Tuesday, July 31, 2012
July has been a quiet month on desserts for breakfast, but that doesn't mean it's been a quiet month in the kitchen! Quite the opposite--a whole week of mid-July was pretty much dedicated to churning out a set of wedding cakes! We had three stand mixers going, four pairs of hands in the kitchen, and went through mountains of butter and eggs, a Costco-sized bag of flour, and a whole lotta sugar.... whew!
It's been a while since I last made a wedding cake, and now I remember full well why: because the recovery from attempting such a project in a small, non-commercial kitchen is almost as exhausting as making the cake itself. My dish rack is still piled with spatulas, mixing bowls, and piping tips that I have yet to get around to putting away. But, recovery is coming slowly, and even as I type, there's a sweet something chilling in the fridge that I'll hopefully get to share on the blog soon.
I have to say that my favorite part of making a wedding cake is crafting the sugar flowers and decorating the final pieces. For this wedding, Helen and Evan--the bride and groom, and incidentally, my cousin and cousin-in-law!--had gotten married in Hawai'i a month ago and were having a separate reception here in San Francisco for extended family and friends. So for the reception decor, they wanted to tie in the tropical and Asian themes that were present at their wedding in Hawai'i: lush florals, bamboo accents, orchids, and a rustic, laid-back charm. So instead of one gigantic cake, I went for many cakes of different sizes to give the table a more casual feel. I decided to make a combination of royal and richly-colored peonies to emphasize the Asian feel, with punches of light green cymbidium orchids and hand-painted bamboo on the cakes for a uniting theme. I adore how the sugar flowers came out, even though each petal was cut, shaped, glued, painted, and glazed by hand so that every flower would be unique, like real peonies--*that* took forever.
Oh--and each cake was a different flavor: chocolate, passionfruit, raspberry-mocha, and macadamia nut mocha crunch.
I hesitated for the longest time about posting about this wedding, mainly because I hated the way the photos came out (I'm no wedding photographer!). But every now and then, I have to remind myself that this blog is ultimately a journal, and life, though sweet, isn't always perfectly placed all the time! This wedding cake is something I'll want to reminisce about ten years down the road, so of course it deserves a place on the blog. :)
A huge thanks to my best friend, Jessica, who pulled all-nighters with me to finish these cakes! and thanks to my parents who helped me transport them and clean up the disaster that was my kitchen afterwards. And, of course, a big congratulations to Helen and Evan! May you live long and prosper happily.