• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
JamericanDiva

Demo: Making a wedding cake at home

23 posts in this topic

First of all, a great big "THANKS" to K8Memphis for sharing her step by step demo. That's what encouraged me to post mine. I am not a pastry chef, just someone who shares a love :wub: of baking and cake decorating... or desserts, for that matter. This cake is being made for my church as they're having a wedding reception (and ceremony) for the couples of the church to renew their wedding vows. I'll be taking part as well. Anyhow, while I've made 2 tier wedding type cakes for family and friends before, this is my first full blown wedding cake. It will be 4 tiers in total a stacked 14", 12" with an 8" and a 6" at the very pinnacle, with each cake on their on set of pillars. I've decided to make a coconut cake with a passionfruit mousse filling. All tiers will be covered in fondant and then a fondant lace. Currently I am in the flowermaking process. I decided to share some of that with you for now as the coconut cake won't be baked until tomorrow. The cakes will be baked tomorrow, then iced and decorated on Saturday, to be served on Sunday. I live in a tiny Manhattan apartment, so space is a high commodity.

On to the flowers... the cake will be decorated with crimson and cream gumpaste roses, rose leaves, ivy leaves, and filler flowers such as stephanotis and pulled blossoms. I didn't photograph the flowermaking process, but will as I'm sure that I'll want more flowers. I want the cake to look lush. Here I demonstrate my way of doing leaves.

august20050017gc.jpg

I start with a small bit of green paste and a green wire. This grooved (see the lower edge) CelBoard has become my best friend. It embeds the wires so easily into the paste and helps me save time.

august20050034xl.jpg

I roll the paste down onto the wire.

august20050051yc.jpg

I then place my "sausaged wire" onto the groove.

august20050076fi.jpg

I then lay a piece of gumpaste on top of it.

august20050083at.jpg

I flatten it out with my rolling pin.

august20050097rx.jpg

It is now ready to be cut with a leaf cutter.

august20050108jn.jpg

Making the cut!

august20050110ks.jpg

august20050137em.jpg

Time go give that baby realistic veining... I use a silicone double sided leaf press.

august20050140ms.jpg

Lay the leaf on the top...

august20050158bg.jpg

...cover and apply pressure...

august20050168iq.jpg

Presto! It's starting to take on life...

august20050178uz.jpg

The veined leaf.

august20050189rs.jpg

I thin the edges with a ball tool and add a slight ruffle to give the leaf movement.

august20050216xz.jpg

More life!!! I add a dark green down the center with petal dust...

august20050225uy.jpg

I accent it with a red along the edges and top of leaf.

august20050252cw.jpg

Various leaves... the same goes for the ivy I'm making.

august20050272zt.jpg

I dip them in leaf glaze for that waxy, shiny look.

august20050310gi.jpg

Here are some loose gumpaste rose petals. They will be coming down the side of the cake as if they were falling off the roses.

august20050322op.jpg

Here's ivy. These will be taped together and hanging down the side of the cake where the flowers are clustered.

The following are some of my flowers that I made during the week.

august20050381ke.jpg

august20050421xr.jpg

august20050412cf.jpg

august20050433ge.jpg

august20050457xr.jpg

Imagine me doing all this while while my 15 month old is constantly tugging at my legs, "Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma!" ... and no, it doesn't matter if Daddy is home. :blink: Humph! The saga will be continued!!!


Diva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What beautiful flowers! I think the presence of a small child doubles my admiration. Looking forward to checking back for more.


If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Those are absolutely beautiful! The amount of patience you (and others who engage in similar activities) must have amazes me! And it's not just the patience that amazes me, it's the talent, too!

As an aside...nice manicure, too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your flowers are beautiful and wow! Doing it with a baby tugging on you. That's skill.

*thumbs up*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diva, thank you so much--you are very kind.

