Golden Anniversary

I have been sitting here for about ten minutes and do not know how to start this blog post. I have a little cold and I think it is impeding my creativity. Well as you may have guessed from the title I made a cake for a 50th Wedding Anniversary!

Late last year my hubbie’s Aunty calledMichelle's Labyrinth to ask if I would make a cake for her brother and his wife for their 50th wedding anniversary. They live in Queensland, but they were married in Perth and were coming over to celebrate their anniversary here. Aunty had the idea of me replicating the wedding cake and she would show me a photo at Christmas. I was honoured to be asked and said I would make it and would definitely “try” to replicate the wedding cake.

When I saw the wedding cake I was excited (the cake had pillars), scared (the cake had pillars) and a little thrown (the photo of the cake wasn’t very clear)! The photo of hubbie’s Uncle and Aunty is a beautiful one of them, but the cake is overexposed. I could see ribbon, flowers and pillars, so I was sure I would be able to make something that resembled their wedding cake and I had a few months to think about it.

A couple of months ago I did have a thought – what were the colour of the flowers! I assumed they were white when I first saw the photo, but of course the photo is in black and white. So they could have been pale pink or pale yellow or even something else. I Michelle's Labyrinthmessaged hubbie’s cousin (who was co-organising the party) and she came back saying that they were gardenias, which I was happy about because I have made a gardenia before.

About the same time I tried correcting the overexposure of the photo. I didn’t have too much success, but I had a better idea about how many flowers there were and that there was ribbon on each tier. I liked that the boards weren’t covered in fondant, because that gave me a great excuse not to cover my boards with fondant – a cost saving too. I also noticed these tall thin things on the corners of the bottom layer but had no idea what they were so decided to ignore them. I found out at the party that they were long candles that were used to light prayer candles at their church – I’m glad I didn’t Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Petalsstress about finding out what they were! I also decided that I wouldn’t be able to match the ribbon exactly, so I would go down a different path and use gold ribbons – well the 50th is the golden anniversary!

Before I show you the cake I wanted you to know that it did take me a while to make even if it looks relatively simple. The cake is made up of seven cakes, so I spent a day baking. I’ve tried baking more than one cake at a time before, but I don’t have the biggest oven and when you cook more than one it takes longer than the recipe, so I end up checking Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake Gardeniait ten times ensuring they don’t over cook (which makes it hard to multi-task). So now I cook one at a time. I also had a production line of buds and petals! And it was only once they were dry I realised I missed making the petals “cup” at the base! I was worried they wouldn’t fit around the bud, but thankfully I made them work – so didn’t have to spend hours making more petals! See I am always learning! And I just need to write this down so it sinks in – if making ribbon fillers again always buy more ribbon than you think. I think I had over 10 metres of the three small gold/white ribbons, but it was probably only half of what I actually needed. Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

I was definitely excited and scared about constructing this cake! One of the ladies at Cake Tinz N’ Thingz guaranteed me that pillars were really easy, and that the dowels in the pillars hold the weight of the middle and top tiers and not the actual pillar. Plus the dowels make the pillars sturdy, so no wobbling! And she was right! It was easy and the cake stood! So here is my 50th anniversary cake inspired by the wedding cake:Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake  Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

The 50th wedding anniversary party was lovely and the inspirational, special couple were reunited with many old friends. The “bride” said the cake was a lovely, modern version of the original.

Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary CakeMichelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

And even better – the cake was eaten and enjoyed! Bottom layer was chocolate – which the kids were happy about. Middle tier was a sultana butter cake – my favourite! And the top tier was my fruit cake – which I hear is being saved for their 51st wedding anniversary!Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

You’ll never believe, but the folded card behind the top tier is the actual wedding invitation! My mother-in-law kept it all these years!

That’s right, I remember one last thing I wanted to mentioned (sorry head is still a little furry!). I also airbrushed the white cakes with Pearlescent White metallic food paint. I am not sure if you can really tell, but I thought it would give it a little extra pizzazz. I was definitely happy when the cake was set up at the venue, that is for sure. A huge relief! I hope you think I did justice to the original cake. Well until next time, be happy! :)

Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

 

 

 

My First Wedding Cake: Part 3

Michelle's Labyrinth So now I have arrived to my final partMichelle's Labyrinth about My First Wedding Cake! The delivering of the wedding cake had been playing on my mind: Should we take the cake assembled or take the 3 tiers separately? How would the flowers be placed? Would the reception room be ready (i.e. no reason for anyone to move it once we left)? Would the reception room be air-conditioned? Would hubbie be able to carry it (safely!)?

