In this series I will explain how you can prepare a wedding cake at home. In the first part I already explained how I knew how big the wedding cake was going to be and how I decided on diameter, height, etc. The below blog post is going to explain how I planned the baking part and which utensils are essential when you bake a wedding cake at home. Let’s do a small recap before I dig into the details of planning and scheduling everything:
Top tier: 18cm/ 7 inches diameter, 15-18 pieces, height about 12cm/ 5 inches (not including decoration), recipe: American carrot cake
Bottom tier: 26cm/ 10 inches diameter, 40-45 pieces, height about 13.5cm/ 5 inches (not including decoration), recipe: chocolate caramel cake (Whisky was replaced with coffee)
Outside: Swiss Meringue Buttercream with 1 kilo (!) of butter and 12 egg whites. There was some left, but I think this was a good calculation. Obviously you will need less if you are going for the semi-naked look. But since I wanted this to look like a ruffled bridal dress, I needed a thicker coat. You can’t see the orange/brown color from the carrot cake or the brown color from the bottom tier.
Total: About 55-63 pieces
Tip # 1: Make a trial run (or several)
As I was going to bake this wedding cake in another country, I needed to be extra sure that everything was going according to plan. Since I needed to get used to the oven, I made a trial run and also tested the ingredients (which often have a slightly different texture in another country). I did a mini carrot cake a few days beforehand and was pleased with the oven. It did take longer than mine in Germany, but it was doing its job and that was the main thing. Obviously, I had tested a lot of recipes beforehand and made a lot of trial runs back at home in Germany. For that reason you do find quite a lot of layer cakes on the blog recently. You need to feel comfortable when you make a wedding cake so practicing is key. Practice every part of it, not only trying different flavors, but also how to stack it, how to decorate, etc. It doesn’t matter if the wedding isn’t going to take place for months, feel free to start early so you are really prepared well. You should feel comfortable with all parts and have tried them at some point or another.
Probably most readers are going to say that I am crazy. Because when I made my first wedding cake, I did this in another country (Spain) with different ingredients, and another oven. I guess I simply have to accept that because it is the truth. I guess I am crazy. But I decided to start a new series, which is all about how to make a wedding cake at home with a regular oven. I will start this series with some fundamental questions, which you should have an answer to before you even start thinking about baking that cake. Let’s get going.
#1 How many guests are attending?
#2 When is the wedding cake going to be served?
These two questions are fundamental to how large your cake is going to be. So please be sure to have a proper answer before you calculate anything. Let me try to walk you through this. So let’s assume that you are going to serve the cake right after the ceremony. People will most likely be pretty hungry. In this instance, it is easy to calculate. You should have at least the amount of pieces as you have people attending. So if 50 people attend, you should have 50 pieces of cake. Believe me, many people don’t manage to eat properly before the ceremony and will be happy to have some cake if served early on. Of course it does make a difference if you offer further cakes, desserts, etc. alongside the wedding cake. But as stated, if served right after the ceremony, people will eat more than if served at another time.
Cake of 20cm in diameter, height about 12.5cm, recipe Strawberry Stracciatella Cake
Finally another bread recipe on my blog! If you have been following for a while, you may know that our entire bread is baked by my husband. He has become quite an expert and for that reason I rarely ever post recipes even though we do eat our fair share, simply because my policy is that it is me who needs to have tried the recipe so that I can answer any questions you may have and be sure that it was successful. But this time I had a reason, I wanted to make French toast, I love French toast and thought I might give this sandwhich bread a try, it seemed simple enough.
Did you watch the Latin American Streetfood Show on Netflix? If you did, you most likely remember choripán, the Argentinian or Uruguayan version of a hot dog. When I watched the show, I remembered eating this hot dog in Buenos Aires lastly in 2016 and I was determined to make a version that also works in Germany. So I first had to find the chorizo sausage. I thought that was going to difficult, but then, surprisingly I found a small version in our regular grocery store. These were the Spanish ones, but I have to say, they taste very similar to the ones I remember from Buenos Aires. So yay to that. Next I wanted to make my own hot dog buns. I knew that they would be so much better. So I set out and tried different recipes. I was surprised when I realized that hot dog buns are much easier to prepare than I originally thought. You basically throw all ingredients together and then have to wait until you form the buns. Really not that hard. So here you go, you got homemade hot dog buns filled with a chorizo sausage (or in my case two as they were so small), the herb sauce called chimichurri (also homemade), and if you want, some red onion slices. Voilá, you have your Latin American version of a hot dog: choripán!
My granny was the queen of yeast dough. I cannot recall a single time that her yeast dough was anything else but fluffy, soft, and most delicious. I will never forget her sheet cakes prepared with yeast dough. Complimented with lots of fruit and crumbs, they were always a highlight for me. In low German these sheet cakes are called “plautz” and they have always been one of my favorite. I especially liked trying the middle piece of any sheet cake. This piece gives you a lot of fruit, a lot of crumbs, with just about the right amount of dough. My granny didn’t mind giving me the middle piece of a sheet cake. Which I of course loved. I have been thinking about her famous sheet cakes for a while now. However, since she passed away recently, I knew I had to bake a cake since she was not going to. I inherited her recipe book, which I cherish. But unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot of yeast dough recipes. Probably because she knew it by heart.
Bread, finally you will find bread on my blog again. Reason is the World Bread Day and for this occasion my husband baked the below artisan country bread. I have mentioned this beforehand, but my husband is much better at bread baking than me. That’s probably because his grandfather was the bread baker of the entire village. He made sure the entire village community had bread and cake at hand. My husband currently bakes our entire bread consumption and he definitely is much better at it than me. For that reason I don’t have that many bread recipes on my blog. I have Danish yoghurt buns, a simple sour dough bread, and an Italian bread with semolina and olive oil on here and this simply has to do with the fact that I always test the recipe several times myself before publishing it. It goes without saying that I have tested each recipe myself.