As you are all probably aware, my bridesmaid duties have extended to that of the cake provider. So, the week before last, I experimented with cupcake recipes, which I think were a hit. The weekend just gone (or rather last weekend as I have just realised a whole week has passed me by) I spent experimenting with the actual wedding cake. Since there will be millions of cupcakes, the bride and groom thought it was suffice to just have a one-tier cake to slice into - this I can manage. The last attempt was okay, but my novice status meant I had bumpy icing. This I have resolved with a smoother - it looks a bit like a plastering tool, but works a treat. I also learnt the importance of having flat surface to work on - that is free of cake clumps and crumbs.
This time I made two sandwiches (as before), and used a different recipe (Primrose Bakery Vanilla Cake) as the Nigella madeira cake was a little dry and had a massive peak in the middle resembling Snowdon, or some similar mountain. I also sandwiched the cakes together so that the bottom side became the top - this I thought should solve the 'peak' that often appears in the middle of my cakes. However, there was still a little bump on top of the cake - which I quickly disguised with the rose petals! I think this was because I didn't even out the buttercream in the middle to compensate for the larger gaps towards the edges of the cake. I used boysenberry jam for a change - thought that this was a little but more 'special'! Also - the cake is dairy free, so I substituted butter for sunflower spread (always check the label as some sunflower spreads contain buttermilk). I therefore added one tablespoon of oil to the recipe to replace some of the fat content. The buttercream is also made from the spread - with the addition of little vanilla essence.
Here is the result:
I also tried crimping this time - not Boosh stylee unfortunately - but the roll-out icing. I spread the icing onto the board and then crimped the edge. But smoothing it was an absolute mare as I kept denting the side of the cake with the smoother as I was doing it! It was more effort than it was worth so won't be a feature on the proper cake. I piped some royal icing around the cake to make it more decorative - this worked out a lot better than I had anticipated! I literally free-styled the top bit and it worked! I did originally crimp the top edge too - but thought it all looked a bit 'flat' so added the icing.
Overall, I'm quite proud. Even my dad, whose favourite phrase is 'not bad', said 'wow'. Yeah, this cake kicks ass.