tone "That's a lot of ingredients..."

Yes, yes it is.

We used over 6 dozen eggs, about 10 pounds of flour, 11 pounds of butter, probably about the same amount of Cream Cheese, a whole jar of cocoa powder, two BIG tubs of strawberry jam, a whole jar of vanilla extract, a little over half of that chocolate chip bag you see above, LOTS of sugar, powdered (about 3 bags I think.) and granulated, about 8 cups of mayonnaise (yes sounds sick, but good sub. for eggs and the choco cake recipe calls for it and it's goooood.), let's see, I think we used up a whole box of Baking Soda. There's more that I can't think of. I don't have the recipe in front of me. Whew!We posted the recipes up on the cupboard for quick reference. We had another paper with how many batches we needed, how many cups of batter we needed for each pan size and which layers were chocolate and which were white. I wish I could remember how many batches we had to make of each recipe. I think that the chocolate was around 12 batches and the white more like 4. The white cake recipe was a much bigger recipe. We used this recipe from Martha Stewart for the white cake. Mmm. So good. I think almost everyone said they liked this one the best. Everyone that is, except the die hard Nothing-But-Chocolate-For-Me types. :)

Two very important things to have on hand when making a wedding cake:

Kitchen Aid or other mixer (preferably two!)

A calculator is a necessity for all those measurements. ( what is 3/4 cup + 3 Tblsp x 12?!)

Here we go! Mixing up all that scrumptious chocolate batter! Oh yes and we got to do it 12 times! You'd think we'd have the recipe memorized by now.

And here are some of the pans ready to be put into the oven. That funny looking thing in the middle of the 12" pan is a baking core. Another must for baking large sized cakes. It's like a little muffin tin that you fill with batter and stick in the middle of the pan. It makes the whole cake bake at the same time so that the middle doesn't puff up or fall. Here are the first layers all baked. We had to do two of every size. Each tier is 4 layers each. The strips you see wrapped and pinned around the pans are our homemade version of Bake Even Strips. We just tore up a clean old towel in to strips. Soaked them in water and pinned them around the cake pans. They keep the edges from getting crispy. They worked great. Just be sure to get them good and wet. Not dripping but almost. Look at that HUGE cooling rack! It was so handy to have. Especially while working with the sheet cake layers. If you plan to make Costco size cakes, get one of these racks. :) We got ours at Michael's. Lovely flat top. Bubbly and moist! The Incredible Shrinking Pile of Ingredients!Our big mess! Half way through the baking...... And now, on to the white cakes!
This batter is so white and fluffy because you whip the egg whites and fold them into the batter right before you put it into the pans. It's very gratifying to make and so easy to work with.

Check out this huge doughnut! (it's just for you Anna my friend!) This is what the cake looks like after it has been baked with the baking core. Be SURE to grease and FLOUR the baking core heavily. Otherwise it sticks something fierce! And here's the core all ready to be stuck into the hole and trimmed to the right size. Oh yes, before we baked the cakes we greased, lined with parchment, greased again and then floured the pans. They always came out nicely.



And more frosting!

Our semi-cleaned up kitchen...very late at night. It took all day to mix up batter and bake and mix frosting. Next time we will definitely borrow another mixer, and do it on a few separate days instead of all at once. The best thing is that cake freezes very well! You don't have to make it all the day before.

Things we learned when mixing and baking this cake.

#1 Have more than one mixer on the premises unless you want to be up til 3 in the morning.

#2 Bake only ONE big pan at a time. (they take forever to bake otherwise and they will fall from the constant checking to see if it's done.)

#3 Have two days to mix and bake your cakes so that you aren't up til all hours. Make the frosting and fillings on a separate day altogether.

Well, that is the first part of the "What To Do (And Not To Do) When You Make a Wedding Cake...Or...Wedding Cake Making 101" Post. I will post later about the assembly, frosting and stacking of the cake. :)

Hope you are all having a beautiful day!


Monday, June 9, 2008

I am in love.

You all need to hop on your bike or horse and head over to The May Farm on Etsy. It is so lovely! Everything in the shop is a glamorous Farm Girls dream. If you like vintage, sweet, fashionable and pretty things for sewing, cooking or gardening you wont want to skip out on taking a peek! Really cute inexpensive things great for presents (hint, hint) for others or yourself. Seriously. Right now. Don't wait another moment. Stop reading this blog! Go.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Quarter of a Century!

This past year I kept telling people that I was 25. Oh whoops, I lied I'm only 24. Heh heh. I don't really know why but I am really excited about being 25! Maybe so I wont be embarrassing myself every time someone asks me my age? It's very humiliating to have to change your mind about how old you are. Is my age showing? :)

The boys waiting patiently (not so much) for cake! :)

Yes, it was my birthday yesterday and I am truly happy to be 25. This year I have known the peace of God which surpasses ALL understanding. Just when I would feel like I could never be happy or at peace ever again, He would flood me with His all consuming presence and peace. Thank you, God, for the best present of all.

"Hug anyone?"

We had the family over for dinner and cake and we watched Enchanted. Ha ha! I love that movie. Very cheesy and corny but funny. Giselle!!! Robyn made me a gorgeous and yummy cake and Angela made muffins for tea. After the party the Spinsters sat down and watched 27 Dresses. Another good movie. It was a good time.

(Photo by Aimee)

Anyone want to take a guess at what I wished for when I blew out the candles? Of course, I'm not going to tell you if you got it right or not. It might just be fun to see what you think of. :) Hee hee! Love you all and hope you have a year filled with lots and lot of God's PEACE.