Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two Tiered Wedding Cake with Fondant Roses (TUTORIAL)



I've been dreaming of making tiered cakes for sooo long.. And I've had a few experiences doing so but never really professionally. But ever since I've started looking through pictures of tiered party cakes I've began to daydream. And daydream. And daydream. And get this unrelenting urge to sit (or potter around) in the kitchen for hours creating one of these beauties.


I made the following cake over three days although if you wanted to, it's quite possible to make it in one day. I baked the bottom tier cakes on Thursday, the top tier cakes on Friday morning, did the dowelling, stacking, rolling fondant, and roses on Friday night and put the final touches with the pearls and royal icing Saturday afternoon.


I am by no means an expert at this and being an amateur baker, I want to show that these kind of cakes aren't difficult to create at all. They're challenging, and that makes it all the sweeter once you get the results you want. I wanted to make a cake which was entirely my idea and not copied from any of the books and so I came up with this. I also wanted to start off making two tiered cakes because I wanted to take it slow.. and gradually build up skill and also because.. I mean, seriously, I have no idea how I'd manage to get a four tiered cake eaten up (not by myself.. obviously...)


This is the first time I'm writing up a detailed tutorial so please bear with me if anything doesn't make sense (ask if you're confused).. obviously by saying this I'm assuming all my readers are going to get this wonderful streak of inspiration and go off to the kitchen.. but I don't think that's going to be the case..


And so here's the tutorial:


Equipment
A cake board
Measuring cups and spoons
Two bowls
A whisk
Four cake tins (two 6" ones and two 8" ones)
Baking paper
A cake leveller
An icing turntable
An offset spatula
A rolling pin
A sharp knife
3 dowel rods
Sandwich bags
A cake fondant smoother
Toothpicks
Ribbon of your choice
Piping bag
1.5 icing tip/nozzle
Sifter
Strainer
Pastry brush
Unused makeup blusher brush


Ingredients
For the bottom tier: 
1.5 cups self raising flour
1.25 cups plain flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


For the top tier: (identical.. and you'll have enough leftover batter to make one batch of cupcakes)

1.5 cups self raising flour
1.25 cups plain flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


For the buttercream
50g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk
Pink gel food colouring

For the coating and roses
1/2 cup apricot jam, boiled, strained, and cooled
1.5kg marzipan
1.5kg white fondant (ready to roll icing)
Light pink gel food colouring
Rose gel food coloring
500g icing sugar

For the royal icing and pearls
1 egg white
200g icing sugar
Juice of one lemon
One packet edible pearls (preferably white)


Procedure


For the bottom tier: 
-Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line two 8" cake tins. Put the flour together in a bowl and mix well together.
-In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar a quarter cup at a time and beat well between each addition until sugar dissolves and mixture becomes fluffier and paler.
-Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add a third of the flour mixture and beat well, followed by a third of the combined milk and vanilla extract mixture. Repeat until all flour and milk has been incorporated into batter.
-Spoon into cake tins and bake for 30 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

For the top tier


-Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line two 6" cake tins. Put the flour together in a bowl and mix well together.
-In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar a quarter cup at a time and beat well between each addition until sugar dissolves and mixture becomes fluffier and paler.
-Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add a third of the flour mixture and beat well, followed by a third of the combined milk and vanilla extract mixture. Repeat until all flour and milk has been incorporated into batter.
-Spoon into cake tins and bake for 30 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

For the buttercream
-Beat the butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until mixture is of a sandy consistency. Add the milk and beat until incorporated.
-Add the coloring and keep on beating for five minutes until mixture gets fluffy.

Assembling and coating the cake
-Refrigerate the cakes for around half an hour before assembling them. Refrigerating cakes makes them harder and much easier to handle.
-Split each cake into half so you get a total of four layers for the bottom tier and a total of four tiers for the top tier.

-for the bottom tier
-Place the bottom-most layer of the bottom tier on an icing turntable and with an offset spatula, spread the top with buttercream.
-Place a second layer on top and repeat until you reach the last top-most layer for the bottom tier. Do not put buttercream on top of the topmost layer of the bottom tier.
-Brush the cake with the boiled, strained, and cooled apricot jam.
-Knead half the marzipan until soft and pliable and then roll out onto a surface liberally dusted with icing sugar (trust me when I say you're going to need  a collective of 500g of icing sugar just to dust the surface- don't underestimate it! you don't want fondant sticking to the surface after you've wonderfully rolled it out). Remember to roll out marzipan to cover a slightly larger cake than the one you're actually covering. Having extra-long marzipan or fondant on your cake prevents it from folding over each other and skirting and makes for a smooth, straight finish. You can always trim the excess off with a knife (and then you have excess marzipan/fondant to make roses with!).
-Gently lift the marzipan using both hands and rest the marzipan on your wrists. and lower forearm.
-Place the center of the rolled out marzipan onto the center of the cake. Smooth down over the edges with your hands and then trim off the excess with a sharp knife. Smooth with an icing smoother.
-Brush the marzipan-coated cake with boiled, cooled water.
-Knead the fondant until pliable. With a toothpick, add streaks of the baby pink food coloring and continue kneading until color is even throughout. Roll out on a surface VERY LIBERALLY dusted with icing sugar until, again, slightly larger than the size of the cake.
-Gently lift up and place on top of the cake. Smooth with the icing smoothener. Trim off the excess and smooth again.

