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anneelsberry's picture

. . . I told a friend I would make the wedding cake for her daughter's reception.

And then I started to think (read: obsess) about it. Probably carrot cake, because almost everyone likes carrot cake. But I may need a different recipe, because mine is probably to crumbly to split and fill. Cream cheese filling and crumb coat, because that is what everyone expects. Maybe a pineapple filling too. And for the kicker, a rolled fondant coating.

I want it to look really elegant and very simple. Fondant with maybe a ribbon around each layer and either fresh flowers or gum paste daisies. And I don't think I can do the look justice with a buttercream frosting. So, should I make the fondant or buy ready-made? Is it really tough to do, or should I be able to do it with a little practice? Should I start with round or oval cakes instead of trying square or hexagons? Please help. . .

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

StevenHB's picture

(post #26191, reply #1 of 66)

I've never done this myself, but here are my thoughts anyway:


Yes, you are insane.  This is a big undertaking (or is it a small reception?).


There's a nice bit on wedding cakes in Baking With Julia.  She did one with Cousin Martha.  But it wasn't a carrot cake.  Nonetheless, I'm sure that there are lessons there for you.  Don't let the "Martha-ization" of the process deter you.  There's no reason that you need to make the marzipan fruit or the frosting frills.


Also, Rose Levy Berenbaum shares the tragic details of her attempt to bring a cake to, I think, her brother's wedding in The Cake Bible.


Did you discuss your carrot cake plan with your friend's daughter?  I would definitely recommend getting the bride's approval first of your doing it and second of whatever it is that you decide to do.


If you are willing to put forth the effort, I'm sure that you can do it.  If you didn't already have some baking experience and/or skills, your friend never would have asked and you never would have accepted.  Plan the work and then work the plan (i.e. get and stay organized).



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
anneelsberry's picture

(post #26191, reply #2 of 66)

I had already planned on reading and rereading RLB and Julia. I love the Martha cake but I think I must be only person in the world who really loves marzipan decorations.

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #26191, reply #3 of 66)

I have a carrot cake recipe that is in Marcel Desaulnier's "Desserts to die for"  It was made as a wedding cake.  I have made this before and can vouch for it (although I am not a carrot cake fan)


It has dried apricots, pineapple, hazelnuts and raisins.


The recipe is for a 9" layer cake but could be adapted.


If interested, I will post it.


How many are you going to serve?


 

anneelsberry's picture

(post #26191, reply #5 of 66)

Right now it sounds like about 150, so it will have to be about a four tier cake. Or I might wimp out and do a three tier cake with several other rounds or sheets. I would love the recipe. thank you.


Edited 4/22/2002 7:49:17 PM ET by Pomona

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Biscuits's picture

(post #26191, reply #6 of 66)

Yes, you're insane.


But the fondant is a good idea.  So - buy some.   I would not make it.  For one - it's hard to do, even for someone experienced.  Second - it's better to buy it.  Trust me.


Love the carrot cake idea.  Cooking Monster did a test of carrot cake recipes.  Her ideal one is in the T&T.  I would go with that one.  She has good taste.


Did you know that the the first real wedding cakes WERE fruit cakes?  (well, actually - the first ones were little honey cakes that were burned on an alter to ask the Gods for their blessing, but I'm talking wedding cakes like we think of them).   So, a carrot cake is actually very traditional.  It wasn't until Queen Victoria came along and had everything at her wedding white - cake, flowers, dress, everything - that people started wearing white dresses and having white cakes. 


Just another bit of food history for anyone interested.


"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly.  "One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."

Ancora Imparo -

ashleydbrit's picture

(post #26191, reply #7 of 66)

the first real wedding cakes WERE fruit cakes......So, a carrot cake is actually very traditional. 


So a carrot is fruit? Carrot cake is very traditional? Errrrr I think you'll find both these statements less than accurate.


OVer in the UK the traditional wedding cake is still a fruit cake, covered in marzipan and royal or fondant icing. There is some move to have a lighter cake (usually some kind of sponge cake) as one or more of the layers, partly to reduce cost and time and to cater for the non-fruit cake eaters.


