Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wedding Cake Part 3: Putting it Together

When preparing to make this cake, I got advice from lots of how-to articles, blog posts, comments on blog posts, and a friend of a friend.  I kind of picked and chose the bits of instruction that was most convenient from each one.

Note: Blogger is being kind of wonky at the moment, so there are certain pictures that I wanted to show you that didn't get on here.  I'll hopefully come back and add them later.

Assembling the Cake

1. White Chocolate Shavings
I used a pound of Callebaut white chocolate to make shavings to cover the cake. At first, the shavings were very skinny and looked like toothpicks. It took me a while to figure out how to make the big rose-petal-like shavings - as it turned out, the chocolate was too cold. I warmed the edges of the chocolate with my hands before shaving off a thin sliver of chocolate with a kitchen knife - I was worried that warming them using a method other than body heat would result in too-soft or melted chocolate. I ended up liking the combination of large and small shavings on the cake.

2. Cake boards

The top cake tier sat on a round cake board that was slightly smaller than its bottom.  The bottom tier sat on a cake board that was slightly larger.  In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to check with the bride and groom to see if they would be providing a cake stand, but as it was, I sat the bottom cake board directly on the table and covered the parts that jutted out with icing and white chocolate shavings.

3. Wooden and plastic dowels

I inserted four wooden dowels into the bottom tier before setting the top tier on it - this prevents the cake from collapsing into itself.  I first inserted a dowel into the bottom tier, marked it about 1/8 inch from the top of the cake, and removed it from the cake.  I then cut all four dowels at the mark.  I used wooden dowels, and they were very, very difficult to cut.  I unfortunately couldn't find plastic dowels, but I heard that plastic straws could also work in a pinch.

4. Cake Assembly Kit

I assembled the cake at the reception site - luckily, both tiers fit side-by-side inside my cake carrier.  I knew that the frosting would definitely get messed up during transportation, so I brought a kit with me so I could make all necessary repairs.  I brought piping tips, piping/ziploc bags, paper towels, an offset spatula, a butter knife (which is what I usually use to repair small sections of cake), scissors, extra icing, and a really big spatula, which I used to lift the top tier from the cake carrier to the top of the cake. 

After stacking the two tiers, I frosted over the damaged parts and piped little pearls in between the tiers (to cover the small gap) and at the bottom of the cake (to cover the board).  Then I covered the whole thing in white chocolate shavings.

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