Sunday, 1 September 2013

Top Tier Gluten-Free Wedding Cake - practice 1

    Off we go!!!
            Here is a picture on which I am loosely basing my Wedding Cake Concept!!
                    The top tier of mine is to be a 6inch gluten free sponge!


As you know I am a long way from a professional look like this..
    Anyone who wants to see the current state of my baking can check out my other blog at  Pa's Pies and be amazed at the bravery of my daughter who has asked me to bake her wedding cake.
    Isn’t it lovely when someone has such faith in you.

        Well the last post gave you a glimpse of this finished practice bake and detailed my very primitive first trial of icing leaves. This time I will go through the sponge bake and the marzipan, icing and decoration I managed.
    I am going through this in simple steps and including mistakes and rescues, mostly to get things straight in my own mind before the big final bake. Also if there is anyone following this who is considering baking and decorating a wedding cake for their own family/friends wedding, I hope going through in baby steps will encourage you to amaze yourself as well.
        130g    self raising gluten free flour
        10g      caraway seeds
        2 tbsp  lemon zest
        2 tsp    lemon essence
        1 tsp    vanilla extract
        100g    butter
        100g    caster sugar
        2         large free range eggs

        Looking back at the pictures I took of this bake I realise they are not such baby steps but this is the simple-ish stage.

        The same as for any sponge cake really.  Into a jug add the sugar and butter then beat until well creamed and light. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat well. Add the lemon essence and vanilla extract and beat in. Into a mixing bowl sieve the flour and baking powder. Add the zest and caraway seeds and mix well. Add the contents of the jug and beat the whole lot until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 6 inch spring-form baking tin and put into an oven pre-heated to 1900C conventional 1700C fan for 40 – 45 minutes. As all ovens vary keep an eye on your cake after 30 minutes and remove when cooked. Turn out to cool on a wire rack.
     When I had the cake cooled I sliced through it horizontally to make a sandwich which I filled with a buttercream frosting. Butter, icing sugar, 1tsp lemon essence, cream as needed. Beat until it is stiff as you like it.

   I used a commercial marzipan because although I have made my own marzipan previously for a Christmas cake, it is a messy job I found and I am going to need a lot of a single consistency.
   Brush a coating of a warm apricot glaze (or warm strained apricot jam) over the cake before applying the marzipan. Roll it out and then roll back over the pin to lift it over the cake. Settle it in position and smooth the sides down by hand before trimming excess from around the base. Then flatten flush and smooth with a metal spatula.
    As you can see I rolled it too thin and it shows all the irregularities and mistakes below. You can see from the shoulder at the top that I had the base of the cake tin wrong way up, so when base was flipped for a flat top I got a shoulder. Previously I have only marzipanned fruit cakes which are more solid. With those you can fill and smooth irregularities before laying the sheet over them to give a smooth result for the icing. I found that difficult on a sponge sandwich. The thin marzipan was a response to people who say they don’t like thick marzipan but in the final cake it is just going to have to be thicker. Allow to dry before starting on the icing.

     For the icing I again bought commercial ready to roll regal-ice/fondant icing. Get out that apricot glaze again and brush another coat on top of the marzipan to help the icing stick. Roll it out to about 3-4mm or 1/8inch thick, big enough for the cake and sides. With this test cake I used an oversized cake board and iced that as practice, because that is my intention for the bottom tier. Again roll the icing back over the pin and lift over the cake. Smooth down by hand and trim. Then smooth with a metal spatula across the the top and gently but firmly around the sides. If you marzipan better than I did you should get a smoother result (hee hee that’s my excuse). When you have smoothed the icing to your satisfaction cover and leave it to dry.
130820131198    This was my first try at decorating with the leaves. To get them to stick I gently brushed the icing with water before positioning them. This cake of course was only around my kitchen before being eaten. The real one will I think need to be more robust and I have some edible glue in case I need help. First off though I played with the positioning and it is here that you realise that the thought you put into curling your leaves has paid off. You need them to curl both ways, so that some can hang off the top and others curl up from the base. You will definitely need glue to get anymore than small decorations to just stick to the sides. You can see where  I blended the yellow and white icings when I made the leaves, I hope this will be a lot more effective when I am using autumnal colours. All said and done though I think this came out quite well for my first time at this level of decoration and I learned a few valuable lessons along the way, so that next time it is better still.
         I don't think the caraway seeds are going to make it the final version unfortunately.
    Next time will be my attempt at building tiers, only 2 to start but something I have never tried before. I will also be introducing my new bigger leaf, still with the yellow practice icing though.
           So I hope you will be back to join me for that, it’s a big challenge and I only have 2 months to get it right and will need all the support I can get. Any feedback or suggestions in the comments below is always helpful.
        Thanks for looking
            Love from Pa

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