Tuesday, 4 August 2009

My Fondant Fancy: Construction Begins!

Our wedding cake, by Carolyn Mackenzie

Whoever believes that wedding cake companies add inflated mark-ups onto the cost of their cakes, think again. Trust me, making a wedding cake is NOT cheap! They take a great deal of time and energy to produce, not to mention the cost of the equipment...

There I was, the naive friend, offering to make a lovely wedding cake for her friends who had decided to bring their wedding forward to the end of July. I did my research, went up to Fancy Nancy to spend the day with the girls and do a bit of training and happily skipped off home to purchase my equipment. It started like this. A 6 and 9 inch round baking tin. A 24 inch non-stick rolling pin. Sugar paste with sugar paste tools-daisy cutters, 'bone' tools, mexican hat foam pad. Food colour paste. Fondant icing and marzipan. Royal icing. Piping heads. Cake boards. Smoothers. Icing spacers. Oh and let's not forget the actual ingredients for the four sponges. The card took a bashing...and quite frankly I didn't care-whatever I had to do to make my life easier! I prepared the cake board and the majority of the flowers well in advance to save time and enjoyed a day up to my eyes in white sugar paste perfectly my flower making skills. 

Then, for the following five days, this cake would become my baby. It was all I talked about. Baking and cooling on the first day, then shaping and applying the buttercream crumb layer on the second. So far so good. 

On the third day I rolled out the marzipan, a procedure that seems so simple, but when you're rolling out on your dining table without the aid of non-stick boards you have to be creative. So out came the baking parchment and a fair amount of  cornflour to stop the sticky layer of sickly almonds from, well, sticking. And I was doing so well until I came to lift the sheet up from the table using my fabulous weapon of a rolling pin and it stuck. PANIC! After a serious amount of coaxing and a small dose of the Bach Rescue Remedy (just kidding) I was on my way again. 

By the end of the 4th day the marzipan layer had dried and it was time to colour the fondant icing and roll it out. This was a much more enjoyable experience, aided by the lovely Andrews Sisters for a nostalgic diversion (mainly to keep my mind off the frightening prospect of the icing sticking to the table!). With the hair -raising bits out of the way I was free to enjoy constructing my creation on the 5th day, safe in the knowledge that the icing had dried and after a late night sitting up stacking the tiers and attaching hundreds of flowers, it was ready to go...

Watch this place for the finished design...

1 comment:

  1. Ooh - it looks fantastic so far!! your friend is going to be absolutely thrilled!!!

    It's really not cheap making a cake is it? What with the time and worry that goes into it as well it's quite a gift in the end. I still can't resist offering cakes as wedding presents to close friends though. It feels so much more special than just getting another item off the John Lewis list.