It’s just the icing on the cake

Well the cake has now been coated with a layer of boiled and sieved apricot jam. It is incredibly sticky and glossy looking. At this stage the cake could be turned into a rather attractive Dundee cake with nuts and glace fruits on top, but I must press on with the Marzipan and Regal icing. Now to wait 24 hours…..

The apricot jame has been applied

The apricot jam has been applied

So 24 hours have passed and now I am rolling out the marzipan. I did debate whether to use it at all, as I know  a lot of people are not that keen on it. I think there is nothing worse then cutting a cake and seeing a massive layer of marzipan. I see so many people picking it off before eating the cake. After a lot of research I have realised that if I am to prevent the alcohol from the cake discolouring the Regal icing, I will need to use it. I rolled out the marzipan very thin. This was a risk but I thought I would give it a go even though there was a chance that the marzipan might tear on placing it on the cake. The risk paid off and the marzipan sat neatly on top of the cake. I smoothed the marzipan all over the cake and then trimmed the excess off and I  left it another 24 hours.

Next step….the Regal icing. I rolled out the icing a little too thinly and then discovered on trying to place it on the cake that this wouldn’t be easy. After two attempts I got it sorted. I brushed the marzipan with boiled water to provide something for the icing to stick to. I smoothed the icing all over with the palm of my hand and it turned out quite well. Next time I do this, I will make sure that any holes in the cake are filled with marzipan to avoid any lumps and dips appearing in the icing. I made some very quick snowmen for the top of the cake (it was Christmas after all) and added some ribbon. To add some further decoration to the side of the cake I used an embossing folder from my Sizzix machine and pressed this into the side of the icing. Seemed to work quite well.

Voila, one cake to go for tasting. Not too bad is it?

The snowmen..bit rushed so they are a bit rough and ready!

The snowmen..bit rushed so they are a bit rough and ready!

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The finished cake ready for tasting.

Here comes the wobbly bride

It is nearly a year since Al proposed to me on a windswept beach on Vancouver Island. I was at the heaviest weight I have ever been and our impromptu ‘engagement’ photo makes me cringe. Not because I was unhappy, I was far from it but because I look like a huge beached whale. It was time for action. Since then I have tried hard to watch what I eat and have to date lost over 3 stone. I must admit at the moment I am struggling with Christmas nearing closer, cold weather and lots of Christmas television to be watched. I need to focus myself and give myself a good talking to. I bought a second hand wedding dress which in theory I thought I would get into. The lady advertised it as a certain size but after losing lots of weight I decided to measure it and found to my horror it isn’t the size she advertised but two sizes smaller.

I must admit I felt deflated and could kick myself for not measuring it at the time. So unless I get seriously ill by starving myself, there is no way on this Earth I will fit into it. So I am going to have to go to a dreaded bridal shop and try stuff on. I wish I could be one of those brides who is practically wetting themselves to go try a dress on with bridesmaid and mother in tow. But the mere thought of it sends me into a sweat. I know I would end up frustrated,feeling fat and depressed by the whole thing. So must stay focused and eat well. So if you see me scoffing stuff I shouldn’t over the Christmas period you have my permission to smack me over the head with a very large frying pan.

Here are some before and current photos. Got so much more to go… wobble wobble wobble.

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Top left and right: Cropedy Festival, Summer 2012. Bottom left and right, November 2012.

Wedding cake update

the baked goods!

the baked goods!

So the cake was taken out of the oven, it was left to cool and the layers of grease proof paper were removed. Thankfully the cake came out of the tin like a dream. It hadn’t burn’t and seemed to smell good too. The cake was transferred to the new cake caddy I purchased from Homesense and fitted perfectly. One snag, it won’t fit once it is iced. So not sure what I am going to do about that one! Oops. So now it is sitting in the kitchen and is being fed Brandy now and again to keep it moist. It is just begging me to eat it. Smells so good, just hope it tastes ok.

 

The big wedding cake debate

In a moment of madness I decided that I would make our wedding cake. It was a madness induced after I researched wedding cakes. Shrieks of “How much?”, “It’s not even fruit”, “I could do better”, and “that looks like it has been iced by a five-year old” could be heard as countless pages of cakes were viewed. Now I know it is a great skill and yes, I can understand why some cakes are expensive due to the artistry of the work that takes place on the decoration, but we don’t have an extensive budget. So I thought why the hell not make it myself. Now I know just how passionate people get about wedding cakes but at the end of the day, let’s not forget it is cake. Made with ingredients, mixed with love and craziness and shoved in the oven. I am hoping that rather than spend an eternity talking about the moistness (fnarr fnarr), people will talk more about what a lovely day they have had.

So after making this hefty decision, the next debate was what type of cake should it be? Now cupcakes have been taking over the wedding world with aplomb. Let’s get this straight…they are blousey sponge cakes that are extremely sickly. As you can guess I am not a big fan of the twee sweet cakes. So those were shelved before they even began. The large stacked profiteroles looked rather yummy but would be a nightmare to create closer to the time. Sorry squishy puffy things, I will have to love you from afar. So this left the battle to the heavy weight fruit cake versus the lightweight sponge.
Any relative of mine will know that there has been outright war declared in the past over the lack of fruit cake at a wedding. Rather than see gnashing of teeth and people throwing punches, We have decided to have a fruit base with a couple of flavoured sponge tiers to keep all and sundry happy.
So after hunting around, we have found a rather nice fruit and chocolate cake recipe which is being trialled today. Friends and family will be trying it over the Christmas period all being well. Alex has scoured the local supermarkets for dried sour cherries. Who would have thought it would be so difficult. This is the problem you have when you live in a very sheltered Welsh valley. None of your Waitrose, Ocado and M&S up these ‘ere parts.

So all the dried ingredients were put into a pot with chocolate, butter, dark brown sugar, brandy, vanilla extract and mixed spice and melted together. Then eggs were added to the cooled mixture, followed by flour, ground almonds and cocoa powder. Hard work mixing it in a massive stock pot.

The sticky brown goodness smelt divine when I was spooning it into the biggest round cake tin I have ever seen. I had a very keen cleanerupper, who just had to get mucky and try some. From the look on his face and the mixture smeared around his mouth I would say it tasted good. Now just got to see how long this beauty takes.A larger tin and ingredient amounts might mean that there has to be regular testing with skewer. So will this be the winning cake mix for part of the wedding cake? Bet you can’t contain your excitement?

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