Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wedding cake, phase 2: covering

My parent’s internet was working yesterday (hurray for country living), therefore I couldn’t blog about my square baking experience. I thought since I still had three more types of squares to make, I would wait to write about them until I was all done. Today I worked on applying coverings to the cake; both icing and fondant. It took me all day starting around 9:00 am and I worked (more-or-less) straight through until 4:30 pm. I decided based on my previous cake making that one regular recipe of Swiss Meringue would be sufficient to cover all of the cake layers. The nice thing this time was that I had a proper stand mixer that was able to handle all 3 pounds of butter required at one time.
The first step of the icing, warming the egg whites and sugar on a double broiler.
The icing, all whipped up and ready to be spread.
By 10:00 am--possibly earlier, I can’t remember--I was applying the first layer of icing to the smallest layer of cake, which didn’t required support. Andrew was kind enough to spend much of the first part of his morning sawing doweling pieces and sanding off the rough bits so I could insert them into the cake. This was one bit of the construction I wasn’t too sure about, but I’d seen it done in an instructional video I’d watched to make sure the lower levels of the cake could uphold the top ones. I really don’t want the cake to collapse on itself.
Andrew measuring out the distances for the support doweling.
The icing process went along pretty smoothly, by which I mean I was able to speed along in the application, then spread the icing out so it was even and...smooth. It turned out I was just about spot on with the amount of icing required as I have only a small tub of it left, and I can use that to apply the ribbon or other decorations if necessary. The fondant was a bit of a pain...not really the rolling and setting part, but the colouring part.
Me applying the last layer of icing to the base layer of the cake.
What's left of the buttercream icing after four layers of cake.
In my mind I was going to create a nice, beige colour for the base. However, no matter how much brown colouring I added, the fondant didn’t get anywhere near brown, it just became a light pink--definitely not what I was looking for. Then when I rolled the first layer out I realized that I wouldn’t be able to cover the entire cake with the 3L of fondant I’d prepared. So, off came the first layer, and out came the remaining litre of fondant. I ended up with a pale peach colour that seemed passable, then when I decided to add my bronze sparkles to the fondant it became even more passable.
Me, adding the fondant, see how fast I move? My hand is blurry.
The base layer, sitting on the cake plate, covered in fondant.
Now all I’ve got to do is add ribbon, more sparkles and leaves. I’m sure this will take longer than I think, but not nearly as long as the first part of the icing.



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