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A wedding cake fit for a princess

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

All the talk of Prince Harry getting engaged to Meghan Markle has prompted me to write this post about making this fabulous wedding cake for my niece, Anna and her new husband, Dave. It's only the second wedding cake I have ever made and I have to say that I am exceptionally proud of it. The main tier is a 12 inch madeira cake and I have shared the recipe here.


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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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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