Your flowers look like you just picked them in the backyard!!! Wow you are off to a great start. A coconut cake with passionfruit mousse filling sounds soo good. And for a renew the vows celebration, those are rare--neat that you get to do the cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the step by step on leaves (now why didn't I think of the sausage trick!) - and your roses are gorgeous!!!!! Can't wait to see more photos -

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What gorgeous flowers - the cake is going to be *stunning*! Can't wait to see the rest (and so true about mother and child ... I once made my husband switch sides of the bed with me so my son would wake *him* up in the middle of the night if need be... didn't work. He toddled around to where I was, claiming that Daddy wouldn't get up!!!! :huh: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh JamericanDiva I agree with all of the above.............. kudos to you and with a 15-month old too!? Just how are you going to keep your little one out of those beautiful creations? Your work is gorgeous and your cake/filling choice sounds luscious. Out of curiousity, are you using bagged coconut or making it from scratch? Either way, I'm sure it will be delicious. Also, would you please share how/why you decided to venture into such intricate cake baking/decorating? Personally, I've never had the nerve myself, although I have turned out some pretty good tasting, but homey looking, desserts.

And as for your screen moniker, great choice; but, then again as you can tell from mine, I'm a little biased. :smile:


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just GORGEOUS!!! Can't wait for more, though I think you must live with a camera in one hand and flowers in the other.

Wish I lived next-door...I'd help take care of that sweet baby, plus I'd let you store all those beautiful flowers at my place, just to give you more room to work, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your flowers and leaves are beautiful! My last job (before I went out on my own) I had to make leaves and my boss was extremely anal retentive. He had this really time consuming way of making leaves that not only took forever but because there were so many steps there were so many more chances of destroying the leaf as you were manipulating it through the steps. Plus, it took three of us to do it. It was really insane! If he was in the shop we would have to do it his way, but the second he left we were doing it our (much quicker) way! I wish we'd thought of your "sausage" technique!


"Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better." Robert Redford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your flowers are so beautiful! Would love to see photos of how you made them. And can't wait to see that cake too -- sounds delicious.

Thanks for sharing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

beautiful job, the flowers are amazing! i would love to know which brand of cutter you used, if you don't mind sharing. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with everyone, your flowers are spectacular and so life like. Very impressive. Thank you for taking the time to show us your work!!


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey everybody!!! I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to respond to everyone sooner but as you know, the cakemaking went into high gear... I'm sooo tired. Not only did I provide the cake for yesterday's ceremony, I was one of the participants. I'm only popping in to say that "I survived!" I will come back and post pics and reply to posts. Thanks so much for your kind words. For now, here are some teaser pics. You will hear tales of terror and mayhem.... for instance.... what transportation disaster occured that transformed the cake from this

august2005085small6ar.jpg

to this?

august2005100small0mf.jpg

You'll hear all about the cursed 10"!!!

I was brought to the brink of tears!!! :sad: Here's the groom's cake that survived intact!!!

august20050550zt.jpg

As you can see, I ended up modifying the design and it's it's different in that I stacked all the tiers instead of having some of the tiers elevated.

Right now I need some more sleep and to reclaim my house... I will be replying shortly.... bear with me!


Diva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, those flowers are amazing! They look so real. Thanks for the demo, I always wondered how they wired the leaves. You make it look so easy. Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures. Get some rest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes id like a step by step pic demo of how u made those fabulouses roses too..bravo...great job

as to why part of the cake fell sideways....maybe somebody let the air out of the tire?

seriously though ..even lopsided it looks fabulous..ive actually seen cakes look that way on purpose


Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

a recipe is merely a suggestion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to see that you had a problem along the line.

Your flowers and leaves are so gorgeous! Would love to see more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Diva! I could just cry for you, how heartbreaking. If it is any consolation... these are still absolutely lovely and I'm sure no one else in the church could have done better!

Looking forward to the rest of the story....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delivering! The bane of our existence. But it is still absolutely gorgeous. I have a fraction of an idea of the trauma you endured even though all the gorey details are not yet revealed--but I hope you can see it for it's stunning self. The workmanship is award winning.

And I hope you post more details on the making of the roses--mine kinda suck and where did you get that nifty leaf veiner????

You're so brave!!!


