My Big Fat (Gross) Wedding (Cake)

Buttercream is evil.  Light, fluffy and requiring only a few simple ingredients, one might be led to believe that this type of frosting is equally simple to work with.  On the contrary, within the first few minutes of interacting with it, I had successfully coated my hands, the table, and the handles of all of my tools with a buttery layer that was impossible to wash off.  My pastry school mission was to complete a two-tiered vanilla dacquoise wedding cake, each tier composed of three layers.  Here is the evidence of my slippery journey to the finish line.cake 1

After baking, we torted (cut) the cakes into layers and added an even layer of buttercream between each separate slice.  This was the easy part.  We chilled the cake before moving on to the next step; cake has to be extremely cold when the buttercream is applied.  The impossible part was smoothing the buttercream into a blemish-less canvas on the top of the cake.

cake 2I now have so much more respect for plain, decoration-free cakes when I see them in shops.  It is much more difficult to create a smooth buttercream surface than to make mistakes-a-plenty and then handily cover them up with ornamentation.

cake 6The icing process was maddening, but I really enjoyed learning how to pipe these buttercream roses.  From now on, I’m fairly certain that 99 percent of my creations will be decked out with at least one flower.

cake 5Piping along the sides of the cake also proved to be quite difficult.  Gravity worked against me, and many of the markings that were supposed to be delicate vines turned out more like a first grader’s artistic interpretation than that of a 22-year-old.  I definitely could use more piping practice!  You can never get enough.

cake 4I’m excited to try this recipe again, with the experience of this first cake under my belt.  I’ll get the chance again in a few weeks during pastry school exams.

cake 3For now, I’ll focus on the small details that turned out exactly the way I wanted them to!   I’ll also be sure to tell my friends to wait a while before they get married… I need all of the practice time I can get!


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