Mar. 25, 2009 5:12 pm
Updated: Mar. 27, 2009 6:26 pm
I had the best intentions to blog about assembling a wedding cake for a friend of mine—the one for whom I baked the test cake about a month ago (Better Buttercream). But since I only started building the layers around 11 o'clock at night, and didn't finish until 3 am, well…I was not in much of a mood for photo documentation. And there are wedding cake instructions on this site already.
But here's what I did:
I baked the cakes (6-inch, 10-inch, and 14-inch layers) a week in advance and froze them, double-wrapped in plastic wrap. I let them thaw, still wrapped in plastic, at room temperature. I trimmed and sliced each tier, soaking the cake layers with almond simple syrup, and filled them with raspberry curd and raspberry cream (pastry cream mixed with raspberry curd).
My time crunch was due to the amount of effort it took to get all of my components together: a double batch of raspberry curd took about three times as long to cook. Plus I made two batches of buttercream. I really enjoyed putting the cake together, though. Once the layers were filled and masked with buttercream (coated with a thin layer of frosting to keep the crumbs in) I left them in the refrigerator to firm up while I went to bed.
The next morning, with the benefits of daylight and sleep, I finished frosting the layers. I put them back in the refrigerator for about half an hour so that the butter firmed up, and then brought out the bottom tier and piped pearls around the cardboard cake round. I used plastic straws for support, tested to see that the surface was level, and then stacked the second tier on the first (it helps to have another person watching, so that he or she can tell you whether or not it's centered before you set the cake down). I piped more pearls, and then repeated the process with the top tier.
I don't always travel with wedding cakes fully stacked, but since there was no décor on the cake and I wasn't driving very far, I finished it at home.
Here's where the very important tip comes in: always, always bring a piping bag full of icing, plus a small offset spatula and any other decorating tools you think you might need, along with you to the reception site.
My cake slid very slightly during transit—I didn't do a good enough job affixing the cardboard under the bottom tier to the cake board. I used a drop of corn syrup, but should've squeezed a little harder on the bottle. The damage to the cake was minimal: just some messed-up pearls and a ding in the side. It was quick (although slightly nerve-racking) work to pipe more pearls, add a little more buttercream to the side of the cake, and smooth it out again. Two pale pink cottage roses and five smaller fuchsia roses garnish the top tier.
Boxing up cake for transport: cut one side of the box so that you can easily slide the cake in.
Boxed cake: three sides are already taped up.
Pink wedding cake! On a stand & garnished with roses at the reception site.
Almond cake with raspberry curd and raspberry cream fillings, finished with raspberry buttercream.