Edited by K8memphis (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JDiva, Dear,

I hope you've recovered from all that work, and will soon be on again, telling us all about the cake. We're looking forward to all your tips and directions, the fillings, the construction, and pictures!!! The cake was just stunning, and we'd like to hear about the ceremony and ALL the compliments you must have been receiving.

Please let us hear all about it. It was a masterpiece, and we're all ears. And eyes (did I mention pictures?). :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

im still looking for step by step pics for the roses so i can make some for my wedding cake..... :biggrin:


a recipe is merely a suggestion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello my fellow eGulleteers!!! I am so happy to be back up and running. The computer was on the fritz. I haven't forgotten about my folks. I will be posting step by steps of my rose construction soon! My 11 year old daughter is back from her holiday, so I'll have her shoot the step by steps for me. I must thank all of you for your support and consolation....

I don't even think the people realized that the gumpaste flowers were handmade... I kindly asked the girls as they were cutting up the cake to save the roses to the side. I came back home with all of them... save one I gave to my mother in law. I am getting ready for a night out with the hubby, so I will post the story later... I will hopefully have the step by steps up and running by the end of next week!

I missed you guys!!!! :wub:

P.S. I guess they must be impressed with something as they've asked me to do a cake baking lesson for the Women's ministry at church. They want to do this the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, in hopes that they will have learned something so they can have a cake for their Thanksgiving tables.... ha! ha! ha!


Diva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Hi all! I'm trying to perfect my lemon bar recipe, which is from my grandmother's Purity cookbook with all sorts of notations and changes she made. It's perfect in terms of flavour and the pâté sucree base works exactly as it should, but the topping is coming out too fluid.
       
      The topping is 3C sugar, 1/4C lemon juice, the zest off of those lemons, 1tsp baking powder, 6 eggs and 2C coconut.
       
      What can I do to firm it up a bit, so that it stays put once I cut the bars? Would cornstarch or tapioca flour do it?
       

    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      by David Ross

      I was pushing my shopping cart through the aisles of Yoke’s Supermarket on a recent “Fresh Friday,” when a spritely-sounding young woman announced over the public address system, “Attention shoppers, attention shoppers, two minutes until the next Cakewalk, two minutes.” Frozen with suspense and the anticipation of winning one of Yoke’s chocolate crème de menthe cakes, I stood pat on the number 36 yellow flower pasted on the floor in front of me. I wasn’t going to budge off that number 36 -- I wanted a cake. While I waited to hear my number called, I was overcome with a sense of nervous anxiety --the same emotion I had felt as a young boy waiting to win a cake when I was seven years old. I wondered why a boyhood fascination with winning a cake still left me with such a deep, lasting hunger some 47 years after I first danced a Cakewalk.

      What was it that tugged at my heart, telling me to delve deeper into the meaning of the Cakewalk? Why did I sense that there was an underlying truth I hadn’t discovered as a child? The only way I could unveil the mystique behind my relationship with this odd little dance to win a cake would lie in retracing the footsteps of my childhood, setting forth on a quest to discover the history of the Cakewalk.

      + + +
      We moved to Salem, Oregon from The Dalles, in the Summer of 1964, when my Father, Edgar Ross, accepted a position at the Oregon Department of Agriculture in the Commodity Commissions Bureau. My parents settled on a ranch-style, three-bedroom home on the corner of Ward Drive and 46th Avenue in the new community of “Jan Ree” Gardens. Our lot was bordered by new homes on two sides and to the East was a field of Blue Lake bush beans that would soon be consumed by the encroaching development. Mother and Father shared a few details about our new home. It had a second bathroom, a wood-paneled living room and an unfinished family room that my father promised would have a metal wood stove. But they kept one little secret from my sister and me until we were a block from our final destination on the day we drove to Salem -- our new house was next door to the grade school. I didn’t know whether to feel good or sick at the thought of living next door to the school where I would spend the next five years.

