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Wedding Cake Trials

August 18, 2008

I had this brilliant idea that I would make my mom’s wedding cake, coming up in a few weeks. I’m not really that experienced a cake baker, nor decorator, but I thought, Hey! That would be fun! (famous last words, right?)

So I got smart and with Terri’s urging, decided to make a trial cake. That turned out to be a very good idea.

Last night I made the lemon curd to get that out of the way. This morning I got up bright and early and started with the batter. I made two 9-inch rounds and two 8-inch rounds. I thought about trimming the 8-inch rounds down to 6-inches (to be more accurate with what the actual cake will be) but decided it didn’t matter that much.

This was very, very delicious cake batter.

The rounds came out pretty well. I was using new 8-inch pans and the cakes didn’t brown very much, so I’m not sure if that’s a pan issue or what, but they all came out fairly even, no drastic unevenness or anything, which was a relief.

Then I made the blackberry filling and started assembling. Each layer is a 4-layer stack, filled with alternating lemon curd and blackberry filling. I have the second layer on a foil-wrapped cardboard round. I don’t think I need to wrap the cardboard, actually. It made it difficult to cut later.

You can see the slabs of trimmed tops in the bowl back there (the rounds are sliced flat on top to try and make them even so the final cake won’t be lopsided). That’s the lemon curd in the silver bowl. That too was very, very delicious.

Then I sort of made an error in judgment. I wanted to make lemon cream cheese frosting because I love cream cheese frosting, but I didn’t let it chill long enough before frosting and so it became very ugly very quickly. Here it is looking somewhat better than it had started out, but as you can see, there’s not much difference between a 9-inch layer and an 8-inch layer, so it’s sort of a big shapeless mass. I felt bad at this point, like, what was I thinking?

My feeling bad might also have something to do with all the tasting I ‘had’ to do today… cake batter… lemon curd filling… blackberry jam filling… cream cheese frosting… bleah. I felt pretty yucky by this point.

But thenI rallied and chilled the cake and the frosting, and then finished the cake with a little decoration. Lemon slices and blueberries just to jazz it up a little for the test run. It’s not too bad. For the final version, I’ll use whatever flowers we have and maybe some real blackberries and leaves here and there.

Of course, it really doesn’t matter because it tastes really, really good.

Yes. Really good.

So, wish me luck on September 4th. That’s when I’ll start the cake-making process for real!

Oh, who gets to eat the huge trial cake? That would be my ravenous office co-workers. I had a big sign up a few weeks ago asking for lemons so it’s only fair that they get a piece of the result.

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