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 Park – which 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 Jane 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!
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 ribbon 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!
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 class 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.
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 I 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 had 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