Certainly carrot cake wouldn't go down too well over here as most people (quite rightly) treat it as one of those strange American inventions which are best left well alone.


"I don't like gourmet cooking or 'this' cooking or 'that' cooking. I like 'good cooking.'"
James Beard

Sylvaine2's picture

(post #26191, reply #8 of 66)

<OVer in the UK the traditional wedding cake is still a fruit cake>

Ad in France, it's the Pièce Montée (aka Croquenbouche), the pyramid of cream puffs with nougatine and dragées.

Glenys's picture

(post #26191, reply #10 of 66)

And in Canada, there's often fruitcake (we are after all, part of the Commonwealth; down Sandra, down) and a croquembouche (because Québec will threaten to separate if we don't).

Sylvaine2's picture

(post #26191, reply #16 of 66)

<And in Canada, there's often fruitcake (we are after all, part of the Commonwealth; down Sandra, down) and a croquembouche (because Québec will threaten to separate if we don't)>

How come I'm not surprised?...

wonka's picture

(post #26191, reply #66 of 66)

I can't count how many weddings I've been to where nobody wanted cake because it was fruit cake. I was a rebel. No tiers, a light white cake with cream and fruit surrounded by real flowers. It was delish and there was none left over ( I would have just as happily gone with carrot cake).

Biscuits's picture

(post #26191, reply #11 of 66)

Some days the nit-picking on this site is fun and amusing.  Other days - it's really, really NOT. :-(


 


"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly.  "One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."

Ancora Imparo -

ashleydbrit's picture

(post #26191, reply #15 of 66)

I take it this is NOT a good day. Still not sure what you were trying to say. So out comes the pick ;}

"I don't like gourmet cooking or 'this' cooking or 'that' cooking. I like 'good cooking.'"
James Beard

KJB's picture

(post #26191, reply #53 of 66)

Hello,


I am referring to an old message from you concerning carrot cake - as a reminder:


I have a carrot cake recipe that is in Marcel Desaulnier's "Desserts to die for"  It was made as a wedding cake.  I have made this before and can vouch for it (although I am not a carrot cake fan)  It has dried apricots, pineapple, hazelnuts and raisins.


It sounds heavenly and I would love to have the recipe - I am not sure if you posted it ? ???


Also I saw a string of discussions over the following carrot cake recipe - and I would also love to have the recipe:  it was apparently from  Renee Mancino’s from Molly O’Neill’s New York Cookbook


I love a moist spice carrot cake with pineapples, coconut, nuts, .... mmmm !


Many thanks to all and happy cooking ; )


 

Adele's picture

(post #26191, reply #55 of 66)

http://recipecircus.com/recipes/MEANCHEF/


The carrot cake recipe is probably in the link above, I haven't checked though.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #26191, reply #56 of 66)

I didn't see it there. I think I've posted the NY Cookbook one in the past, though. I'll see if I can find it.

edited to say the search engine is acting up on me. It refuses to find carrot cake at all. I'll let some of the search experts have a go and if they can't find it I'll post it again.


Edited 3/2/2007 11:43 am by CookiM0nster

schnitzel's picture

(post #26191, reply #58 of 66)

Here's the recipe you posted for the Carrot Top Cake.


CookiM0nster's picture

(post #26191, reply #60 of 66)

Thanks Amy, for coming to my rescue once again.

schnitzel's picture

(post #26191, reply #61 of 66)

It was my pleasure.


MEANCHEF's picture

(post #26191, reply #62 of 66)

schnitzel's picture

(post #26191, reply #63 of 66)

Aww, thanks, Meanie.  How are you doing?


MEANCHEF's picture

(post #26191, reply #64 of 66)

Jean's picture

(post #26191, reply #65 of 66)

Well we're glad of that!! Any new developments?



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
schnitzel's picture

(post #26191, reply #57 of 66)

Found this one online. From Desserts to Die For by Marcel Desaulniers.

