Friday 15 September 2017

Wedding Cake V1

Ok, I don't want to go into too much detail on the recipe here, as I think this is far more about logistics!

I have chellenged myself to do a wedding cake for 100-120 people, next October. I've been scouring the internet for inspiration, as well as looking at my own catalogue. My current plan is to do a cupcake stack/tower with 3-4 different flavours, and then top it off with an 8 inch/20cm cake which is done in a half-and-half style. I'll then do a (very) small tier on it to act as a cake topper. The entire thing will be decorated in chocolate-dipped strawberries.

The main body of the cake will be composed of thin cake layers, as I used in my jaffa torte and dobos torte. I made 8 layers, using;
  • 6 eggs
  • 240g caster sugar
This was then split in half, and half had 120g self-raising flour folded in, and half had 95g of flour and 25g of cocoa powder folded in. This made 4 layers at 20-21cm, each with ~100g of mixture spooned on. Each layer was baked for 6 minutes, then turned out to cool. Each layer was trimmed to 20cm using a large cutter, and then cut in half to give me 8 semi-circles of each flavour.

The primary filling is meringue buttercream. Again, 2 flavours, using a common base.I used 5 egg whites (I used liquid egg whites in a carton, so save a lot of egg yolk wastage...175g equates to 5 egg whites), with 250g of icing sugar and a rather terrifying 550g of room temperature butter! This was then split, and one half had some vanilla extract added, while the other had 120g of melted 50% chocolate folded in.

Finally, I also had some strawberry jam (shop bought, but I'll be making my own) , and some chocolate ganache (100g of 50% cocoa chocolate, and 120g of double cream)

Assembly was...interesting. Building up a half-and-half cake involved a lot of mess. The basic principle was to place semi-circles down on the cake drum, then add a couple of teaspoons of the relevant flavoured icing, before carefully spreading, and adding the next layer. Alternate layers also had jam/ganache added.

Keeping it straight was challenging, and keeping the join in the middle clean was also tricky. Careful use of a palette knife is required. I rushed a bit, and didn't chill everythig down enough. Ideally I would chill afer assembly but before adding the crumb-block layer on the outside, and it should then be chilled again before final decoration.

Final decoration will involve covering with rolled fondant on the vanilla/strawberry side, and smoothing the chocolate buttercream meringue down, and then dripping chocolate ganache over it.In this case that didn't happen, as I had instead some not-very-good chocolate rolled fondant which needed hiding, so it got fully ganached!

For the vanilla side I want to do some additional piped docoration, though not entirely sure what just yet. I've seen a sort of dimpled/upholstered look I like, or some (neat) piping...something I'm not quite there on yet. I'll then pile on chocolate-dipped strawberries (white and dark chocolate, to keep the split theme).

I was fairly happy with the first attempt...while it's a fairly complex build, I can chop some corners by making a single batter and icing base, and then splitting it. The fondant I can make ahead of time (or buy), and drippy style just looks decadent. The taste-testing went well too, with a pretty even split of preference. I suspect my colleagues are just happy to be guinea pigs!