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An Odyssey Begins… My First Wedding Cake
Posted: 05 January 2008 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Oh, for heaven’s sake.

I give my cousin 3 choices for the flavor of the damned cake: white, yellow or chocolate and she comes back with “I like marble-type flavor.”  We’re a little early on in this process to strangle her, no?

*sigh*

I shouldn’t complain, as she’s being pretty agreeable on everything else.  She’s said that her mom (my aunt), the groom’s mom and the groom are out of the cake selection process, so I’m not going to be caught in the crossfire.  She’s leaning towards two tiers covered in buttercream (with a sheetcake for extra servings), which removes a whole layer of complexity (quite literally).  I just found Rose’s technique for that perfectly-smooth frosting (The Cake Bible, pp. 358-359), which seems rather doable.

So… any thoughts to offer about marbelizing a yellow cake?  I’ve got another recipe for a yellow cake that just calls for separating some of the batter and adding melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate (4 ounces chocolate to 2 cups of batter).  I guess I’ll just have to try it and hope it doesn’t hose up Rose’s finely-tuned proportions.  I suppose it might be possible to make a small batch of the chocolate butter cake batter and swirl it in, but that seems like it would introduce all manner of complications, too…  Hmmmmmmm…

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Posted: 06 January 2008 12:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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whenever I bake cakes for close family for their life time events, my rule is “it will be a surprise cake and no fee!”  They know it better and they know me well that it is the only way to get cake from me.

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Posted: 06 January 2008 12:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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All the best with your enterprise. I’ll be reading your posts regularly. smile

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Posted: 06 January 2008 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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hectorwong - 06 January 2008 04:34 AM

whenever I bake cakes for close family for their life time events, my rule is “it will be a surprise cake and no fee!”

Sage advice.  I’ll make sure to stress that from the beginning for next time.  I’m pretty confident my cousin won’t turn into “Bridezilla,” and will be receptive to a gentle, heartfelt dope-slap from her mother and me if she does.

Here’s what I’m thinking for the cake:

2 tiers: 9in and 6in, with sheetcake(s) for additional servings
Yellow cake (marbleized w/ chocolate, if possible)
Mousseline buttercream filling and frosting
Decorating w/ ribbon and real flowers to match the bride’s

I think, since there will be only 2 tiers, that I’ll separate the tiers with pillars for some additional height.  I’m also open to doing 12in and 8in tiers if the 9in and 6in ones look puny.  Has anyone done a small-ish wedding cake? I suspect I’d end up doing a 6in or smaller cake for the bride and groom’s first anniversary—God willing—as it doesn’t seem like it makes much sense to save a whole 8in cake for that.

Some additional touches, depending on my level of skill and confidence:

Since there’s chocolate inside the cake, I think dark chocolate ribbon around the cake, perhaps with another ribbon of white chocolate for a “banded” effect would be cool. I wonder if it would look odd, though, if the color of the white chocolate was a bit off from the color of the buttercream.

Fondant or marzipan flowers (probably fondant, due to those pesky nut-allergic people).  Again, white fondant roses might be a problem if I end up mixing-and-matching different shades of white, but there’s always pink or red.  These have the advantage of being able to be done far in advance.

I’m planning on making the buttercream in advance and transporting in a cooler.  The drive from just outside Washington, DC to southeastern Massachusetts is usually 7.5-9 hours.  Anyone tried moving frozen cake layers this distance? I would imagine they’d need to be moistened with syrup after freezing anyway.

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Posted: 06 January 2008 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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All that you’re doing sounds wonderful.  From a woman’s perspective, I wonder if the colors on the cake would be specially meaningful to your cousin, as they are to some brides who aren’t bridezillas.  Often brides get into the white theme and in such a case, white on white can be absolutely wonderful.  On the otherhand, dark chocolate might disrupt if she is into light colors. A quick question with clear boundaries [i.e. not open ended] about appearance could solve that problem, [with a handy dope slap if she gets obsessive.]

I vote for the 6” anniversary cake - I have friends that saved cake for their 25th anniversary, which they celebrated about 5 years ago. They were fearful the cake would be green and moldy. It was fine, not so tasty, but sans mold!

Re marbelizing.  If you had yellow and chocolate cake recipes that baked at the same temperature for the same length of time, I would guess that taking some yellow batter out and replacing it with an equal amt. of choc. batter to swirl wouldn’t mess up anything. But it’s just a guess.

I look forward to the video smile

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Posted: 10 January 2008 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Dan O?B - 06 January 2008 03:01 AM

Oh, for heaven’s sake.
I just found Rose’s technique for that perfectly-smooth frosting (The Cake Bible, pp. 358-359), which seems rather doable.

