Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the wedding cake :: baking prep

Tier Dimentions: top tier: 6 inches; middle tier: 10 inches; bottom tier: 12 inches

Amy & Matt's wedding cake was my first ever 3 tier wedding cake. Although I have made cupcakes for weddings on a few occasions, there were different challenges involved in this 3 tier affair.

The first stage involved calculating the volume of each tin to work out amounts of ingredients needed for each tier. Maths has never been a strong point of mine, but I quite enjoy the maths involved in baking, even though there is the great risk that if I mis-calculate, the cake will all go horribly wrong. Thankfully, my checking and double-checking of quantities paid off, and each layer of each tier turned out just fine.

The cake boards for each tier were an inch wider than the diameter of the cake. This extra inch is necessary to allow for the extra width added on to the cake by the ganache & cigarillos.

As obvious as this might sound, if purchasing cake boxes, buy ones that are the same diameter as the cake boards, or an inch larger. Using boxes that are significantly bigger than the cake inside is a dangerous game to play if you're transporting them any distance!

The practicalities of baking 6 layers of cake when you don't have your own professional kitchen is a challenge, as is the timing. I had planned to bake the vanilla layers for each tier on one evening, freeze them once cool, then bake the chocolate layers the day before the wedding. However, I realised that I had greatly under estimated the cooling time of the larger layers, and if I waited until the day before the wedding to bake 3 of the layers &  decorate them, all in one evening, I would have been waiting until the middle of the night for them to be cool enough to decorate! So I changed the plan, and baked each layer over the course of the week, so that by Thursday, I only had one 12" layer left to bake.

While freezing might seem like the freshness of the cakes would be compromised, I would place bets on 99% of guests not being able to tell that some of the cake had been frozen. Another benefit of freezing sponge cakes is that it reduces the level of crumbs they create when icing & cutting, which is always useful when trying to create a neat finish.

1 comment:

David Barnes said...

While not such a student of baking, I am intrigued by your mixture of units: 1236 in one line and 12.5 in the next :)

The bottom line is the result, however, which was clearly spot on. Well done!