I find making sugar flowers calming, there's simething quite zen about the repetetive task of making petals, and it gives a great sense of achievment, but it does take some time. If making your own flowers it's best to start early. The cake I made uses my friend's favourite flowers, poppies, made from sugar, and making 12 of these took me a good couple of days. The method for the poppies can be used for other open petalled flowers, such as open roses and anemones.
It's possible to make a wedding cake without a stand mixer, but I wouldn't recommend it. They can be expensive, so if you don't own one, try to borrow one. If this is your first wedding cake, you're going to need to buy some large cake pans. Cake pans in lots of sizes and shapes can be easily ordered online in sets. You may also want to buy a set of cake strips to help keep your cakes flat and level. Cake strips are soaked in ice water and wrapped around the outside of the cake pan to keep the outside from cooking faster than the middle. They're especially helpful for large cakes. A rotating turntable and frosting spatula will make it much easier to get frosting on smoothly. Piping bags and tips are useful for both filling and decoration, but if you're not piping decoration, you can simply snip off the corner of a Ziploc bag. Cake boards under each tier and plastic dowel rods are necessary to build a multi-tier cake that won't sink. Cake boxes can be useful for storing and transporting cake tiers. If you're using fresh flowers, plastic holders keep inedible flowers off your frosting. Buy parchment paper — so the cake won't stick to the pan, and plastic wrap — so it stays moist in the freezer or fridge after baking.
My boyfriend and I are actually thinking of customising an M&S cake for our wedding cake – the plan is to make fondant icing safari animals to place around the sides and then we have Ryu and Chun-Li figurines (from the Street Fighter computer game) to put on top to hopefully make it look a bit like a stage of the computer game. It’s not really part of a theme as such, just something that we both happen to love!
Royal icing is made with sugar and egg white or meringue powder. It hardens to a firm finish that can be piped or thinned for "flood work". It hardens fast and is ideal for making detailed shapes ahead of time. It can also be piped directly onto cake tiers and works beautifully for delicate work. a few things to consider when working with royal icing: You must use grease free utensils. Humidity also affects the consistency of royal icing. a well known British cake decorator uses royal icing as a medium, Joseph Lambeth developed a style by creating layered scrolls with Royal Icing.
Limit decoration to the cake being iced and decorate it instead with a simple ribbon. This will save on either a cake topper or fresh blooms but still look chic on the big day. Choose a ribbon that matches your colour scheme and finish with a vintage brooch. Alternatively, we love this idea of using a stencil and dusting Mr and Mrs onto the top of your cake with icing sugar – a real talking point, and it will look great in your photos!
Once cooked, leave the cake to cool in the tin. When cool, remove from the tin and place on some baking parchment. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of brandy (or your other chosen liquor) over the cake and wrap it up tightly in parchment and clingfilm or foil. Every few days unwrap the cake to feed it with another spoonful of liquor, then wrap it back up and return to a safe, temperate storage space.