When I said “Coming Soon” you were probably thinking a couple days, right? Well that was my original intention too, which failed,and now it’s been over a month. Where does the time go?! An entirely separate topic altogether, but I digress. Here it is! One of my long-time friends got married at the end of July, and I had the priviledge of making her wedding cake! Grace and I go way back to our days at Cal, and we always have a blast hanging out together, catching up, laughing loudly in public without shame, sharing our obsession for Leonardo…the list goes on.
It all started with these birthday cupcakes I made for her last year–they’re Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes:
For the truffle part, the actual raspberries are filled with raspberry chocolate ganache (which is UHmazing, you can eat 30 of them, wonder what happened, and keep going) and I hid one inside the actual cupcake as well, filled the rest up with ganache, and topped the finished cupcake with the raspberries too. These cupcakes are my favorite! Bold statement, I know – they’re that good.
Then came the day William proposed to her with a scavenger hunt through San Francisco — we were waiting at the end for them after she said “yes!” and I made the same birthday cupcakes for them, but this time in cake form:
And then came the final cake to top off their relationship–cue drumroll–the wedding cake! I expected the week to be hectic because it’s not like I bust out wedding cakes everyday in my acre-big kitchen with marble-topped counters and islands in between with a commercial dishwasher and walk-in refrigerator (I dream big, daily). But it was really crazy–I was still adjusting to balancing 2 jobs, the baker job was new so I was climbing the learning curve and getting used to the early mornings, not to mention that week happened to also be the end of the month for sales at my second job so I was working overtime to make numbers and quota, and then there was the cake. By the end of the week I had to haul butt as a delirious zombie running on very little sleep (looking back it’s become a hazy blur), but the cake was finally done! Bf did a wonderfully supportive job again of coming over, washing lots and lots of butter-covered dishes and pans, and on the last night he even made sure I was awake and stayed up with me until I finally finished the cake in the wee hours of the morning. He also was a huge factor in helping me transport the cake, assembling it on site, and encouraging me like always. I’m a lucky gal.
The bride and groom choose 2 flavors — Lemon Raspberry with Lemon Curd, and Dark Chocolate with Kahlua Mocha Buttercream. The groom likes bananas, so I made the very top layer Chocolate banana so they could eat that after the honeymoon:
The cake was decorated with gumpaste flowers layered on top of each other. I underestimated the time it would take to make these, since you have to color, roll out, cut, ruffle and attach each layer, and let them dry hard before assembling with gumpaste glue. Had I thought of it earlier, they should have been all been made ahead of time since they had to dry overnight. One of my friends who witnessed the process affectionately called them tostada flowers because each layer on its own looks like a taco shell boat. When she first said that I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, but it eventually all came together.
Got lots of raves about a wedding cake actually tasting delicious! That made me really happy because I was really nervous about the entire cake, which I think will never change when you’re dealing with someone’s wedding cake – huge once in a lifetime opportunity! Nuff said. Here it is sliced up! I didn’t get a picture of the chocolate part, but this is the lemon raspberry part:
Congrats again Grace and William! It was an honor for me to be part of your big day. Enjoy life in Philly, and I will see you again soon!
Lemon Curd Cake
Adapted from Epicurious (makes about 7.5 cups of batter)
For lemon curd
2 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Combine 2 1/3 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in fresh lemon juice. Whisk in eggs and yolks; add butter. Whisk constantly over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a medium bowl. Refrigerate until cold, at least 5 hours. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface and keep refrigerated.
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice or lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
8 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides; line bottoms and sides with parchment paper.
Whisk cake flour, just 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add yolks, oil, juice, lemon peel and 3/4 cup lemon curd to bowl (do not stir). Combine whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl, and beat whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Using same beaters, beat yolk mixture until smooth. Fold whites into yolk mixture in 3 additions.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.
Dark Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Hershey’s (Makes about 5.5 cups batter)
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Yields 10 to 12 servings.
Kahlua Mocha Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon Kahlua
Beat butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa at medium speed until fluffy.
Microwave whipping cream until warm (do not boil), about 15-20 seconds. Stir together warm cream and coffee granules until dissolved, and cool. Slowly add coffee-cream mixture in 1 tsp increments and liquor to butter mixture, beating until smooth.