Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My sister's wedding cake (part 2)

Following on from the post about the making of the cakes, you now join me for part 2, as we assemble the cake at the venue on the big day!

The cakes survived the trip, a little wrinkled of fondant from the packaging but quite intact. I got to work with a cake smoother, applied another layer and we were good to go. So here it is, the finished thing!

I had made all the flowers in Tokyo and packed them lightly in tissues in cake boxes placed carefully in my hand luggage. I came to the venue prepared with a batch of royal icing to 'glue' the cakes together, stick the ribbon on and pipe the finishing touches.

The venue gave me the use of a storeroom for a while to set the cake up before the ceremony so I could get it just right.

The flowers were secured to the cake with very nifty little flower spikes that I ordered in England, much less bulky than the chunky white Wilton ones more commonly available in Japan.

You need to use something like a flower spike to keep the wires away from the cake, so that no rust or other contaminant can form inside the cake.

Along with the calla lilies mentioned in the previous post, I added peonies because they are beautiful made in sugar. The bling ribbon, sugar diamonds and royal icing pearls might be a touch too far for more conservative tastes, but featured separately on a few of the cakes my sister and I liked when we looked around at the kind of thing we fancied creating for her.

I was so relieved that each step of the journey went without a hitch. The trip from Japan, and to the country hall where the wedding was held. Assembled it then made the trip down a couple of sweeping flights of stairs into the dining room to be on show, and then to the dance floor where the cutting ceremony would take place under the disco lights. :)

Disco cake :)

I'm not sure why exactly, but it's supposed to be bad luck for the bride and groom to remove the knife from the cake after they make their ceremonial incision, and so they called me up to take it out.

The day was full of these little superstitions - she had an *old* sixpence in her left shoe all day, that my Dad had placed there, which she had *borrowed* from me. Her *new* thing was a bracelet Dad gave to her when he could see her for the first time all dressed up, and the *blue* item was good luck wishes written on the bottom of her shoes by her bridesmaids in blue ink. And of course, the groom had not been allowed to see the wedding dress until the day, and had not seen my sister since the previous day :) My sister awoke to the sound of birdsong, and that is supposed to be lucky. It was all quite fun.

At the very last moment, as the staff moved the cake from the dance floor they tripped on the tablecloth and my heart jumped for a moment, but it was all fine. They cut the bottom fruit and middle chocolate tier into the traditional 1-inch sticks of cake that are commonly used in British weddings and served it up with a sandwich buffet.

The newlyweds have saved the top tier of the cake, as is tradition. British wedding cake is pretty indestructible, and couples are supposed to be able to save the smallest tier for their first Christmas together, their first anniversary, or christening of their first child. I've heard of people saving cakes for years... Though those are probably royal iced rather than fondant-covered cakes however.

Traditional portion size at British weddings

Both cakes had held up fantastically during the trip, and tasted great! (I'm quite strict with myself and so it's an accomplishment that I was satisfied ;) ) I needn't have worried about the brief 1-month maturation of the fruit cakes, as they were lovely, moist and flavoursome. Phew, my job as big sister and baker done :)

I'm so happy I could do something special for my beautiful little sister's big day. Congrats sis!

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