|My Wedding Cake!|
Just one slice – one slice in the name of love!
|The happy couple slices the cake – photo by J. Bannow|
This past weekend was such a whirlwind of wonderful. The fiancé’s family and my own came together in celebration of, well… us! Our plan from the start was to keep things intimate and low-key. Instead of a big white wedding, we’re looking forward to waltzing down to the courthouse in jeans and a t-shirt in May of next year.
Still, it was important to us to bring our families together to show them how special this thing that we have is, and to share it with them. Even though we won’t be “official” until Spring, it just happened to work out best for us to have this gathering now, rather than later. A reception pre-wedding instead of post. Hence calling it an ‘Engagement Party’.
For us, though, this was our marriage celebration. The people we love, all gathered ’round to clink glasses and toast to us. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t fancy, and it wasn’t traditional… but it was exactly what we wanted. To everyone who was there, thank you so much! Your presence and support are the greatest gift we could ask for.
|One of the many beautiful bouquets!|
Being such a small group, I got it into my head that I would do the food… and the cake… and, well, everything. Fortunately, I had a helping hand from my Mom (thanks for hosting!), and The Brothers-In-Law to-be (thanks for the flowers!), and of course, The Fiancé (thanks for everything!).
Still, the week leading up to the party was a bit of a race – making mass amounts of buttercream, gallons of lemonade, prepping all the food, and of course baking the cakes.
There are a lot of simple recipes out there, and plenty of tips for how to deal with this sometimes finicky frosting – I don’t have a tutorial ready for you myself, but for first-time makers of SMBC I highly recommend this post. Rosie’s photos explain the process better than words.
For the cake, I wanted to make a simple and crowd-pleasing white cake. After testing recipe after recipe, I finally found the perfect one. Besides playing around with the extracts, I couldn’t find a single thing to modify in this recipe. I tried to make it better – oh, how I tried! – but so far the original is still my favorite. Completely un-adapted, I used America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe for Classic White Cake.
I baked three 12 inch cakes, wrapping the pans in bake-even strips to keep the edges from cooking faster than the center. I also baked three 9 inch cakes, and three 6 inch cakes, to make each tier.
|The bride-to-be puts the finishing touches on the cake – photo by J. Bannow|
Now of course, the cake wouldn’t be complete without The Fiancé’s incredible ice cream.
|I barely had a chance to snap a shot of it!|
Using the yolks leftover from all my buttercream making, he whipped up a batch of vanilla, and some of his out-of-this-world strawberry.
He dices the strawberries, then heats them slow and low with a heaping spoonful of brown sugar, and just a drizzle of balsamic. Using a basic vanilla crème anglaise, he adds the cooled berry compote at the beginning of churning… any leftover strawberry mixture gets set aside as topping. Mm! As you may remember from this post, his homemade ice cream was the start of our relationship. It just wouldn’t be our wedding without it!
Now, you might be thinking – small family gathering, giant three tier cake… it just doesn’t quite add up. Well, I’m proud to say we managed to polish of the entire middle tier. The top and bottom, still uncut, lasted a couple more days in the fridge before finding their tasty end in the bellies of friends and co-workers. Very happy co-workers, I might add. Nothing brightens the average work day than when someone walks in with a 12lb. slab of cake.
The Cake and ice cream may seem like the stars of the show, but they were only the center of attention for a moment. The icing on the cake, so to speak… The cherry on top of the sundae that was our Saturday… The brûlée to our crème… The… you get the idea. The best and most important part of the evening was showing our families how much we care about each other, and how excited we are to share our futures together. I’m still struck by how deep our bond is, and every day I am thrilled by the thought that two people can share such a connection. I am in awe of what we have, and I don’t foresee ever taking it for granted. I look forward to every year, and every day, and every moment ahead.
|Thank you to The Brother, for commandeering my camera for this shot!|