It’s getting creamy in here. And not in a good way. Let’s re-cap: yesterday we spoke flour, butter and sugar. I finally faced the challenging truth that I am in fact, baking a wedding cake and that despite my numerous attempts at denial, the magnitude of the project was beginning to dawn on me.
I did say that today I was going trial a different cake. I didn’t. Even my own very persistent inner perfectionist fatigued itself this weekend. In the end (the end being around 2am), I decided that the chocolate cake was delicious and also intense enough to hold the sweetness of the white chocolate filling. I will work out how to use the dowels next weekend. For now, let’s focus on making everything look pretty.
So today we’re speaking sugar, butter and white chocolate as we face filling, frosting and piping.
For the filling I have decided to go with a classic recipe for white chocolate buttercream and fold frozen raspberries into the mix - which will look beautiful when the cake is sliced. The recipe and the process proved easy. This one is a winner.
For the frosting I’m going with a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. In the end I decided that Swiss buttercream would be more forgiving as a frosting than any other cover and I needed something not too sweet. I took the advice of several bakers; whipped, whipped and kept on whipping right through my panic until the mix resembled something like frosting. It was a magical moment when it did.
For the piping and decoration I am keeping it simple. I will admit on this blog that I haven’t so much as touched a piping bag before (did I mention I googled ‘how to attach piping nozzle to bag’?). I’ll say no more.
So a whole three days into my long weekend I now have an enormous 10 inch, 5kg cake in the refrigerator that I will need to carry on my commute in the morning. I hope my colleagues are hungry. Forget weight training at the gym tomorrow, I’ll just run on the treadmill for hours ‘til I burn off the calories of sugar that I did (not) eat.
Recipes (and lessons learned) below.
White Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream Filling
I took a classic recipe for white chocolate buttercream from Good Housekeeping magazine. It’s a very sweet recipe and ought to offset the density of the chocolate cake.
The quantities provided below covered ½ cm layer of a 10inch cake. I intend to double or triple for the actual event.
175g white chocolate
250g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar
3 tbsp milk
handful frozen raspberries
1. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over pan of simmering water. Remove when smooth, and set aside to cool for ten minutes.
2. Put the softened butter into a large bowl and sift over the icing sugar. Starting slowly, beat together until fluffy and combined. Beat in cooled white chocolate and milk.
3. Set aside and fold in the frozen raspberries when ready to use.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen/ Wedding Cake Genius
Ingredients (to cover a 10inch cake)
227g caster sugar
4 large egg whites
340g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Whisk egg whites and sugar in a large metal bowl over a pot of simmering water until you can no longer feel sugar the granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
2. Transfer to the mixer and whip until it turns white and approximately doubles in size. Add the vanilla.
3. Finally, add the butter a little at a time and whip, whip, whip. Here I quote Smitten Kitchen “do not have a panic attack as this takes a while to come together”.
So. Lessons learned:
Decorating the cakes is easier when they are frozen or very cold.
Moving the cakes from one surface to another is not easy whichever way you look at it. I have yet to address the problem of how I am going to transport them from my home to the venue (and whether assembly of tiers should take place here or on site). Any volunteers?
Make way more white chocolate buttercream filling and Swiss buttercream frosting than anticipated (note this is most definitely not because I ate some (a lot) along the way).