Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Aprons at the ready...

I absolutely love a good fruit cake and am slightly obsessed with the Rachel Allen recipe that I have been using for our Christmas cake the last couple of years (you can check out the blog posts here and here and buy the recipe book here!). It seemed only fitting to have this much beloved cake as our Wedding cake and of course I wanted to make it myself! I love the tradition of keeping the top tier (or top and middle in our case) for either your anniversary, Christening of your first child or any other event or non event that you wish to celebrate! That's the beauty of fruit cake, once it's sealed up in marzipan and icing it can just hang out, for years if need be and still be as delicious as the day you baked it. This also means that you can make the cakes weeks in advance (about 6 is ideal) which is handy because let me tell you, as the big day draws closer your time becomes more and more precious and the last thing you want to be doing the night before your wedding is staring nervously through the oven door and praying that your sponges rise! 

Yummy homemade candied peel!
Cake tins at the ready!
I decided to bake my 8, 10 and 12 inch round cake tiers all on the same day! I knew this would be a big challenge so wanted to be as well prepared as possible. We've all had those frenzied baking moments where the air is filled with flour and you seem to be using every spoon and bowl in the house! In order to pull off these three cakes with the desired aplomb, I knew my kitchen would have to be an oasis of calm. I used this as an excuse to give my baking cupboard a good Spring clean - emptying, cleaning and re-arranging my cupboards. I now have an entire cupboard dedicated to baking with my sugar craft tools, icing nozzles, food colourings and other cake decorating paraphernalia on one side and my flours, sugars and other ingredients on the other. I also did a Delia and measured out the ingredients for all three cakes individually into little bowls - this meant that I wasn't constantly having to wash up the scales, switching back and fourth between flour, butter and sugar. I hired the cake tins from Blue Ribbons - they cost £3 each for two days of hire. They were lovely and solid and a real pleasure to use! The Blue Ribbons staff are also very helpful - not only do they stock everything under the sun related to cake making and decorating, they're always very friendly and happy to give advice.

Lots and lots of butter!

The whole day ran remarkably smoothly and I'm now the proud owner of three perfect little fruit cakes! The next step is to carefully feed them with brandy over the next (gulp) three weeks so that they're extra moist and juicy! Watch this space!

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