Saturday, January 11, 2014

December Wedding Cake

In December I was asked to make a wedding cake with a gingerbread filling to go with the season. This was my first gingerbread filling, and I was excited for the new challenge. I did some research, and found this recipe from Martha Stewart that I used as my base. 

Spice mixture: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Making the simple syrup for the buttercream with brown sugar for that molasses flavor that gives gingerbread its deep flavor.
I did a small test round and found that the flavor wasn't overly strong, and I knew it needed to pack a punch to stand up to the cake and regular buttercream frosting. I upped the nutmeg and the ginger, being careful to keep a balance without overwhelming and the final product had great gingerbread flavor that had a somewhat eggnog-like finish. I was pleased, as that was still in the "holiday" realm we were going for. 

It was your standard cake, but they didn't have a cake topper, which has me thinking that for people who don't have a cake topper, I could make a 3-inch tier that could also serve as their tier for their 1st anniversary. But that will come with the next cake. I keep learning something every time I make one. And my goal for this year is to make 6, so help spread the word!

I took pictures of all of the steps, but totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Below are all the "prep steps" as I often share pictures of the cake and frosting making, but never the other parts that go into making the cake. I often get asked how much time it takes to make a cake, and I've got it down to about 24 hours total. Some of that is "inactive" time while waiting for the cakes to bake, but most of it is in the kitchen, stirring, measuring, watching, and frosting. And getting pans ready.
Cake boards and cake boxes make the moving, freezing, assembling, and transporting so much easier. I don't think I could do a cake without a board.

Prepping pans: start with clean dry pans.

Then butter, and flour. I always use the same cake flour that I bake with.

Finally, line with parchment paper. I think they sell pre-cut parchment rounds, but I just cut my own every time.

Butter, butter, butter. A 3-tier wedding cake uses 5.25 pounds of butter, and that doesn't include the filling.