Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Artist and a Wedding Cake

This evening I made a cake (Joy of Cooking 4 Egg Special) and while I was frosting it, I thought about the one I watched my niece create for her mother's wedding two months ago tomorrow. Erinlea is an artist in real life, so it wasn't really surprising that the cake she created was a work of art too. (And it doesn't hurt that she and her husband own a bakery.)

I was as busy as she was (with more mundane tasks like carrying chairs and sweeping verandahs) while the cake was being lovingly and painstakingly designed, so I may have missed an essential step or two, but I think I got the main stuff down.

This here is the cake. "It's a mix," Erinlea admits with disarming simplicity. "Mixes are so good these days I don't bother making them from scratch."

A key step in cake decorating, particularly if it's a chocolate cake with a light color frosting, is the step known as "Crumb-Coating."

This is a very thin layer of frosting which is applied and then allowed to dry. I never knew this. What a revelation. ALL my chocolate cakes have been frosted with chocolate frosting simply because I never knew how to deal with those pesky crumbs which would have definitely shown through any white or yellow or pale green frosting. Well, now I know.

After the crumb-coat, things get more lavish. Another key point. Don't skimp on the frosting. Erinlea arrived with an enormous bowl full of frosting - more than I have ever seen in one place. It's important not to be miserly here, especially if it's a wedding cake. Most of my cake frosting anxiety can be traced to the fact that I always make too little.

Ah! Now for the details. Here's Erinlea doing something mysterious. Oh, dear. I don't quite know what it is. Let me get back to you on this one. I'm sure it's important.

See how things are progressing! The beautiful waterfall of flowers! But she isn't satisfied to just put it on the cake and leave it at that. What is she up to? She's got a little piece of a paper towel (Viva is the one she uses) and she is actually patting it around the entire cake to make a smooth surface.

There she is doing it again. It's a meticulous process.

And there is the cake in all its glory. (There were a few steps I missed - like that sweet piping at the bottom, yellow on yellow, amazing! or when she inserted the support rods - I'd do anything to see that in action).

And because there was a dog on the scene, the box was an essential feature.

And here's the happy couple, the ones who inspired the whole production.

And the proud Mama, gazing at the artist daughter . . .

and the couple again, demonstrating that gorgeous creations can taste good too.

Though that is never necessary at any wedding, any time. There are ALWAYS children there to prove it resoundingly.

1 comment:

bharathi said...

As always, an enjoyable read with pictures that complement beautifully..