Monday, July 19, 2010

Project Wedding Cake

Well, almost a wedding cake. Actually, it was a three tiered anniversary cake, but the point was because my parents didn't get to have a big wedding with a fancy cake, and they are celebrating 30 years of marriage tomorrow, so I wanted to give them something.

This was quite a process! It was fun, but definitely would have been easier with a larger kitchen and empty freezer space. The hardest thing was trying to get the frosting smooth, and I didn't really do a good job. I think I needed to thin the frosting more, but I was afraid doing so would make it melt too easily on the drive to deliver the cake, so I didn't. Luckily, it survived the drive in my small, too warm car in 90+ degree weather. I've never accelerated so slowly in my life (for fear of sliding cake layers)!

The roses also needed work, but it was only my second time trying to make them, so I wasn't expecting perfection. And it would have been better if I had pans that were a greater variation in size, so I could have had room on the top of the bottom layers for more roses. I was working with what I had, or I would have probably gone with round or square instead of heart shaped too.

I didn't take any pics of the baking process, but here's one from before it was completely assembled and decorated. I only had time to snap a few shots before I left, because I wanted it to still be as cold as possible for transport. I also wish I had a pic of a slice of the cake, but it hasn't even been cut yet, and I probably won't see it when it is.

I looked around for a millions ideas before I began, and decided to go with 2 flavors.

For the bottom tier, I basically made a white chocolate almond with raspberry filling cake. I modified this recipe from Good Things Catered.

I almost followed it, except I added half a pack of white chocolate pudding mix, and used 1 tsp almond extract instead of 1 tbsp because I didn't want it to be overwhelmingly almond flavored. I also used a little less water for the raspberry sauce, but it was still too weakly flavored. I think I'd skip the water altogether next time. I really liked this cake though, although it was hard to time it right.

For the middle, I wanted strong chocolate. Then I got the idea of adding Bailey's flavor to it, but I couldn't find one recipe I liked, so I kinda combined these three:
I ended up adding 1/4 cup Baileys and 1/4 cup chocolate liqueur to the cake mix and following the orange ganache recipe from the second link, except using Baileys instead of the orange flavorings.
I thought the chocolate cake was a little dry, but maybe I just overcooked it.

For the frosting, I started with Buttercream Icing I and also added a little more real vanilla extract instead of just wilton's clear. Then, I added melted white chocolate and a little O'reilly's white chocolate irish cream. I really like this frosting both with and without the white chocolate additions. I am going to stick with this over pure buttercream, because it totally reminds me of the frosting from my wedding cake.

This is kind of inspiring me to really consider taking a Wilton's cake decorating class at Michael's. I will have to see what day/time they are and see if I can fit it in, maybe in August or October.

Happy 30th Anniversary to my parents!

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