December is a month full of activities. Holidays, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and if you have children, well they are home from school for half the month. This past December I took on a new task, one that was not only stressful but also worthwhile as it would test both my organization and baking abilities…I signed on to do my first wedding.
Weddings are a whole other department in the baking world. This isn’t just someone’s graduation cake or birthday cake…this was someone’s WEDDING! Most brides want it to be the most perfect day of their entire life…that’s a lot to live up to.
The bride and I met back in April for a cake tasting. She sampled the four flavors of cake I had so skillfully prepared…Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Butterceam, Spice Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream, Funfetti with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and Strawberry Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Along with eating cake we discussed her vision for the wedding. One thing that remained an unchanged constant was the wedding cake. She brought me a photograph from Real Simple, the cake was elegant and understated…quilted white fondant with silver floral and pearl accents – perfect for a winter wedding.
The wedding cake was going to be used simply for display and the cutting ceremony; whereas, the cupcakes were to be served as the actual dessert. The bride wanted each guest to receive three mini cupcakes, in three different flavors: chocolate, spice and funfetti. Each cupcake would be decorated with a gum paste flower that would mimic the flowers on the wedding cake.
The wedding cake consisted of three layers, each a different flavor. The bottom layer was Funfetti Cake; Funfetti being the bride’s favorite cake flavor from her childhood. The middle layer was Chocolate Cake…who doesn’t like chocolate? The top of the wedding cake was Spice Cake; her fiancé’s personal favorite.
Once the month of December hit, my stomach went into knots. I found myself thinking about it day and night. Was I up to this challenge? I found my mind racing at night while lying in bed. “How much butter?”, “How many eggs?”, “How much gum paste is needed for 650 daisies?”.
One thing I knew for certain is that I needed to organize myself by creating a timeline. The timeline was crucial for staying on task. Baking is the easy part in my eyes. The real time comes in the decorations and details.
The gum paste flowers for 650 mini cupcakes were definitely the first order of business. The next step was figuring out how much butter, sugar, flour, etc. I would need. I did this by breaking down recipes and with a couple of calculations…viola, the list was together.
The week of the wedding came and I had briefed my family on the rules. There was to be no whining, no hanging out in my work space, no friends over, and we would be doing a lot of carryout meals.
The kitchen became more of an assembly line on certain nights with my good friend Bridget and my husband Tom working the line. They were incredibly helpful…love you guys! Somehow it all came together just in time. I officially have a wedding under my belt, and boy am I proud of myself and my work.