While I love baking, wedding cakes are a bit too ambitious for me. I have only ever made one and tackling my second was more than a little daunting. To make life a little bit easier, I decided to have a fake top and bottom tier. This meant I could have these tiers decorated in advance and they were the 2 tiers with the most work.
Fake tiers purchased, I covered them with icing and started the decorations. I didn't have a clue where to start, so I enlisted the help of cake guru, Ruth Doherty, who makes the most amazing cakes and sugar craft that I have ever seen. Ruth helped me with the one previous wedding cake that I made for my niece, Kirsten and her husband, Michael (you can see their cake here). Ruth was so patient with me. She taught me each technique that I needed to make these exquisite sugar flowers and I will be eternally grateful to her. Her first task with this cake was to show me how to make the icing ruffles for the bottom tier, A tricky little process of cutting icing discs then folding, glueing, twisting and securing them in place with edible glue. Once you get into a rhythm with these, they are quite therapeutic to make but after around 50, I called in the troups- namely my mum, who helped me make and attach another 300 of the things!
Next step was to create the flowers. I love peony roses and Ruth showed me how to cut shape and wire each individual petal, allowing them to dry before assembling the complete flowers. I was totally thrilled when I saw how amazing they looked, almost lifelike.
Thankfully, Anna was a very chilled bride and trusted me to deliver something to her liking. She gave me the swatch of the bridesmaids' material and left me to it! I will admit to being more than a little nervous when she first saw it but she was delighted (at least, if she wasn't, she had the good grace not to say so!) I was very proud to see the cake in pride of place in the hotel but even more proud when I saw what a beautiful bride Anna was. Just like a princess! Her and Dave made such a handsome couple and were the happiest I have ever seen them, surrounded by their friends and family, becoming husband and wife
I won't be rushing to do another wedding cake- too stressful for my liking. Even if Harry and Meghan come begging for my services, I would have to think twice
The main tier of the cake was a madeira cake. You can find the recipe and instructions below the picture gallery.
- 300g butter (softened)
- 300g margarine
- 750g self raising flour
- 10 eggs
- 4 tsps vanilla extract
- 600g caster sugar
- 100 mls boiling water
- Buttercream to decorate
- beat together the butter, marg and sugar until pale and creamy
- add the eggs one at a time, beating them in
- add the vanilla
- mix in the flour and try not to overwork the mixture
- add the boiling water and mix well
- pour into a greased and lined 10 inch round tin and level off the top
- bake in the oven at 170C for around 2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. The cake should spring back when touched when it is ready
- allow to cool for a while in the tin before turning out onto a cooling tray
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