-for the top tier
-Repeat the steps of the layering and coating the bottom tier.

-stacking the cakes.
-Place three wooden or plastic dowel rods into the center of the bottom tier cake. Measure the height of the cake on the dowel rod with a pencil. Remove the dowel rods and trim to the size of the cake.
-Do that with all three dowel rods and place in the center of the cake forming a triangular shape.
-Lift the top tier and gently place it on top of the bottom tier.

-"ribboning the cakes"
-Take the ribbon and place it around the base of bottom tier, measuring how long it should be. Cut out the required length.
-Dab a little royal icing or buttercream on the cake where the ribbon will be placed.
-Place the ribbon around the base of the cake and make the end of the ribbon slightly overlap with the start of it. Dab in place with a little more buttercream.
-Do the same for the top tier.
-Take the makeup blush brush and dust the cake off any icing sugar.

-for the roses
-Color the leftover marzipan rose pink and shape a little bit of it into a 4mm diameter sausage. Keep the rest in a plastic bag or tightly wrapped in foil to prevent it from drying out.
- Take the sausage and cut off the ends. Then cut the remaining sausage into six slices with a 3mm width each.
-Take a plastic ziplock or sandwich bag and open the sides to make it into a foldable plastic folder. Place the six slices evenly spaced out inside the sandwich bags, with the rounded sides facing away from you and the flat sides facing towards you.
-Place the top half of the sandwich bag over the bottom half and press down and flatten each slice with the base of your thumb (no, that isn't the part of your thumb right under your nail but the base of the thumb by the wrist).
-Then run your actual thumb around each piece to smoothen the edges.
-Take the smallest petal and roll it around on itself so it curls.
-Then, take the next smallest petal and place it around the rosebud. Keep on working your way outwards using slightly larger petals each time until you use up the six.
-Repeat to make five more roses.
Place around the cake as you see fit. Or do it like I did: two on top, one in the middle, and two at the bottom.

-for the royal icing and pearls
-Beat the egg whites till the soft peak consistency, add the sifted icing sugar and beat in until incorporated. - --Add the strained juice of half a lemon and beat in.
-Add the color with a toothpick and beat in until smooth and not too runny.
-Prepare a piping bag with the 1.5 nozzle and spoon in the royal icing. Secure the piping bag.
-Holding the piping bag at a 60 degree angle to the cake, pipe around 5 or 6 round pearls onto the top of the cake in front of the roses.
-Don't pull the piping bag away as soon as the icing starts coming out of it otherwise you'll end up with sharp studs instead of pearls. Instead, wait till the pearl is formed and then gently release.
-Once you finish the pearls on the top tier, ice the top of the bottom tier (you'll only be able to have access to the outer edges of it due to the top tier placed above it).
-Once that's done, with your fingers, gently add the edible pearls on top of each pink royal icing pearl. You'll have to work fairly quickly because the royal icing hardens fairly quickly and crusts if you apply too much pressure.




And you're done! As you can tell from the pictures, I'm having issues getting the icing completely clean and smooth without cracking a bit. First, I need to knead the colour in a lot more so little white streaks don't show. Plus, I also need to not put SO much icing sugar on TOP of the fondant when I'm rolling it out. It's important for it to be under but not on top. But I had to re-knead the fondant around three times before I could lift it without it breaking. I had to keep adding more icing sugar for that.

















14 comments:

  1. Wow! Wow! Looks so elegant, beautiful, I can just keep adding up all the nice words for this. Simply amazing, thank you for the brilliant tutorial.

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  2. Excellent work. I don't think I'd ever dare to try something like this - but you make it sound possible so maybe if the right occasion comes up I will try.

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  3. Oh sweetie, this looks absolutely divine. Just like a dream! You are one talented person. Hugs!

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  4. Oh, that's such a cute and lovely cake. And the tutorial is awesome. This would be perfect for a baby shower if it's gonna be a girl.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and your lovely comment.

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  5. This is stunning Sid. If I was renewing my wows or something, I'd definately be asking you to make the cake. Beauuuuutfil!

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  6. Oh my!! How beautiful!

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  7. Ohmigoodness, those are beautiful!

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  8. This cake is beautiful. Love the roses :)

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  9. You definitely look like a pro to me! This cake is gorgeous =)

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  10. Wow this looks stunning :)

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  11. this cake is beautiful!!!!!!

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  12. This is the most beautiful thing I've seen :D thanks so much for the tutorial.

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