Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Project Wedding Cake 2015: The Result!

The weekend was a success! Yay! I made it through TSA (on the tightest timeline...but that's a different story), carried it on the plane, and was able to frost/assemble with plenty of time before the wedding. I am really happy that it's over, and extremely happy that it turned out so well!! Here are photos of the process:

I packed the cake in a large insulated bag and took it as my carry-on. I was even allowed to take two ice packs in the container.
Layers wrapped and placed in the insulated bag

9 layers, ready to fly!
We got to the airport pretty late, so the Pre-Check line was closed and I had to go through...regular security ugh! ;) The TSA agent did select my bag for extra screening and tested it for explosives. When he opened the bag, he saw all of the layers and asked "What is this? Bread?" I said no, it's a wedding cake, and I'd REALLY like to take it on the airplane. He looked at it and said "I don't know......." (insert my heart beating SO FAST) "......it looks pretty tasty!" I thanked him and snatched the bag and ran to my gate (did I mention we were really late for our flight?). Luckily we made it, and there was space in the overhead bin for the cake to safely sit for the 1 hour flight to Oakland.

Just a normal carry-on?
We stored the cake in my friend Jason's fridge overnight (thank you Jason!!!!) and the next day was frosting/assembly time! The bride and groom were home for the day, and let me assemble the cake in their new house. I got to work in the most beautiful kitchen!! It made the assembly process so enjoyable to have all of that space! And I got to break in their wedding present - a new Tiffany blue KitchenAid mixer :)

Beautiful kitchen to work in!
First up was the bottom layer. They only wanted frosting in between the layers, so I leveled the layers, then lightly brushed them with water mixed with a couple of drops of vanilla. I REALLY wish that I had brushed them with simple syrup, or had a heavier hand with the water mixture. When I tasted the layer as I leveled it, they seemed moist, but at the wedding, I thought the bottom layers were a little dry unless you ate it with a bite of icing. Luckily the icing helped the dryness, but I really wished that I had the simple syrup. I think the several freezer trips + refrigerator trips contributed to drying out the layers (freezing at home, thaw on the plane, freeze overnight, frost, fridge overnight, transfer to venue, fridge until serving...) so I think the syrup would have helped. But like I said, the frosting saved it :)

Bottom layer stacked
 I made sure to add dowels to support the weight of the tiers. The cake was HEAVY!!!! Buttercream weighs a lot... I made 2.5 batches of the "wedding cake" size of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe... (I made half a batch at a time due to the mixer size, but it worked really well. I also made sure to carefully measure the dowels to the same size, to avoid the leveling mistake from last wedding cake.

Dowels in place
 Next up was the middle tier. This was my favorite chocolate cake, and I was planning to just use raspberry jam in the middle. I realized that I needed the height of the buttercream to make the tiers even, so I first spread jam on the layers, then spread buttercream in between each layer. Fortunately the jam made the chocolate layer nice and moist!

Chocolate cake being frosted
I also added dowels to the chocolate layer, then made the top tier just like the bottom tier (vanilla cake with buttercream filling). Then I stacked it all! Here it is with only the crumb coat, and the stacked tiers, not pretty, but it's getting there!
Stacked and ready for final frosting!
I added another layer of frosting on all of the tiers, and also covered the cake boards that the tiers rested on. Then I dragged my spatula and made some texture in the frosting for a "rustic" effect :)

Frosting done!

Ready for the flowers!
At this point, the cake was stored in the fridge until the florist brought flowers to put on the cake. They placed the flowers on top and on each corner of the tiers. We also added a cute pennant cake topper. Here is the final product!!

The finished cake!
The beautiful bride and groom loved the cake, and were so happy to cut it at their wedding.

Cake cutting!
 I am so happy with how it turned out! It looked really elegant and tasted (mostly!) great.

True love!
 Also, the bride and groom are Polish, and had so many Polish traditions at their wedding, including this amazing sausage wagon. It had tons of sausages, pickles, bread, lard, and vodka. If you were hungry at any point during the reception, you could come slice off a piece of sausage for a snack!

Sausage wagon!
Congratulations Beata and Marcin!! I'm so happy we could celebrate your wedding and that I was able to make your cake, even from long distance! Love you guys!



1 comment:

  1. I love this place. I had an event here back in May last year and I felt like it was a perfect day for us! The Chicago venues provides you with an event Specialist as part of your package which is extremely helpful. Plus all of us dressed up only added to the entire ambience.

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