A dear, sweet friend married her childhood sweetheart on Saturday.
Springtime in Adelaide, gorgeous, loved-up bride & groom, perfect weather, picture-perfect venue .
What a beautiful day it was.
The ceremony and reception were held at Woodhouse in the Adelaide hills. This South Australian heritage listed property is a true treasure. I can’t create a link here for some reason but friends, the website really is worth a look: http://www.woodhouse.org.au/
The bride had created a whimsical/vintage/country theme. She spent months collecting ideas for all the little details that made the theme work. Pinks and cream were the colours of the day and they were reflected in the masses of fresh, home-grown flowers the bride had chosen – blowsy, full-blown roses, baby’s breath and daisies were everywhere. There were ribbons and vintage-inspired fabric bunting, pink and white sweeties in a luscious candy buffet, lace tablecloths and lime-washed framed blackboards with messages from the bride and groom. The couple had added decorative birdcages to the decor and they held candles and cards from the guests.
I had the honour of making the wedding cake. I am not a trained pastry chef or decorator so this felt like a huge responsibility. I had to try and do her vision justice – I loved the theme, all things sweetrosie, so that wasn’t a problem. It was all in the technical detail, was I really up to this? Was I being over-confident? Anyway, I adore this couple so… I just said “yes!”, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
The bride had asked for a rose cake, very popular at the moment – swirls of buttercream are piped to create the illusion of roses. The roses are stacked, sometimes all over the cake, sometimes, as I did, on one tier only.
I accented the buttercream roses and the bottom tier with candy pearls. I made sugared rose petals and they became the only colour accent on the cake. The sugared petals are designed to look like a full-blown rose has dropped it’s petals and some have fallen onto the cake, so gorgeous.
The frosting was an American-style buttercream flavoured with Lorann cheesecake flavoured oil. It was hard to choose a flavour from the huge range they have. There’s not many people who don’t like cream cheese frosting so I figured the cheesecake pick was a safe bet. Using high-ratio shortening for the frosting ensured the icing remained super-creamy, light, fluffy and snow-white. I had to order this over the internet and it’s not cheap, but it was so worth it! High ratio shortening holds more water/liquid and sugar than butter and as mentioned, the texture, colour and mouth-feel are wonderful. There is a caveat though…high-ratio shortening does contain trans fats so, maybe not something you’d eat every week but then, you wouldn’t be would you?
I do not know why I cannot create a hyper-link today! Anyway, here’s a nice website that has more info re high-ratio shortening for you if you’re interested in maybe using it for your special cakes: http://www.littleladycakes.com/2009/04/high-ratio-shortening.html
The bottom tier was a marble cake – vanilla bean, rich chocolate and strawberry cake batters, swirled together. I torted the cake into three layers and filled it with a cherry conserve and some of the cheesecake buttercream. Oh! One thing I did do, and it seemed to make a lot of sense, I brushed each cake layer with a vanilla flavoured sugar syrup. It keeps the cake moist AND helps the layers come together, settle and consolidate.
The top tier was a chocolate mud cake, torted into three layers, brushed with a Kahlua and espresso sugar syrup and filled with chocolate ganache.
I will get better at this, I’m sure. I know I didn’t use enough frosting on the bottom layer, it was so hard to even it all out and keep the frosting on! I used a metal cake scraper and went around and around and around and around, over and over and over again! I just couldn’t get it exactly as I wanted it. Practice, that’s what that comes down to.
Please let me know if you think I might have any tips for you. This was my first time at a cake like this and I love sharing what I learnt along the way.