Sunday, June 2, 2013

Teal and Grey Wedding Cake

Sort of recently I enjoyed a proud moment in my baking "career." When I first started writing this post, it said "recently I...," but as I sit down and revisit it with hopes of posting sometime in the reasonably near future, I realize that recently may not be entirely accurate anymore. We're talking December here. And it's June. Such is my life. Better busy than bored though (in my opinion).
Anyway, proud moment. Not recently, but doesn't matter. Proud nonetheless. Drum roll please.....

Someone I did not know asked me to make her wedding cake. Like, never met her before.

Granted, we have a mutual friend, but still, I don't know her personally, so I call that a win. I have to admit that I felt some pressure - she wanted me to use a technique that I had never done before, and making a cake for someone I didn't know felt very intimidating. After all, she wasn't likely to pretend that she liked it to keep from hurting my feelings. Thankfully, the cake was a success. I didn't get to speak to the bride post-wedding, but her mother reported that she and her new husband enjoyed the cake, and the guests likewise.

We went through a few ideas when designing this cake (back and forth via email, with pencil drawings and all, as she was living in Hawaii at the time), and landed back on the original idea (with a twist) in the end. The bride originally wanted a funfetti cake covered with colored sprinkles. This evolved into chevron fondant, which evolved into peacock-esque piping, which came back to chevron, which came back to sprinkles, but this time in the wedding colors. Teal and a silvery grey. And keeping the funfetti inside, because, duh. Super fun and festive. With bavarian cream filling and cream cheese frosting. Because, duh. Cream cheese is the best.

Now folks, sprinkles don't come in those colors. They come in a huge range of colors, but not those ones. Rumor has it there are places that will color sprinkles for you, but something of that magnitude far exceeds my budget as a home baker at this point in my life.
Sooo...I decided to dye my own. Not exactly ground-breaking science, and there are a couple tutorials out there on how you can do this, but I still had to play around with it a bit to get satisfactory results. And I am pretty sure I will never stop finding sprinkles on my kitchen floor. Ever. I swear they can move on their own. For inanimate objects, they have a remarkable ability to jump, bounce, and generally spread themselves around your home.

There was also an interesting moment of...I don't want to say panic, but it was more like chagrin, when I made a test cake a couple weeks before the wedding. It looked very pretty, it wasn't that difficult, and it tasted great. However, every person that tasted the cake had pretty blue smiles. They did match the wedding colors, but I don't think blue teeth are on a must-have photo list for most couples' wedding photography. Also, touching the sprinkles produced a lovely blue-fingered effect that would have no doubt looked...interesting when transferred to a white wedding dress. I emailed the bride these concerns (while trying to sound as upbeat as possible), and she was incredibly positive and gracious. On with the sprinkle plan! We love the blue! That's why they invented toothpaste!

Putting on the sprinkles was pretty entertaining too. Lots of gently smooshing, applying and reapplying and reapplying and reapplying until I had covered as much frosting as possible. And then reapplying to bare spots once we got to the venue.
The cake was assembled on site, since I don't like to travel with tiered cakes assembled if possible. This means that the border in between layers was piped on site too. My sister took some nice close ups of this process. Unfortunately she wasn't available for the rest of the cake, otherwise we would have pictures of the rest of the process too. My bad.
Anyway...enjoy these images of colorful cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm. Cream cheese.

I have since seen some of the wedding pictures, and as far as I can tell, they either didn't eat the cake, or their teeth did not stay blue for long. Or they took my advice and carried toothbrushes in their pockets to the wedding.

Here it is pre-topper. One of the bridesmaids made a topper in the wedding colors, and I think for not having seen it first, we ended up with a pretty good color match!

This cake was such fun to look at, and I am pleased with the results. Long live millions of non-pareils!