Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sis's wedding: making a wedding cake

First things first, people - if you haven't already voted, go do it! Now. Seriously. I don't usually talk politics on here, but there are issues at stake that are very near and dear to my heart. If you are in California, please vote no on 8. It's all about legal equality, and religious freedom is not at stake (keeping gay marriage legal does not force churches to conduct gay marriages, if they are opposed, nor is there any risk of churches losing their tax exempt status). After watching all the joyful marriages of people who had been denied that basic right for so long, I simply can't believe that we might go back and invalidate those unions. It's heartbreaking.

I also urge you to
vote no on 4. I am sure most of us are incredibly blessed, and didn't grow up in abusive or disinterested households, but please keep in mind that many girls do and prop 4 puts those girls in a untenable position.

I know that many of my readers (and friends) will respectfully disagree with me on these issues, but I'm asking you to search your heart, and review your facts, before heading to the polls.


And now back to the wedding cake. If you haven't already, see the wedding overview here.

I know that making a wedding cake sounds intimidating, but here's the thing - it's all about your recipe. And your decorating taste. If my sister had wanted a fancy fondant tower with sugar crafted birds hovering over it, I would have immediately declined, because I am not a cake decorator and I am not insane. But how can you resist this?

Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings, found here.

We had a copy of the actual magazine (since lost, much to my dismay - if anyone has it, I would love a scan of those pages!), and it provided amazingly detailed, easy instructions on how to assemble the cake. Luckily, they still have the basic recipes up on the site. Meyer lemon pound cake, coconut swiss meringue buttercream and meyer lemon curd filling recipes can be found here, here and here.

DSC_0732
The mini anniversary cake

We saved the top of the cake for their one year anniversary, but I was nervous about how it might taste, so I made another little cake to give to them. Making one batch of cake is much more fun than making ten, by the way. If you want to make a smaller cake, just make one batch of the cake and a half batch of the frosting - it will be plenty. I made three little cakes from one batch, each six inches in diameter and three inches in height.

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Things to think about, if you want to make a giant wedding cake:

1. Pick a recipe you are comfortable with - I highly recommend pound cake if you aren't experienced with making large cakes, because airier cakes are more likely to crack and cause major frustration.

2. Go to a cake store well in advance, because you are going to need large pans (some cake stores will rent pans to you for a fraction of the cost of buying them) and specialty ingredients.

3. Don't rely on your decorating skills too much, unless you are actually a cake decorator. This cake was a dream because I just slathered the frosting on for an amazing, stucco-esque finish and then added some candied lemon peels and flowers for decoration.

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for the little notes at the very, very beginning of this post, I respectfully AGREE with you on these important issues! THank you for having the courage to write about them!

    Also, what a scrumptious, beautiful cake! :) Bravo!

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  2. Proud and happy to say that I was at the polls bright and early as well! It will be a nervewracking day as the numbers start drifting in, for sure---I'm sending out positive thoughts for marriage equality for all!

    And can I just say that the little ooze of lemon dripping from between those layers of cake looks absolutely divine :)

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  3. from experience, i've come to realize that most wedding cakes taste bad. this one has all the right components (filling, cake itself and frosting) so i'm sure it's a massive hit. looks beautiful.

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  4. Will you be my sister? Seriously. Wow.

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  5. Voted bright and early. Thanks for your thoughts also the cake looks lovely.

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  6. That cake looks delicious and adorable! Lemon cake is my favorite :)

    I also totally agree with your notes on the election. I'm headed out to the polls now -- and a huge NO on 8 is critical. I'm really appalled that California is even entertaining this ridiculous notion. What happened to being a progressive state that actually upheld everyone's constitutional right of equality?

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  7. this cake looks absolutely amazing- both eye-catching and scrumptious. way to go! now i wish that i hadn't gone so traditional with my own wedding cake. oh well, i will just admire your sister's.

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  8. That is such an amazing challenge to take on, it looks like it must taste amazing too with that lemon curd in the middle.

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  9. I am trying to hold off on the sweets for a week...this is killing me! xo

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  10. This cake is making my mouth water...

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  11. I love buttercream. Fondant is so overrated.

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  12. it seems the links to martha's recipes are broken... do you know where they might be re-posted? this cake is begging me to make it! (but it's your fault for displaying such bewitching photos) thanks!

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  13. Erin G - so sorry! Martha seems to move her links around a lot. I've updated them now, but I might go ahead and type the recipe in, since her website is a bit unreliable.

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  14. got them now - thanks so much, you're a doll!

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