Finished! Thankfully. Making a wedding cake is quite a bit of work! I was pretty exhausted Saturday night once we got home from the wedding. The cake turned out well, though not without a few little mishaps in transit....
I must not have been working fast enough because I was about 30 minutes behind on my frosting. The more I frosted, the more I began to despise Shannon's great Aunt Lou. This frosting may be suitable for a small birthday cake, but it just doesn't hold up well, or cover well, or smooth well enough for a wedding cake. I manipulated some of the frosting with powdered sugar to attempt to give more structure for the final coat, but it wasn't completely worth it. It may have helped a little, but time was running out. I got the cake to a certain point and Michael suggested I do finishing touches at the site. We got in the car and not half a block down the cake started to slide on its base! I guess I should have secured it to the board better! oops. Needless to say I ended up with a death grip on the bottom tier while Michael drove as gingerly as possible. Thankfully we didn't encounter much traffic or we might have been really late. We got there in enough time to make my ugly duckling cake into a true swan. Disaster averted (if you don't count sticky fingers).
I hurriedly patched the frosting and evened out corners whilst my dearest assistant kept my nerves down and helped me finish the decorations. The florist as planned had left some curly willow and orchids for me to finish the cake and decorate the table. I had brown, green and white cymbidium and dendrobium orchids and might I say that decorations do wonders for a boring old cake. My chocolate branches turned out well and tied into the table decorations too. I don't think I stopped shaking until I stepped away and took the supplies back to the car. Yes, I was really nervous, and I wasn't normal again until I had a bite of cake later that night.
Shannon (bride) and Ali (groom) both loved it and that made me really happy. She said it was so pretty she wanted to cry - which we both laughed at but was really sweet to say. Lots of people told me how beautiful it was and that was a real treat. It makes me happy that my first attempt was not a failure. I thought it was going to be in the car the whole way there... but constant prayers for 3 days of work not to be ruined in one short stop worked wonders. I'm pretty sure I would do another cake - but definitely with more say in the frosting choice! I might also consider a better method of travel and stick the cake to the board with super glue (or some hard-drying frosting like Royal Icing).
I found this experience very challenging and fulfilling. I spent a lot of time researching the "how to's" of cake construction (while missing the piece on attaching it to the board). I enjoyed baking the largest cake of my life - the 14" square cake - which holds about 13.5 cups of batter. I was also pleased with the proportions of the layers, the largest being chocolate and the top tiers lemon poppy seed. The baking part of this challenge was by far the easiest even though it took the most time. Luckily I had Friday off as well to finish everything else. There is definitely a method to this cake business and I may have learned it the hard way.
There are likely to more photos in the near future, but for your viewing pleasure now... here are some amazing pics taken by my lovely photographer, best friend, support system, decorating assistant, stress reducer, and husband. Thanks love for all your help.