Hey! I know it’s been awhile… well at least awhile since I have posted here on the site. I have been pretty busy posting on my Instagram, but the brainpower it takes to post here has been non-existent. Sorry about that. I also can not promise that this will change moving forward, but I thought that this post was appropriate to give more thought and energy to.
I got the exciting opportunity over the last few months to participate in a Certificate in Pastry Arts Program at San Francisco Cooking School. This was a blast, dream, crazy, exciting, and invigorating experience. I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend six months baking new things everyday, standing on my feet, being active, and sharing it all with my family. I made so many things that I have botched in the past and learned so many new skills to equip me moving forward. My passion for experimental baking hasn’t dimmed, just gotten brighter, smarter, and more creative. I still have so much to learn, but nothing is worth doing if there is nothing to learn. Wow… I guess I have a lot to say about this experience, so let me just promise that I will write a post or two about it in the (could be distant ) future.
The reason I bring up school is because it has given me the confidence to bake for more significant events. I feel skilled enough to bake the cake and sweets for friends, family, and even strangers special days. This confidence really couldn’t have come at a better time in my life, in particular because the amount of my friends getting married seems to be increasing daily. I’ve already had the chance to bake for two weddings this year! The most recent one is what I am here to talk about today. This couple has been such a blessing in my life. They are so giving and it was a great honor to have this role on their special day.
Alex and Megan put a lot of trust in me for this cake. When Brett (the bf and business manager) and I met with them, they had very few demands. All they really knew was that they wanted a gluten free tier for their family, and that they wanted it to feed around 80 people. 80 People!!!! I don’t know about you, but this was more exciting than scary to me. I was finally going to get the chance to make a tiered wedding cake all on my own!
I wasn’t the most organized during our meeting, I still have a lot to hash out in that department. That said, our meeting was also just a chance to catch up after being in SF for so long! Perks of making wedding cakes for friends! During the meeting we had nailed down that there would be three tiers — one 12 inch, 9 inch, and 6 inch. They would all be adorned with a smooth and simple vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream. The bottom and top layers would follow the semi-naked trendy look with the middle layer being fully coated in a smooth finish so that no chocolate cake would peep through. It’s so simple, but gives some play in textures that adds some more beauty to the simplicity. The semi-naked design was one of the highlights of the cake for me. I am a major lover of this movement and don’t want it to end. The top tier would be gluten-free vanilla with fresh strawberries, the second chocolate with raspberries and the third something to get my creative juices flowing! It was so great to be able to think of a cake combination that really brought out the flavors of Fall. I ended up deciding to go with a spice cake with pear filling. I think it turned out pretty darn good after a practice bake and minor tweaks.
The craziest thing about making this wedding cake was that I only had one day to do it. You know how earlier I said I went to San Francisco Cooking School? Well this wedding was in New Hampshire, and if you’re geographically challenged, let me just tell you that those two places are not close to each other. I had been living with my family in the San Francisco Bay area while at school and was still in the process of trying to get back to Boston. That’s a story for another day - and by that I mean a few years down the road because it’s still not fully settled and time will bring the right opportunities. So anyways, the move was taking awhile and I knew that I had this wedding cake to make on October 26th, so I decided to just take the leap and move with about two-three weeks notice (depending who you talk to). My gracious and loving little brother even took PTO and drove most of the way across the country with me! Then Brett was able to come out and meet me in Louisville and drive the rest of the way back.
Now remember how I said that I decided this shortly before the wedding? Well that meant that I was going to be getting back to the Boston area shortly before the wedding as well. And when I say shortly before, I mean pretty much the day before. That meant I had to grocery shop, bake the fillings, bake the cakes, and frost everything as fast as possible. This is all after having been on a long road trip and not knowing where the majority of my baking supplies were. All of my stuff was (and mostly still is) spread across several friends and families basements and kitchens. So I spent the whole day Friday in the kitchen (Thanks Mrs. J!) baking, making, and frosting. Looking back at that day, I really have nothing bad to say. I don’t remember any of the stress. My brain had blocked that all out and all I could feel were rainbows, butterflies, the smell of sugar, Fall, and pretty cakes.
I was pretty nervous when we were driving the tiers up to the wedding because… how could you not be!? Every curve in the road I would look back at my babies ready to pounce in case one of them started to slide. Alas, nothing like that happened and they made it up safe and sound. That was mostly to do with these nifty cake boards that I was given by a woman from my Mom’s church. As Brett said over and over again, they were a “game changer.” Alex set up a private fridge just for the babies to relax before their big day. That of course helped me relax so we could join in on the pre-wedding celebrations!
Stacking the cakes took some time and I’ve realized some tools that I’ll need to have in the future to make this process go more smoothly, but all in all the cake turned out great! Alex and Megan were happy with it which is all that really matters. I also got plenty of endorsements for each tier! I am so grateful to Alex and Megan for the opportunity to learn and be a part of their Wedding day. It is such a special feeling to be able to contribute to beautiful and important moments in our friends lives!
Thank you for reading this far, and sorry that I had to go into all the minute details of this bake, but it’s fun for me to document this, even if it feels a little excessive with the drama. For the first tiered wedding cake I’ve made on my own, I’d say it turned out pretty well. Even better, we avoided any real disasters! Thank you Alex and Megan for the opportunity to mess up your Wedding day! Thankfully I didn’t