I had even read lots of blogs and FAQs about delivering wedding cakes and I even asked my cake instructor if it was okay to take the 3 tiers already assembled. In the end I did deliver it assembled as you know and I am glad because of the Michelle's Labyrinth cracks issue – that was my concern about assembling the at the venue! It also worked out quite easy to assemble the flowers because they were on wires and I had already placed the flower spikes (plastic holders that you stick the stem of the wired bouquet in) in the right spots of the cake.

I was happy and starting to get a little excited. The cake was there, it looked beautiful with the ocean backing (just couldn’t get any great photos with the right lighting on the cake and being able to see the colour of the ocean). My only concern was if anyone noticed the imperfections of the fondant or if the colour of the flowers didn’t go well with the rest of the room. Would the bride like it?!

Now you may have noticed the little cakes with A and M on them. They were my little surprise. This beautiful couple have 2 little girls and after getting Miss A’s approval of my pink frangipanis I got the idea of making her a flower arrangement of her own! The little cakes were vanilla ones in case the girls didn’t like fruit cake. And when we delivered the cake to the venue a table for the children had already been set up with colouring books and after activities, so I was so pleased that it was a children friendly wedding (as I thought it might be!). During the reception when I was taking some sunset photos of the cake I heard Miss A telling someone that the cake with the A was her cake and the other one was her sisters! It didn’t take her long to work it out :)

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

So the cake was delivered, photos were taken and there wasn’t anything else I could do! Well except go home and put on a dress!

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's LabyrinthAs I have mentioned the wedding was Hawaiian themed and the men were allowed to wear shorts! Hubbie had his favourite Hawaiian shirt that he bought in Bali in 2002. I found a nice dress with flowers on it before Christmas. So it was easy getting ready! And I remembered to drown myself in sunscreen including the part in my hair (which was still recovering from its last burn!).

The weather was absolutely amazing. It was forecasted to be 37 degrees Celsius and there was not a cloud in the sky. Hubbie and I had lunch before the ceremony outside and it was pretty hot so we were a little worried it might be too hot, but once we got down to Trigg beach and under the trees it was just perfect!

Michelle's LabyrinthEveryone really embraced the Hawaiian theme and the it was such a colourful affair. The groom was relaxed, their daughters were adorable and the bride was stunning – with even a frangipani in her hair :) I also liked how the celebrant dressed in theme.

I loved the photo above with the wedding couple carrying a daughter each and I love the back of the head shot of Miss M and the beautiful mother-of-the-bride! Michelle's Labyrinth

After enjoying a few cocktails at the Soda Sunlounge it was time to go to the reception and god I was hoping the cake was still standing and everyone liked it.

Michelle's Labyrinth

When I saw the coloured hand-printed canvas on the table I was so happy. Lots of colours! And not only that, there were different coloured lanterns hanging around the room. I felt quite confident the colours of the flowers went well with the theme!Michelle's Labyrinth

It was a cocktail reception rightMichelle's Labyrinth on the beach and it was an absolutely beautiful night. The weather continued to be perfect and there was still not a cloud to be seen. Usually clouds make for great sunsets, but I thought this night’s sunset was stunning!

Michelle's Labyrinth

I received many compliments about my cake, lots of photos were taken and I was even congratulated! As I said it was a bit of an epic journey so I’ll take those congratulations that I had made my first wedding cake and survived! I really hope the bride did love the cake and I am completely honoured to have been given such a responsibility!

Michelle's Labyrinth

I am always asked if I am upset when the cake is finally cut into. Strangely I am not. Once I have my photos all I want is for the cake to be enjoyed and that means eaten! I was given some compliments of the taste of the cake too, which is an added bonus. One lady said it was a “good nine” – I’ll take that! We caught up with some of the family today and a few of them had enjoyed a piece last night and said how moist it was. Yay! My cake has been eaten and enjoyed! That is all one can ask for :)

I hope you enjoyed my cake and the journey of making it. I’ll leave you with Miss A claiming her cake once the bride and groom had cut into theirs. I love that Miss A loved her cake!Michelle's Labyrinth

 

 

 

My First Wedding Cake: Part 2

While making the wedding cake the next movies I watched were Love Actually (of course – it’s all about love and I seem to watch it once a month!) and The Princess Diaries – which was okay, but not good enough for me to continue with the sequel. So I decided to move back to Jane Austen. I put in BBC’s 1983 version of Mansfield Park. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into it and ended up turning it off. It was quite dark, lacking in background music and extremely different from 1999 movie version of Mansfield Parkwhich is funny and even a little sexy. I watched the 1999 version yesterday while starting to write my blog! I think I may need to read the book one day and see which one was closer to the original story.