      Hayesville Elementary School was typical of the architecture of grade schools built in the early 1960’s-an L-shaped, non-descript building painted in drab green and grey. The assembly room, cafeteria and administrative offices anchored the building with the classrooms jutting out from the principal’s office. I started the school year in Mrs. Rhonda Sample’s second grade class. She was young, blond and attractive, totally unlike the spinster vision I had of the teacher that awaited me at my new school. The highlight of the school year was the annual “Open House at Hayesville.” Students showcased their talents, dazzling parents with displays of frogs and snakes in aquariums, samples of cursive writing on paper chains hung over the blackboard and paper mache busts of historic American figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Mothers and fathers could take a tour of the gleaming, stainless steel kitchen where Mrs. Fox prepared our hot lunches each day-warm, billowing cinnamon rolls dripping with powdered sugar frosting and her buttery, oven-fried chicken. But the most anticipated event of Open House at Hayesville was the annual Cakewalk Raffle -- a silly fun dance around the classroom. The winner won a cake and the proceeds went to fund other activities at school.

      We cut footprints out of colored construction paper and pasted them in a large circle on the spotless, pink vinyl-tiled floor. Each “foot” was given a number from one to twenty. Red, white and blue streamers were tacked on the outer walls and then brought to the center of the ceiling to define the center point of the cakewalk circle. When the room was ready, Mrs. Sample turned on the lights and opened the door, welcoming a parade of Mother’s who pranced into the room carrying Tupperware cake caddies, Pyrex baking dishes, glass cake domes and disposable aluminum trays coddling their precious cake creations.

      Three long tables were placed against the wall and covered with proper linen tablecloths. The tables served as the stage upon which the cakes would strut their stuff. The chorus line of cakes went on and on through the annals of cakedom-Chiffon, Angel Food, Devils Food, Sponge Cake, Pound Cake, Marble Cakes, Chocolate Torts and Jelly Rolls. There were cakes garnished with coconut, dusted with nonpareils, frosted with peanut butter, sprinkled with peppermints, and dotted with spiced gum drops. I entered the Cakewalk over and over until I won, seemingly always at the end of the evening when very few of the best cakes were left on the table. While Mother’s “Burnt Sugar Cake with 7-Minute Frosting” was good, it would be a total embarrassment in front of ones classmates for a kid to choose the cake made by his mother. No, should I win the Cakewalk and should it still be available, I would choose the Spiced Praline Crunch Cake made by Bernie Bennett’s Mother.

      The historical importance of the Cakewalk wasn’t a part of Mrs. Sample’s second-grade curriculum at Hayesville in 1964. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we were insulated from the racial struggles of the South at that time. I was a young white boy in a middle-class American family. I led the colorful life of a kid, yet I lived in a country that saw only shades of black and white.

      Only three years before my second grade, in the Spring of 1961 the Freedom Riders set out on a campaign to test the Supreme Court Ruling that upheld the segregation of blacks and whites at bus depots, waiting rooms, lunch counters and restrooms throughout the South. The Freedom Riders were met with ignorance and violence. African-Americans couldn’t drink from the same water fountain I drank from. I never knew.
      + + + The Cakewalk played an important role in the history of America -- a long-forgotten chapter that tells the story of the struggles forced upon the enslaved, who in spite of their burdens rose above the oppression of race and found a new form of the expression of freedom.

      The seeds of the Cakewalk were sown in the segregated deep South sometime around 1850, as a parody of the way plantation owners escorted their ladies into a formal ball. The women wore long, ruffled dresses of silk and glass beads with long, white gloves that reached above the elbow. The gentlemen were outfitted with top hats and tail coats. Couples pranced and paraded into lavishly decorated ballrooms, arm-in-arm in high-stepping fashion, marching into the center of the party, often to the music played by a banjo-strumming fiddler who worked in the fields.

      The winner of the dance contest sometimes won a cake presented by the master of the house, leading many to think this is where the name the “Cakewalk” comes from.

