Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Wedding Cake Project

Hey look at that! Wonder whose wedding cake is that sitting pretty on the table. Can you guess?

Sorry for the late update because I’m so tired these past few days, my brain is not working properly. Not to mention the amount of work piling on my desk when I returned to the office last Monday. I came back from my best friend’s wedding on Sunday and there’s too much story to tell, I don’t know where to start. First and foremost, may I present to you, Musfirah, my best friend, who is currently happily married to the love of her life.

Ok! Ok! I must tell you the big news. I actually made that wedding cake. After weeks of preparation and enough freak out sessions to last me a lifetime, I successfully made a wedding cake for my best friend and boy! it was worth all the effort. My first attempt at making a wedding cake! My cake was not perfect but I am really happy with it.

Initially, I only agreed to make dessert for the wedding banquet. But a few weeks prior to the wedding, my best friend made a proposal I cannot refuse. So, against my better judgment, I agreed to make her wedding cake as her wedding present, like a real proper traditional two-tier wedding cake. And now you know why I didn’t blog as much. I had wedding jitters. Well, wedding cake jitters to be exact. At first, I was confident that I can do it but then, reality started to sink in. What was I thinking when I said yes? I am not a cake decorator. I totally suck at cake decorating. I keep on thinking I will ruin Amus’s wedding if my cake is a disaster. And there are so many questions…

Buttercream or fondant? Store-bought fondant or homemade fondant? Marshmallow fondant or the basic fondant? American buttercream or swiss meringue buttercream? Or should I use the 7 minute frosting? Should I decorate with fresh flowers or fake flowers or fondant flowers? Chocolate cake or vanilla cake or white chocolate cake or butter cake or white cake or sponge cake or mud cake? With filling or no filling? Then, what is the flavour for my filling? How high? How tall? How big? How many layers? Where to buy dowels? Will there be enough time to bake the cake? How to pipe decorations, pearl borders or shell borders? With ribbons or no ribbons? Is the oven big enough for my cake?

It was driving me crazy and the nearer the wedding date, the more nervous I became. I googled and youtubed everywhere.

One week before the wedding, I made a sample. Here’s my first attempt. It took me ages to smoothen the buttercream icing and it’s not even smooth. Sob! Sob!

Then, I tried decorating with fondant flowers. The fondant flowers look weird on a buttercream cake, no? Baking the chocolate cake was no problem. But vanilla cake is not my forte. I tried baking using 3 recipes. The first one is not moist; the second one is too crumbly. The third was so-so. Yikes!!

I did manage to relax and finally laid down my wedding cake plan:-

(1) For the cake, I used my Dark Chocolate Cake recipe for the bottom tier. I tripled the recipe to make an 11 inch 3 layered cakes with chocolate ganache filling. For the top tier, I used White Chocolate Cake recipe from Betty Crocker’s cookbook. I doubled the recipe to make a 9 inch 3 layered cakes. Each of the tiers is 3 inch tall.

(2) For the frosting, I googled for a recipe and finally decided on Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I got the recipe from Howtoeatacupcake. It tastes not as sweet as the original buttercream frosting and most importantly, it held up well even overnight in a warm surrounding with no air-conditioning.

(3) I packed and brought all my equipments (which includes a turntable, icing knives, piping bags, different size tips, spatulas, measuring cups and spoons, icing smoothers, mixer, big bowls, one long serrated knife, cake boards, baking paper, ruler, ribbons, ruffles etc.) My luggage weighted 18 kilos. I arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 2pm on Wednesday and straightaway Amus and I set off for her home in Serting, Negeri Sembilan.

It took me 2 ½ days to finish the cake. Day 1 (Thursday) for baking and Day 2 (Friday) for the hard part, frosting and decorating. The wedding was a hectic event. So most of the time, I forgot to take photos. (What, do you expect me to remember the camera? I was already nervous and freaking out as it is!)

On Thursday morning, we went shopping for the ingredients and went to the florist to see if they have fresh flowers for my cake. Nope, they didn’t have anything that I had in mind. So I decided to use fake flowers instead. We went to 3 supermarkets and no butter in sight. Can you believe it? Arrgghh..On the day I needed butter the most!! It was so frustrating. Thank goodness we found butter in the last supermarket we went to. We bought a lot just in case. The baking process started at 2pm, after a delicious lunch courtesy of Amus’s mummy dearest. I baked the layers one by one with the bride’s help, of course. I finished baking, measuring the cakes, cutting and filling at 3am in the morning. (I didn’t realize it took that long to bake the cakes. And I didn’t actually bake for 13 hours straight. With that much food, break time was longer than expected..hehe..)

Here's Amus, waiting in her room, about to become Helmi's wife in a few hours.

And here's the newlyweds just after the solemnization ceremony. It was a bittersweet moment. I thought I would cry but I didn't. I was so happy for them.

Friday was the solemnization ceremony so I had to wait for the ceremony to finish, then make the dessert for the wedding (Thanks Own and Cikyom for assisting me) and only began the frosting process at 10pm. I iced the cakes, inserted the dowels, filled in the gaps with frosting and finished frosting the cakes at 2am.

That's the best I can do at 2am in the morning. Frosting a cake using buttercream is so hard. No wonder some people prefer to use fondant.

Saturday morning, I smoothen the frosting one last time and started to decorate at 8.30am. I piped the borders and piped the decoration flowers at the sides. I went off to change and at 11.30am; we put on the green ribbons and stick the ruffles on the bottom cake board.

I got lots of help from my dear friends to arrange some flowers on top.

Thank you Own, Zaini and Cikyom for the help. I couldn't have done it without you guys.

We finished at 12pm and left the cake in the fridge for later.
When the groom arrived, we were so caught up with all the action, we almost forgot to serve the dessert. But, all were well and done. Dessert served and ready in a jiffy!

The cake cutting ceremony was at 2pm and I was like a proud baby mama when Amus and Helmi cut the cake. Mission accomplished! Woot!!

The wedding was a blast. I loved every second of it. Though the weather was a bit hot, the wedding was wonderful. Everybody enjoyed themselves. I get to catch up with my friends, most I haven’t seen for a couple of months, spend time with Amus and her family (I love her mum, who is hysterically funny and cooks mouth-watering food), the wedding food was yummy and I was so relieved that the cake was a success.

Will I do it again? Yes. Absolutely! No question about it. Though, I think I need more than 2 days to make the cake and I going to enrol in a cake decorating class soon. A three-tier cake perhaps…who knows… :)


meck said... proud of u..hahaha

mubaraq ahmad said...


Effa said...

Congratz Shu!! de cake look perfect!

Ihsan said...

Pretty cake. =) Wish I could make something like that!

Shuhada Daud said...

Amal, Baraq, Effa & Ihsan: Thanks!! It was 2 1/2 days of hard glad everything worked out!!

musfirah said...

awak... thanks for the wonderful wedding cake.. daripada tak tersenarai langsung acara memotong kek terus ada sebab ada awak yg sudi bake the two-tier cake with all the bahan were all the way from brunei.. thank you so much

see... kek awak sedap ok. sumer org pon puji. dengan bunga kek hasil tangan zaini itu membuatkan kek lebih manis dipandang.. hahahaha

that was the bestest wedding gift ever.. thanks dear

p/s nasib baik awak letak gbr sy yg cantik.. hahaha tapi gbr kite berdua tu nampak sy gemok la..hehehe