I thought maybe I needed a change from JaneMichelle's Labyrinth Austen, so as I started to colour my frangipanis I chose Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit (BBC’s 2008 version). I totally love this story and highly recommend this mini-series if you are interested in period pieces, or like good love stories with twists! (Just think of the twists in Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist and Great Expectations for examples!). Also if you like Matthew Macfadyen (Mr Darcy in the Keira Knightly’s Pride & Prejudice) he is the main make actor in Little Dorrit. (Oh, I had a huge OMG moment during Little Dorrit – I worked out Maggy is played by Eve Myles, the main actress in Torchwood! Well Maggy fell gravely ill when she was ten years old and suffered brain-damage as a result and had blonde hair, so nothing like Eve’s Torchwood Gwen Cooper character!).

I did a lot of dusting of frangipanis and I even dusted my roses with gold luster dust, while Little Dorrit was on. I was quite happy with most of my frangipanis and tried to colour them as close to some photos I had seen on the internet. I was very scared when I decided to dust my roses. I know we dusted the tips of the petals in cake decorating class, but cannot remember what she said about how much and what colour etc. I saw the gold dust in my collection and just wanted to use it but was not sure if it was the best colour to use on my pink  roses! There was a little bit of gold in the ribbon I was going to include with my flowers and leaves, so I thought the gold dust may compliment the ribbon. I picked a medium-sized rose that was my least favourite and dusted a little on the back, but I wasn’t sure if the dust looked good or not so I went ahead and dusted the whole rose. I still wasn’t 100% sure, but decided what the heck and went with my gut and not my head and dusted all the roses! I was quite happy with the end result – the gold dust just gave my roses some magic, like they had been dipped in fairy dust!Michelle's Labyrinth

This brings us to D-Day minus 1! The flowers were coloured and ready. All that was needed the last cake to be covered in fondant, flowers arranged and of course the actual delivering of the cake the morning of the wedding. However I needed some pampering time and got my hair cut and coloured on Friday morning (plus I had a free style cut and blow wave voucher that expired on the 28th February so it was my last chance to use it!). While I was getting my hair cut I thought a little bit of the cake and what I still needed to do. The one thing I was unsure of was whether I had enough ribbonMichelle's Labyrinth made up to go with the flowers. I had bought a couple of metres, but once folded a few times it doesn’t look like much and I only had 8 little posies and by my calculations I really should have 20. But was it worth an extra hour out of my day to drive to Bibra Lake? I decided it was and I was so pleased that I did. I got some more posy ribbon. I also bought another metre of the blue ribbon to go around the cake (as I am not sure if my original calculations included the two surprise cakes). While I was at My Delicious I also saw some green dust that was perfect for my frangipani buds! The trip was definitely worth-while because I loved how my frangipani buds turned out; I needed the extra blue ribbon and although I bought the wrong width posy ribbon I was still able to use it and it really worked! Yay!Michelle's Labyrinth

I got home around 2:30pm, so after some lunch the first job was to cover the last cake, however it was the 11inch and it was actually a little heavy for me to lift and I wasn’t confident that it would stay in one piece. It sure looked like it was going to sag and break in the middle. So I waited for hubbie to come home so he could lift the cake while I slid it onto the final cake board. Instead I decided to arrange the flowers.

I had this picture of the flowers cascading down the cake and over the past few weeks I was trying to picture how this would look and the best way to do it. I thought maybe I would stick the flowers to the cake with royal icing and try to position them in a flowing motion, but I don’t think I could picture if it would work. I was chatting to one of the ladies I do cake decorating classMichelle's Labyrinth with early February and she gave me the idea of arranging the flowers on wire and then poke the bouquet into the cake and bend the wired flowers so they were cascading down the cake. I wasn’t sure how this would look either, so I got my purple roses and held them at an angle down the cake and the picture in my head really started to come together! It may have been quite late in the game, but I the afternoon before the wedding I started wiring my roses and some frangipanis together with leaves and ribbons. Luckily I got the wire idea from the lady early on, so I had some frangipanis on wire (which I made up how to do because I have only been shown how to do standalone frangipanis!).

