By Barre Thug Q
Here’s the story of a cake that survived one wedding and a wet nose from Miss Penny,aka Dog Thug P. It all began when my future husband proposed to me just before I got a promotion at work. Then we planned our wedding in the midst of him writing a doctoral thesis and me getting my feet under me at the new job. What was wedding planning like during this time? I don’t really remember except there was alot of loud discussions (aka yelling), complicated Excel spread sheets for our budget, and we did lots of searches on Expedia.com. (This was plan B for elopement, not a honeymoon.) Things were getting stressful for us both and a simple Vegas wedding looked like the easiest way to stay sane.
Despite this, I still wanted a wedding with a big and beautiful wedding cake as the centerpiece. I have very traditional tastes and love the monochrome look of white buttercream. It’s satiny smooth and just smells so delicious! This prompted my bridesmaid, Kate, and I to take a series of cake decorating classes at a local bakery. Ten or so classes later, we had alot of experience eating buttercream straight from the piping bag and I could do a rudimentary rose and pipe a border like no one’s business. And I’m very froufrou at heart. See my fancy work!
My buttercream work hasn’t gotten much better since that time.
At first, more was more so if I had the colors and the piping tip…I used it! All of it. Multiple times and in every area. I think that both of these monstrosities weight like 5 pounds apiece after I got done piping everything that I could on top of them. The ‘sea barnacle’ cake on the left might have weighed in at about 6 pounds?
Eventually, I learned that less is more so I tried to tone down my excitement and stuck with less colors and better technique–my borders are more even.
But then I learned that you could freeze flowers beforehand and I reverted to my natural tendencies of MORE MORE MORE! In this cake there was some empty space so I decided to try my hand at fancy writing and made an M into a “J”. My Mom is pretty supportive and commented on how good the cake tasted. It didn’t look too awful once you cut it into slices.
So, back to my wedding cake. What did it look like? Here she is! My inspiration was from visitng Paris and the fact that I love the rustle of tulle.
Confession time…this is a styrofoam cake. I didn’t have time to balance work and wedding planning along with undertaking a massive baking project. I ordered styrofoam pieces and decorated it with buttercream that I salted to keep me from licking the bowl. I did a simple texture using a small frosting knife and added a shell border. She looked a bit bereft so I added some coffee filter flowers I dyed with red food coloring. A few hours later, I added a knick knack I picked up from a Parisian street vendor and she was done! Voila! I didn’t have the cake of my dreams but I had a centerpiece that I loved plus I saved some money on a professionally made cake.
I guess the “stunt” cake is more like a mummy cake in that she survived 6 months completely intact in my basement. OK, that’s not appetizing but the cake on the left is decorative and I’m still proud to say that I made it. I made a smaller version of my cake for the actual cake cutting and did quickie decorations on top using dried rose petals. One of my fantastic groomsmen, James, gifted me a great bouquet that tied the colors of my wedding togehter for the cake table. I used a borrowed cake stand that my husband taped LED lights under.
In the end…it all worked out. Eat some cake!
It’s almost Halloween but it’s always wedding season here. Share your stories below!
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