Has anybody on the blog actually done this?  I’m trying to figure out what kind of ring to use and found this.  In for a penny, in for a pound, but $85.00 for the 6-, 9- and 12-inch rings is a good chunk of change for something I may not use that often.  (Well, if I had them, I’m sure I’d use them—but still…)

Anyone have any idea about something else to use, or another (cheaper) source? I could just get the 9-incher (which I’d probably use the most) and practice a bit and see how I like the effect.

Another idea I’m kicking around is wrapping the cake in white chocolate.  The roll of acetate I need to make the strips is only $22.00.  I could pipe a shell border around the top and pour white chocolate ganache…

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Posted: 10 January 2008 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Dan you might try to Froogle the rings.

The white chocolate ganache sounds both beautiful and yummy!

Maybe you should start a side business of baking and all these expensive items would become business expenses?

I look forward to your eventual pictures - wish we could taste it too. I’m sure it’s all going to turn out so very well, you’re putting in so much thought and effort. She’s a lucky cousinbride!

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Posted: 10 January 2008 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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MaryMS - 10 January 2008 11:47 PM

Maybe you should start a side business of baking and all these expensive items would become business expenses?

I’ve got a business, already, thank-you grin  I have had that suggestion made before.  I can’t imagine shifting back and forth between network engineering and baking.  The computers make me crazy enough.

IANAA*, but AFAIK*, the IRS lets you deduct expenses related to a hobby up to the amount of income received.  This assumes, of course, that you’re actually reporting the income (as I’m sure we all are). In actuality, the ability to deduct expenses is somewhat overrated, as it really amounts to a 10%-39% discount from the purchase price (depending on your nominal tax rate), and you still actually have to spend the cash before you can get the deduction. (Boy, I bet Rose didn’t think we’d be discussing tax planning on her forum!)

I found some cheaper, aluminum ones on another web site. Now that I know they’re called “cake rings,” they’re a bit easier to find.

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Posted: 10 January 2008 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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FYI - I’ve done a marble cake made from Rose’s Checkerboard Fantasy cake in TCB.  I was fantastic and both the vanill and chocolate bake in exactly the same amount of time, with the same exact texture and appearance.  They do each have their very own distinct vanilla and chocolate flavors though.

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Posted: 10 January 2008 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I think, since there will be only 2 tiers, that I’ll separate the tiers with pillars for some additional height.  I’m also open to doing 12in and 8in tiers if the 9in and 6in ones look puny.  Has anyone done a small-ish wedding cake? quote]

My avatar photo at the left is a 12 and 8-inch tiered cake.

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Posted: 10 January 2008 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Oops.

My avatar photo to the left is a 12 and 8-inch cake. 

You can also parchment paper for chocolate ribbons, but be warned… it’s much more flexible than acetate.  I’d suggest finding a nice quality grosgrain ribbon instead of making chocolate bands… they have to be done at the last minute and will not slice well like buttercream.  I would also suggest against mixing white chocolate with buttercream unless you can tie the colors together with your florals somehow.

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Posted: 10 January 2008 09:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Instead of using the cake rings to ice the sides of your cake, you make a trip to your local harward strore and get metal flashing.  You can tape or hot glue a ring into whatever size you want (tape on the outside).  There will be a seem on the inside that will leave a mark on your buttercream, but that can be cleverly disguised.

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Posted: 10 January 2008 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Patrincia - 11 January 2008 12:44 AM

I would also suggest against mixing white chocolate with buttercream unless you can tie the colors together with your florals somehow.

I was afraid of that.  I’m doing a very stream-of-consciousness design job on the cake.  I’ll probably end up with ribbon and flowers.  I’m much more comfortable with the execution than the creative part. Thanks for the tip on the checkerboard cake… could come in very handy!

Patrincia - 11 January 2008 01:00 AM

Instead of using the cake rings to ice the sides of your cake, you make a trip to your local hardware store and get metal flashing.  You can tape or hot glue a ring into whatever size you want (tape on the outside).  There will be a seem on the inside that will leave a mark on your buttercream, but that can be cleverly disguised.

I was wondering about that… it didn’t seem as though it would be sturdy enough.  Interestingly, many of the expensive rings have seams, too, making the self-styled ones quite a bit more appealing.  Hmm… one of my clients makes elevator cars and has a metal shop.  Maybe I can cash in a favor or two and have them make me some.

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Posted: 11 January 2008 09:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Dan - I wish you a ton of luck and I’ll keep you in my prayers. I’ve made three wedding cakes in my life and each time I broke out in hives three days before the event confused It sounds like you have everything well in hand at this stage, however!

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Posted: 12 January 2008 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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You can probably make the metal flashing “sturdier” by wrapping it around itself more than once (just keep coiling it around).

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