I had my purple roses in front of me as I put some flowers down on a white surface to see how many I should include in the bouquet and how to arrange them using the purple roses as a template. It was about then that I had a look at my roses bouquet and realised I was supposed to wind green florist tape around my ribbon posies so the ribbon stood upwards as opposed to flat! And then I worked out I needed to wind green florist tape around each new leaf, ribbon or flower I wanted to include in my bouquet. To speed up the process I occasionally put 2 or 3 flowers/leaves at a similar height and wound them together in one go, but it took a good while to create one bouquet. While doing these bouquets I had on the 1999 version of Great Expectations.Michelle's Labyrinth

Hubbie then came home and we sorted out my 11 inch cake and it slid across really well! Hubbie watched the end of Great Expectations while playing on his computer, while assembled the 3 tiers. This was an interesting experience… My first 3 tier cake and I was worried about wrecking the fondant on the bottom 2 tiers. First IMichelle's Labyrinth needed to put some dowels into the bottom layer as these would hold up the rest of the cake so there was no sagging or collapsing from the weight of the top 2 layers. The second layer went on nicely and I was pretty happy! I put some more dowels in the middle layer and then put on the top cake. However when I did this some cracks appeared in the middle cake. I am not sure why, whether the fondant was a little too thin in these sections, or it I put the cake down too hard. But I just had to get over it! I put some shortening on the cracks too try to repair them, but the cracks just were not disappearing. So I moved on (sort-of!).

By this stage I was creating my flower toppers and hubbie went into the media room to watch some football so I put in BBC’s North & South (2004). This is another brilliant mini-series that is a must see if you like this genre. However half way through the football finished and hubbie wanted to watch a “boy” movie with me. So I chose Independence Day – I thought it would be a great fast-moving movie with fun characters, brilliant one-liners and would help me maintain my energy to bending and arranging my bouquets and then attaching them to the cake!

It was just after midnight and I hadMichelle's Labyrinth a cake! I was happy! I thought the flowers worked well. I took a few photos but thought I would use the natural sunlight in the morning and take most of my photos then. So off to bed it was. Once laying in bed I did fall asleep, but things were playing on my mind – the cracks in the fondant and also delivering the cake! As some people noticed I was up at 3:30am playing on FaceBook and one of my iPhone games. Sometimes I am able to fall asleep after a couple of games of Spider Solitaire, but not this night. So I decided to Google some more on repairing cracks in fondant. One website suggested putting some royal icing into the cracks like you would fill a wall crack with a crack filler. I had some royal icing made because I had attached some frangipanis to the cake to hold my bouquets into place. I thought this would be a good thing to try in the morning and I then tried to get some more sleep. I remember rolling over and thinking how comfortable my pillow is and thanking my lucky charms I was finally sleeping and then the alarm went off. Why does that always happen, you go into this nice deep sleep right when you need to wake up!?

It was the day of the wedding! I went downstairs fairly quickly and checked the cake was still standing! Victory! It was! I got some royal icing and on the back of the cake I tried to fill a crack. It wasn’t perfect, but I thought it looked better than leaving the crack, so I fixed up all the cracks as best as possible. I took some photos, then off we went to deliver the cake. Hubbie drove there with me and the cake on the back seat, the bouquets and flower toppers on the front seat and I had some tools, glue, camera etc in the boot. We made it to the reception place with no incidents and then hubbie had to carry the cake in – because I could not carry it. It was probably 10 kilos of cake!

I knew early on that hubbie would have to carry the cake and I decided not to cover the cake board with fondant. The 3 or so times I have covered a cake board it has ended up with my finger indentations in it when I carried, delivered or moved the cake. I am glad I didn’t cover the cake board because when I had to slide the bottom cake into place it just would have ruined the fondant covering anyway. I am thinking now I could have put some ribbon around the base of the board, but honestly I was happy there was a standing cake with cascading flowers!

I’ll leave with you with a couple more complete cake pictures and then move onto the next blog post so you can see the cake in its final resting place and some photos of the whole wedding! Hopefully it won’t be too long away :)

Michelle's Labyrinth

 Michelle's Labyrinth

 

 

 

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