Saturday, July 13, 2013

194/365 Stacked

Rather than today's picture of the day being the first in the series as is usually the case here, today it will be the last one.  You'll have to make it through this series of pictures, imagining some missing parts, to fully appreciate the ending.

Once upon a time there was a panicked bride.  On the Wednesday before the Saturday she was getting married, the source for her wedding cake informed her that she would not be able to make her cake. (Something about just having had a baby.)   With only three days until the wedding, what was the bride to do?

She remembered that she had a colleague with a young, trying to get experience, daughter who had recently graduated from culinary school and moved back to Texas.  She sought out her colleague who in turn phoned said daughter with the bride's dilemma.  In a moment of weakness (and poverty), the young baker said yes to making the cake.

Soon more pounds of butter, flour, and sugar than one normally consumes in a year appeared.  Eggs were cracking.

NOTE: The band-aids have to do with sharp edges on cake pans and plastic wrap boxes.

Soon , the last lonely egg joined the others from its dozen in a scrumptious cake batter.

Being that the bride's dream was a four tier cake that would feed two hundred people, there was A LOT of batter.  A lot of batter means a lot of baking.  Here we go with pan number one.

Fast forward . . . all four tiers, which were each two layers, are done and headed to the freezer.

During the baking process, the gum paste flowers were being made - each one by hand.

Once the layers were done and the first layer of flowers were busy drying (see yesterday's post), it was time to make the butter cream frosting to go between the layers and that would also be used to mask the tiers so that the fondant would stick.

The young baker decided that she would also make all of the fondant from scratch.

Tier three successfully covered.

Tier two successfully covered.

Tiers one and four were also successfully covered.  This cake process was nearly non-stop for three days.  Obviously I missed photographing many steps.

Then came the scary part.  The tiers of cake and all of its parts had to be moved to the reception venue unassembled.  Once there, the tiers were stacked, the fondant trim and finally the flowers would be added.  The transporting of this sugar monster nearly thirty miles was a little crazy making for all of us.  So many things could have gone wrong that would have been disastrous; the biggest thing that we knew we were fighting was the heat - it was  103 degrees.

All of the decorative flowers were packed in the empty egg cartons.  Surely if these masterpieces of cardboard can protect eggs in their travels, they will protect these delicate flowers.

There are zero pictures of the cake assembly process. We were all too busy praying.  Okay, I was praying; the young baker was frantically working to the mantra, "I will never do this again.  I will never do this again. I will never do this again." I tried to be the picture of calm.  That did not work to calm the young baker.  She said that the only reason that I was calm is because I had low standards and therefore did not stress out.  Yeah, whatever.

The young baker worked for an hour and half sticking dowels on the tiers of the cake so that they could be stacked.  She added the trim to each tier and then added the flowers, none of which broke in transit!  The florist came by and offered a few left over rose petals if they could be used to add a final touch.

The young baker added the final touches . . .

 . . .and the cake was done.  It was done in three days, by one young baker who had never made a four tier fondant covered wedding cake before (and may never again).

The young baker has come a long way. from this in 1993 . . .

 . . .to this in 2013.

"Stacked Tiers"

And they all ate happily ever after.  The end.

. . . except for the beer that happened at the Mexican restaurant on the way home.