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.
During the 16th century to the 17th century, the “bride's pie” was served at most weddings. Different from the modern sweet wedding cake, bride pie is savoury. Bride pie is a pie with pastry crust and filled an assortment of oysters, lamb testicles, pine kernels, cocks' combs from Robert May's 1685 recipe. For May's recipe, there is a compartment of bride pie which filled with live birds or a snake for the guests to pass way the time in a wedding when they cut up the pie at the table. Guests were expected to have a piece out of politeness. It was considered very rude and bad luck not to eat the bride's pie. One tradition of bride's pie was to place a glass ring in the middle of the dessert and the maiden who found it would be the next to marry, similar to the modern tradition of catching the Flower bouquet.
Next work out how you will dry the flowers. The flowerpaste will take a few hours to dry out enough to not lose it's shape (longer if the room is humid). It is often best to dry flowers hanging upside down so the petals fall nicely, though this does depend on the type of flower. To do this bend the end of the wire a little and hang them off whatever you have handy. The could be a rail, jewellery stand, tacked up piece of string or my latest discovery, a martini glass.
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.
Once the marzipan is draped over the cake, gently pull down the sides to cover any gaps. Smooth the flat of your hand down the sides, pressing the marzipan to the cake and amoothing out any creases or overlaps, Rub the flat of your hand or a cake smoother over the top firmly to flatten and smooth the surface. Smooth out the sides in the same way. Trim off any excess marzipan around the bottom of the cake with a sharp knife and peel it off the board. This can be kept in an airtight bag or container for use next time.
Ordering fewer tiers can save you pounds. Just having a two-tier cake instead of the traditional three could save you almost £200! Choosing a medium and small tier will also help with the budget, it’s the larger tiers that are the most expensive. If you need more cheap wedding cakes for your guests you can also order cutting bars, which work out cheaper than that extra tier.
For a bride on a budget, paying a large sum of money for a wedding cake may seem completely outrageous. But what are the alternatives, particularly when you don't have any baking experts in your family? Turns out, making a wedding cake is not as difficult as one might think. There is some significant planning and effort that will need to happen, so make sure you carefully weigh the expense of a cake versus your time (and expectations) as you make your final decisions. And if the cake isn't your thing, you can always serve pie, ice cream, or even an ice cream sundae bar at your wedding.