Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wedding Cake Post

Yes, I made a wedding cake this summer. It felt pretty epic, especially since I did it all during a heat wave with no air conditioning. Pretty intense.

I have no pictures of me actually making the cake, because it was a heat wave and we have no AC! But it looked just like making any regular old cake, except A LOT of it. I'll post the recipes at the bottom if you want to try to make these yourself. The almond cake is my favorite. I think I finally found THE almond cake recipe.

I do have pictures of me decorating it, though. I made one huge batch of Swiss meringue buttercream (I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe) and left it white, and the second batch I dyed to match the bride's seafoam dress.


There you have it (more or less). The decorating of the cake. All I can see are the flaws, but everyone else seems to think it looked rather nice.


Oh, you notice that crane? Yeah... I folded another few dozen cranes. I guess I got really involved in this wedding... It was wonderful, by the way. I had a blast. Cutting the cake was a bit intense, though.

Nick helped a lot, which was good because we cut cake frantically for like 10 minutes, and the whole thing was gone. Eaten up! It was definitely good. If you want to make a giant wedding cake yourself, here are the recipes I used.
BTW, if you count the frosting, I used close to 7lbs of butter and 45 eggs to make this thing. Oh yeah.

Almond cake

6.75 cups cake flour
6.75 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
10.5 oz almond paste
4 cups sugar
3.75 sticks butter (room temp)
1.5 Tbsp almond extract
15 egg whites
2.25 cups whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch (but 9-inch will work just fine) round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside.

3. Place the almond paste and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in another large bowl if using a handheld mixer. Begin to cream the mixture on low speed to break up the almond paste, then increase the speed to medium for about 2 minutes, or until the paste is broken into fine particles.

4. Add the butter and almond extract and beat it well, then the egg whites, two or three at a time, beating just long enough to incoperate after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times to make sure it is evenly mixed.

5. Dust about a third of the dry ingredients over the batter and fold in with a large rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in about half the milk. Fold in half the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk. Finally, fold in the last of the dry ingredients just until no streaks of white remain. Use a light hand and do not overmix. Divide the batter among the three prepared cake pans.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in their pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out on to wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners and let them cool completely, about one hour.

7. Assemble the cake: Place one layer flat side up on a cake stand or serving plate. Slide small strips of waxed paper under the edges to protect the plate from any messiness accumulated while decorating. Brush first layer with simple syrup, if using. Spread 1/2 cup of the raspberry preserves over the cake, leaving a 1/4 inch margin around the edges. Repeat with the second layer, brushing syrup if using and using remaining preserves. Add the third layer and brush with syrup if using.

8. Spread a thin layer frosting of your choice over the top and sides of the cake. Let frosting set in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes (this is your crumb coat) then spread a thicker, decorative coat over the base coat. If you have any frosting remaining, pipe a decoration of your choice.

Chocolate cake

cake flour 6 cups
baking soda 6 tsp
salt 3 ½ tsp
cocoa powder 3 cups
sugar 6 cups
butter (room temp) 6 sticks
cinnamon 3 ½ tsp
eggs 6
buttermilk 3 cups
coffee (room temp) 3 cups

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch square cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and buttermilk and blend on low until moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Whisk the eggs and coffee together, and add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only until blended after each addition. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans; each pan will take about 3 1/4 cups of batter.

4. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Carefully turn them out onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. Remove the paper liners only when they are cool.