So, this week's lovely news is that on Monday I attended the wedding of my brother in law and his lovely fiance - now wife. It was a joyous occasion, held in a beautiful country house called St Audries' Park on the coast of Somerset.
The engagement wasn't a lengthy one - when these two make a decision, it's full steam ahead!
Back in February, I had a call from the bride to be asking if I would be willing to make the cake for their Regency themed wedding. I was delighted to accept, although it was my first white wedding cake, and the bride and I discussed the colour scheme (yellow, gold and royal blue) and the flowers (roses).
So I browsed the internet - and watched the bride's favourite version of Pride and Prejudice - for inspiration.
I found a few links to cakes with lovely domes of roses and ribbons wrapped round them. The bride wanted to incorporate the iconic pearls from the Pride and Prejudice theme and wasn't sure what colour roses she wanted.
I mocked up a few different cakes with cardboard cutouts and sent her photos of them. I sent over several different versions with the pearls differently positioned and with different coloured roses positioned in different ways.
The bride and groom preferred quite a simple design, with a middle tier wrapped in lace, and ribbon and pearl swags on the top and bottom tiers. The top of the cake would feature rose blossoms, and a few further blossoms would appear on the lower tiers. We
also chatted about colours a bit further and decided that blue ribbon
would be better as it would work with the bridesmaids' dresses.
There was a slight challenge in that neither the bride or the groom like fruit cake - but thankfully the groom loves chocolate and I have a great recipe (in a book I mentioned in another post, Sweet Things by Claire Macdonald) which produces a dense, rich cake which I hoped would provide a stable bottom tier to support the lemon drizzle and victoria sponge above.
Once I received the fabric swatches in the post I went out to buy ribbon and sugar paste. I started by mixing a golden
yellow (the yellow on offer was too bright and so I used peach, ivory
and lots of yellow gel food colouring. I started by making the yellow
roses, then the ivory ones.
I made six large roses and six bud sized
ones in each colour. I then used the remaining paste, along with edible lustre powder colouring, to make lots of
pearls for the swags. I used a Lakeland edible lace mould and magic icing to create the lace for the middle tier.
I made the bottom, a 12 inch tier on a 14 inch base, with 3 layers of the rich chocolate cake recipe increased by a third (using a whopping 7 and a half bars of dark chocolate!) then added another 2 and a half bars of cooled, melted dark chocolate into freshly made buttercream. For the middle tier, I used the James Martin madeira cake recipe, splitting a double quantity between two 10 inch pans, drizzled with a sharp lemon syrup and filled with Delia Smith's lemon curd and cream cheese frosting. The top tier was made with two 7 inch cakes made using my Mum's easy sponge cake recipe All the tiers were then crumb coated with vanilla buttercream.
I then covered each tier with white icing and put on the edible lace on the middle tier, and used a piping bag with magic icing to pipe the swags onto siliconised paper so I could position the pearls. I left them overnight to set, then peeled each swag off the paper. I brushed the back of these with a very thin layer of the magic icing and brushed the cake with a very thin layer too, to stick them in place.
So: here is the finished cake - not bad for my first 'white icing' wedding cake I don't think...