First, have a budget in mind! What I mean by that, is that you should have a general idea of what you want to spend or can afford to spend on your cake. I get that for most people, they have no idea what a wedding cake costs, but it helps to get comfortable with the fact that a wedding cake for 100 will start around $6 per serving. Well maybe it will be less if you get your cake from Costco, (no dig on Costco, I love that store!), but seriously, this is a definite case of “you get what you pay for”.
When making wedding strategies, Time is such a crucial variable. Certainly, you would not want your wedding celebration be hurriedly done or rushed. Since the wedding event cake is a part of the wedding plan, it is important to dedicate an appropriate time in ordering wedding cakes.
The structure and flavour of the cake itself is essential so when out purchasing do not think twice to request for cake sample flavours. Some bakery shops will certainly be just to willing to require.
While I'd love to go into the many options of cake decorating, right now I don't have the time, so just a brief mention of royal icing. This is made using icing sugar and egg whites, or from a pre bought mix, and is a pipeable icing that dries very hard. It can be coloured before piping, or painted after, and is great for adding detail such as beads and borders to cake. While I used none on the poppy cake, a sprinkling of piped pearls or a bead border around the top edge can be great for covering up flaws and cracks in the icing, while enhancing the overall look of the cake.
i used them for a baroque wedding cake i made a few months ago. it was a four-tiered rectangular cake (each stack placed at different angles atop one another) and was covered in fondant painted in gold/red stripes. then i placed the poppies around the corners of the tiers. they weren't as vivid as yours though :( - ill try making them with red gumpaste/fondant next time.
To prepare the cake tin for baking, lay it onto a sheet of baking parchment and draw around the base, then cut out the circle. Cut a long strip of parchment a little taller than your tin. Fold over one long edge of this and cut slits every inch or so. Grease the tin and line the sides with the long strip, laying the flaps on the bottom of the tin. Cover the bottom with the circle. Once fully lined, do this all over again. Double lining the tin will prevent leakage, and give a little extra insulation to the cake.
For this particular cake, both the flowers and the cake can be mad quite far in advanc, which removes a lot of stress from the weddng week itself. Like all traditional fruit cakes the cake is made in advanced and soaked in small amounts of liquor ( I used brandy) over a few weeks or months. This will be familiar to anyone who has made a christmas cake.
If your reception is outdoors, take inspiration from your surroundings. A festoon of fresh blooms is a natural way to infuse some garden whimsy, fondant oyster shells and watercolor blues bring in some coastal charm, and semi-naked cakes take cues from the naturalistic elegance of the woods. The seasons can also serve as a solid source of inspiration: Light pastel flowers are a standard for some springtime flair, fresh greenery or citrus serves up some summertime whimsy, rich, moody hues are ideal for an autumn affair, and icy blue and white details mirror the coolness of a winter wedding.
A tiered cake means that the weight of your top tier (or tiers if you're getting extravagant) rests on the bottom tier. To prevent everything sinking into the cake and ruining your beatifully smooth icing, you need to put in some dowels. These can be foodsafe wood or plastic and are available, like everything else, from cakecraft shops or the internet.
Take a 30 gauge wire, dip it in edible glue, and carefully insert this into the raised ridge. Gently pinch the edges of the petal to give them a little realistic frill. If you have a petal veiner, lay the petal in the venier and press down firmly. This will give the petal veins and contours to make it more realistic, This can also be acheived with some patience and a thin modellling tool.
Almost as much as Ron loves baking, he thrives on teaching. He spends over 30 days a year wearing his professor toque. He is the only Guest Master Pastry Chef at the renowned International Culinary Center in New York City (founded as the French Culinary Institute), where he contributed to the creation of the Cake Techniques & Design program and works with students in the Professional Pastry Arts program. Ron also leads workshops, master classes and personally appears at industry events around the world, including Sugar Salon Paris, Cake Design Festival Milan, LA Cookie Con in Los Angeles, America’s Cake Fair Orlando, Cake & Bake Masters Mexico City, Tendencias in Cartagena, Columbia and many others.