Bakeries such as ours, with an established reputation, that bakes from scratch using high quality ingredients, and that are very familiar with the local venues, are going to be worth the money. We know how to properly bake and construct a tiered cake. We know how to deliver a large, heavy cake and we have the nice, cooled van to deliver it with. You just can’t get that from a grocery store bakery or your “friend of a friend” who said they can make your cake for $100 bucks! With a wedding, there is no “do-over” so you need to go with a bakery you can trust to get it right!
Don’t forget that the tiers don’t all have to be cake layers as you know them. One tier on top of a tower of cupcakes or macarons will work just as well. You can also try stacking trendy donuts up to create your wedding cake, or copy this couple and go for a Jaffa Cake sensation! Those looking to splurge on a showstopper should surround their wedding cake with a decadent dessert table.
Before you head to the grocery store, do your best to calculate how much of each ingredient you need. When scaling up a recipe, be sure to scale by area, not diameter of the pans. Make a list, and then buy one extra container of everything. You can always return unopened groceries, and you'll be so glad if you don't have to run out for more ingredients at the last minute.
Flowers can come three ways; sugar, silk or fresh. Silk flowers are artificial, and can be bought from many cake or florist stores. They are very easy to work with, and to reuse, but can look quite fake. Fresh flowers add an instant wow, and can be perfectly matched to the rest of the wedding flowers. However certain types of flowers, such as lillies, are poisonous and cannot be used on cakes. Sugar flowers are handmade from flowerpaste, a very pliable sugarpaste that dries hard and brittle. This can be manipulated and coloured, and if made by a good sugar artist the flowers are indistinguishable from real ones until you take a close look.
In Medieval England cakes were stacked as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over. A successful kiss meant they were guaranteed a prosperous life together. From this the Croquembouche was created. The myth behind this cake tells of a Pastry chef, visiting Medieval England who witnessed their tradition of piling sweet rolls between the bride and groom, which they attempted to kiss over without knocking them all down. The pastry chef then went back to France and piled sweet rolls up into a tower to make the first Croquembouche. The modern croquembouche is still very popular in France, where it is now common to place the croquembouche tower on a bed of cake and make it a top tier. This traditional French wedding cake is built from Profiteroles and given a halo of spun sugar.
Its no surprise that this was one of the favourites on the day. If you or your man are a lego fan then this is one for you. We purchased a lego bride and groom topper from eBay and placed these on the top. Then to add to the fun we placed a few of our other favourite characters as guests at the wedding. Who doesn’t want a hot dog man at their wedding?!
Covering a cake in marzipan uses exactly the same method as covering it in fondant. Stick the cake to the cake board with a small ball of marzipan. Now, take roughly enough marzipan to cover your cake. This can be hard to judge and is a matter of practise, so if in doubt always use more. Knead the marzipan a little, until it is smooth and pliable. Roll it out into a rough circular shape, about half a centimetre thick.
When making any flower you start with the centre and leave it to dry hard to provide a stable base for the creation. For the poppies the centre is the seed head. This is made using some pale green flower paste. Either buy the paste coloured or colour it yourself by adding a small amount of green food colouring paste and kneading it through to an even shade. Take a 24 gauge wire and use some pliers to bend a small hook onto the end.
This is the most fun step, because it's basically an excuse to eat a ton of cake. Try a few recipes for each flavor of cake, filling, and frosting. If a recipe feels fussy or requires a ton of a very expensive ingredient, just scrap it. This is not the time to make a cake that requires lots of delicate folding and perfect timing. Pick a cake recipe that's foolproof and simple and you'll have one less thing to worry about. As it is, homemade cake tastes so much better than what caterers provide that it's basically guaranteed to be yummy. Mix and match cakes, fillings, and frostings to find what combination is both tasty and easy.
Now you can attach the stamens. At this point edible glue will probably not be strong enough, so use some high tack non toxic glue such as PVA. For each seedhead you will need four or five small stamen bunches arranged evenly around the head. Glue the stamens to the base of the seed head, squeezing the end tight to the base and the wire to make them stick.