      African-American slaves who watched the proceedings took the dance on as their own in the yards outside their shacks, mocking what they saw as the frivolous customs of the plantation owners. According to the oral histories of slaves and their descendants, the Cakewalk was a marriage of traditional African tribal dances and rhythms combined with the dance steps of the upper classes. When the land barons and ladies saw the slaves dance, they missed the satirical element entirely, but the popularity of the Cakewalk had been established among the elite and it now transcended the boundaries of class.

      Wealthy farmers went on to sponsor competitions between plantations and the dance moved to large cities in the South and then to the East where it became a staple of traveling minstrel shows and ultimately to Vaudeville, the lights of Broadway and throughout Europe.

      On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with these humble words, “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Inspired by the renewed freedom gifted to them through Emancipation, a freedom that allowed them to express themselves openly through dance and music, African-Americans led a creative revival that would usher in new forms of dance and music that had never before been seen or heard. The artistic contributions of former slaves and their descendants would forever change the creative landscape in America.


      From this humble beginning in the sweltering, humid heat and back-breaking work of picking cotton, African-American artists penned the notes of a new from of music called ragtime that would eventually evolve into jazz. It was the Cakewalk, unintentionally and ironically, that crossed the bounds of race and class status as it burst into the popular consciousness of America By the 1890’s, African-American actors, dancers and musicians had started forming their own production companies and staged versions of the Cakewalk became all the rage.

      Scott Joplin, (1867-1917), was an early musical pioneer of the Cakewalk style of music. Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Joplin wrote and performed in the style of rag—a combination of dance and marching music entwined with the “ragged” rhythms and soul of African music. One of Joplin’s most famous pieces was “The Ragtime Dance,” (published in 1902), that included a Cakewalk:

      “Turn left and do the “Cakewalk Prance, Turn the other way and do the “Slow drag, Now take your lady to the World’s Fair and do the ragtime dance. Cakewalk soft and sweetly, be sure your steps done neatly.”

      The vaudeville team of Mr. Egbert Williams and Mr. George Walker were two of the first African-Americans to take their musical show on the road in a grand scale. Crowds packed into The New York theatre in 1903 for 53 stunning performances of song and Cakewalk dances in William’s and Walker’s new production “In Dahomey” -- the first all-black musical to be performed on a grand scale in a major Broadway venue. After its raging success in America, “In Dahomey” crossed the Atlantic, performing for seven months of standing-room-only audiences at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London before returning to New York.

      By the turn of the century, Americans were moving off farms and into towns and cities in record numbers. Ragtime music transformed into a new genre called “Jazz,” with emerging talents like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington playing at the Cotton Club in New York.

      By 1930, the public fascination with dance theatre began to fade as America was lured by the intrigue of other forms of entertainment like talking motion pictures. But the early concepts and the heritage established by the Cakewalk endured throughout the twentieth century and into the 21st, namely, as a contest to raise money at church socials and school functions. The Cakewalk also delivered new words into the American vocabulary-“take the cake,” and “it’s a real cakewalk,” are terms used to refer to something that is “the best,” or a job easily done. Cakewalk software is a cutting-edge firm today that produces award-winning digital audio and recording software to the music industry.

      + + +
      I’m nearing my 54th birthday in November, some 46 years removed from my second-grade class. I had been lost until that Cakewalk at Yoke’s, yet now I’m found. I’ve learned a lesson in respect through the Cakewalk -- a lesson that taught me how emancipation allowed the enslaved to express themselves through music and dance. A lesson that freedom is an unalienable right bestowed upon all Americans. I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the place that this little ditty we call the Cakewalk plays in the history of America, opening our eyes to a world that was color blind.

      I found my personal truth in the Cakewalk -- a truth far richer and deeper than the dreams of a boy winning a cake.

      * * *
      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food and reviews restaurants. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
    • By Tennessee Cowboy
      I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream.  This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at 
      I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook.  I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe.  I am going to try two basic approaches:  The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste.  Lisa Shock and other People who commented on the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.    
      Any advice is appreciated.  Here is where I am now:  I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through nuts.com named "Love 'n Bake."  When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil.   I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios.  I bought raw pistachios through nuts.com.  The only raw ones were from California.  If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them.  I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.