Friday, 30 January 2015

They said "I do!"

"A wedding is a party, not a performance.
If at the end of the day you are married to the person you love,
then everything went perfectly."

In my occasionally crazy and sometimes interesting baking journey, I have baked things for weddings before; like these cupcakes for display and for the guests to take home, and these shortbread biscuit bonbonnieres. I now add to that list: my first wedding cake!

With weddings often comes a lot of behind-the-scenes stress and frantic planning. One thing that surprised me in the lead-up to this wedding, was how relaxed the bride was.

In our discussions prior to the wedding day, she sent a photo of a cake that she liked, which was a white round tiered cake with some flowers on top. Though this was the style she preferred, it was added that she was happy for me to make something else if I wanted - whatever was easier.*

A week before the wedding day, I started practicing making fondant roses. The bride told me she wasn't fussed if the flowers were real or fake, so I used this opportunity to learn the fondant-rose-technique I'd been avoiding since I begun my whole cake making adventure. The time had come to learn.

The cake was simple but elegant, and actually reminded me a little of this jazz themed cake I had made earlier. The colour theme was white, black, and pink.

My main and only real concern with the cakes was making sure I could cover them completely without having to pinch and cut any of the fondant! Thankfully, I managed OK!

For the top, I'd made a small collection of pink roses, using a 'bud' and 'petals'. I wasn't sure how many I would need or want, because it wasn't until a couple of hours before the bride picked up the cake that I'd worked out exactly how I was going to arrange them.

That's right. The bride picked up her own wedding cake on the day of her wedding. This is how relaxed and carefree she was!

It was in the morning that I spontaneously made some miniature light-light pink roses using the technique from my practice roses, to fill in some spaces that may be on top of the cake.

I arranged the bigger roses all around in a circle, facing outwards, alternating between the two different shades of pink I'd used:

Unsure of exactly where to put the mini roses, I felt that they would work well in a ring around the centre rose. Once they were all arranged and looking presentable, I sugar glued them all into place :)

Since the cake was so big (i.e. heavy), multiple cake pop sticks were used to ensure the top tier didn't squish the bottom tier, which is something I often worry about with big cakes!

This is what the arrangement on top of the cake looked like from on top:

The tiers were attached, and it was complete! My first wedding cake, my second round of fondant roses, my third emotional roller coaster, and my fourth coffee for the day.

Congratulations Leah and Alan! :)

* ... So I made a Thomas the Tank Engine cake.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Welcome to 2015.

So, it's a little late... But, uh, Happy New Year!

The new year often resembles that fresh start, or 'new beginning' that many people desire. The time for change to finally happen: To start that new exercise routine (hey, from none to one is still new!), or to begin life-long-memory-building-rituals like reading bedtime stories to children each night, or getting up early to walk the dog, etc.

For me, that's every single Monday.

The new year has been yet another reminder that even more time has passed and I still haven't called that relative, or messaged that friend, or given back that DVD, or labelled those containers in the pantry, or sorted through my wardrobe to donate all the clothes that don't fit me anymore, because I'm hoping that one day I will actually manage to reach my goal weight again.

I did, however, manage to find time to bake.

Go figure.

Sometimes I'm convinced life would be easier if I was just addicted to salad and cleaning.

Anyway, for some reason, I chose the theme of balloons to celebrate the new year with. I'd be lying if I said I didn't know that reason, because I totally do. It's because one day I came across these really cool glow stick hacks on Pinterest, and I at least wanted to try one of them!

I admit that I finally felt like that cool parent, who lets her kids stay up really late to play with balloons, because enjoying life is valuable. And of course, I took photos of them having fun and getting along (and not slamming doors and arguing over who's turn it is on the Play Station) to keep that memory lasting (and to whip out whenever the kids tell me that I'm not cool, and that they don't like each other - "See! See that time you all had fun together!").

"Nobody can be uncheered with a [glow stick inside a] balloon."
- Winnie the Pooh.

Even puppy Ralph came to play with the glow sticks.

And by play, I mean steal from inside the balloons he managed to pop ;)

Continuing with the balloon theme (and getting to the 'baking' part of the post), I'd made some little rainbow fondant balloons out of tiny triangles and circles, to poke into some cupcakes, which I suppose accidentally made them look like they belonged in the movie "Up".

Welcome to 2015 :)

I wonder what adventure awaits for you this year.