Project Wedding Cake Part II – the cakes are baked!

Wedding cake design Tuk & AntonWhat can I say? The cakes are baked! And there are even more than fitted onto the photo (!). Besides feeling pretty smug, it’s reassuring that a large chunk of the work on our wedding cake (literally) is done.

The best thing about baking a cake this size is that it really feels like a project that can be approached with the utmost care. I mean, sure it is fine to fiddle around with a simple fruit cake when friends are coming over, but there is no way to justify dancing around it to achieve perfection. 

And just to be sure, there is no way that this cake will be perfect or looking like it’s made by a cake master, but I’m happy trying. Hopefully the cake will look more or less like above sketch. 🙂

And in the name of research and project management, I have taken my time to find the perfect recipe for the cake layers (which mostly meant loads of note-taking and try-outs). My requirements for the cake recipe: I wanted to have a tender cake that is really tasty with clear notes of butter, vanilla and egg without being overly sweet. What I didn’t want was a spongy cake, as I really like the tenderness that butter lends to baked goods. At the same time I wanted the cake layers to be sturdy enough to build a wedding cake (!) out of.

Additionally, I wanted to be able to freeze the cake layers without losing any of the softness, and thus a recipe that was truly tested.

The answer? The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I can’t be positive enough about the detail with which this book is written. Admittedly, it is not the lightest read in the cookbook-genre, but in case you are undertaking baking something for a special occasion, this is really an amazing guide. Not only does she describe clear portions, she also gives hints to which cakes would stack best and how far in advance the baked cakes can be wrapped in clingfilm and frozen (in this case three months (!)).

With regards to the amounts, it seems like opinions differ on portions. We will serve the cake after dinner, and therefore the expectation is that guests will prefer not to eat a large piece. Having said that, I like to play safe and have taken a generous approach. The Wilton guidelines are considered one of the most reliable, and I have taken away my rough estimates as well.
We expect around 90 people to enjoy the cake and have made 4x the recipe of the yellow cake and 4x the recipe of the chocolate cake. 

Next up: recipes of the buttercream, fillings and the build-up of the cake!Photo 17-03-16 07 47 41

Project Wedding Cake Part II – the cakes are baked!

Ingredients

  • Yellow Butter Cake (for 2x 30 cm diameter baking forms):
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 242 grams of whole milk
  • 9 grams of vanilla Extract
  • 300 grams of flour
  • 300 grams of sugar
  • 20 grams of baking powder
  • 5 grams of salt
  • 170 gram softened butter
  • Chocolate Cake (for 2x 24 cm baking forms or 3 x 20 cm baking forms)
  • 63 grams of unsweetened cacao
  • 236 grams of boiled water
  • 3 eggs
  • 9 grams of Vanilla Extract
  • 235 grams of flour
  • 300 grams of sugar
  • 15 grams of baking powder
  • 5 grams of salt
  • 227 grams of softened butter

Instructions

  1. The cakes are both easy to make and can be mixed by either handmixer or in a kitchen machine.
  2. The key for both keys is to mix them a little longer than you normally would. This longer mixing time allow the gluten to make stronger bonds, which leads to a cake that holds up better when build up in layers.
  3. I have made both the yellow and chocolate cake recipe x 4 for our wedding cake.
  4. The bottom layer of our cake will exist out of yellow cake, whereas the two top layers will be chocolate cakes.
  5. The Yellow Cake
  6. Mix together the butter and sugar until it looks soft and fluffly. Add the vanilla extract, salt, flour, baking powder and mix thorougly. Add the milk (watch out as it might splatter a little). Then add the egg yolks one by one until mixed into a smooth batter.
  7. The batter is not runny but rather spreadable.
  8. Cover your cake forms with butter, baking paper (bottom) and sprinkle it all with a little flour (excess tapped off).
  9. Divide the batter over two cake forms and bake on a low heat in the oven, on around 150 degrees Celsius for around 30 minutes until a pin comes out dry. The low baking temperature makes sure that the cake rises evenly and you won't have to slize off the top.
  10. This will result in two cakes that are rather flat (with the advantage that you don't have to slice them horizontally).
  11. Chocolate Cake
  12. Mix the cacao powder together with the boiling water and mix. Place the butter and sugar with half of the cacao mixture in a bowl and mix thoroughly (again, be aware of splattering). Add the flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract and mix again. Add the eggs and mix for around 5 minutes. This cake batter is a little more runny than the yellow cake, which also means that it has a longer baking time.
  13. Cover your cake forms with butter, baking paper (bottom) and sprinkle it all with a little flour (excess tapped off).
  14. Divide the batter over the two cake forms and bake on a low heat in the oven, on around 150 degrees Celsius for around 50 minutes until a pin comes out dry. The low baking temperature makes sure that the cake rises evenly and you won't have to slize off the top.
  15. This will result in two cakes that are rather flat (with the advantage that you don't have to slice them horizontally).
  16. Let the cakes cool and remove them carefully from their cake forms.
  17. Wrap each cake in two layers of clingfilm, making sure that no air can come in. Now the cake layers are ready to be frozen.
  18. My tip is to leave the cakes frozen until the last moment of essembling, as it will be much easier to cover them in buttercream when they're frozen hard (or at least still cold).
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