"24" Carrot Cake


Cake:
1/2 lb plus 1 tbs unsalted butter (1 tbs melted)
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs


Cream Cheese Icing:
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, softened
4 tbs orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped apricots
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts


Equipment:
Measuring spoons, small nonstick saute pan, vegetable peeler, hand grater, measuring cup, cook's knife, cutting board, baking sheet, pastry brush, two 9x2-inch round cake pans, parchment paper, 3-quart stainless steel bowl, plastic wrap, sifter, wax paper, electric mixer with paddle, rubber spatula, serrated knife


Preparing the batter:


Preheat over to 325°F.


Lightly coat the insides of the two 9x2 cake pans with melted butter. Line each pan with parchment paper then lightly coat the parchment with more butter. Set aside.
Combine together in a 3 qt bowl 1 1/2 cups grated carrot, diced pineapple, 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots, raisins, orange juice, and 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts.
Combine together in sifter the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. Sift onto wax paper and set aside.
Place the remaining butter and the granulated sugar in the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high for additional 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on high for 1 minute and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the sifted ingredients. Allow to mix for 30 seconds. Add the fruit and nut mixture and mix on low for 20 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter until thoroughly combined.
Immediately divide the carrot cake batter between the prepared pans, spreading evenly. Bake on the center rack in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the pans for 20 minutes at room temperature. Invert cakes onto cake circles. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Allow the cakes to continue to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.


Making the icing:


Place the softened cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle. Beat on low for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add orange liqueur and vanilla, beat on medium for 30 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape sides, beat on high until icing is light and smooth. Remove the bowl from mixer. Transfer one cup of icing into small bowl then add apricots and hazelnuts to this icing using a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine. Set both icings at room temperature until ready to ice the cake.


To assemble the cake, use cream cheese/apricot/hazelnut mixture as the filling between the layers.


Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour before serving. Use serrated knife to cut cake.


*Select small to medium sized carrots for this recipe since they tend to be sweeter.


Jean's picture

(post #26191, reply #59 of 66)

Fresh pineapple!!  Oh, but that must be gooood!



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
doyenne's picture

(post #26191, reply #4 of 66)

You could try to make your own fondant but it's a chore. Get the ready made and roll away. Just dust with corn starch while you're rolling and brush off any excess. If it dries out too much, just add a little water and work in some Crisco.


Make sure to post pictures of the finished cake.


I can't remember today what it was I  couldn't remember yesterday

Where is Monica Lewinski when you need her?

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #26191, reply #9 of 66)

Relax, it's not as scary as you think. Making a wedding cake certainly is a very time-consuming process, but the one you describe shouldn't be too difficult.

First off, buy the fondant, don't try to make it. It's cheap to purchase and a pain int he neck to make. If you've never worked with it before, you'll find it's pretty easy to use. You warm it up by kneading it a bit, roll it out, drape it over the cake, and use your fingers to gently rub away any wrinkles. Practice first on a round cake.

For the cake, I recommend using the recipe in the T&T, minus the buttermilk glaze. It should hold up well enough to cut. How thin do you plan to make the layers? CookiM0nster's tip for filling them: After you've split the layers, gently slide each onto a piece of foil, wrap them up tightly, then freeze them. When they're good and frozen, take them out and fill the cake. Don't worry if the layers aren't quite flat, they'll flatten out as they thaw.

I definitely recommend fresh daisies. They'll cut your prep time way, way back, and they look better than gum paste anyway.

For 150, three layers should be sufficient (unless this is the only food guests will be eating). You'd be surprised how far wedding cake stretches, and how many people a 12-inch cake feeds. Check out RLB's chart in the Cake Bible. I always follow her guidelines, then wind up making an extra sheet cake because I panic. The sheet cake always remains untouched. Someday I'll learn.

Good luck, and don't forget to have fun with this, and to keep us posted as to the results.

anneelsberry's picture

(post #26191, reply #12 of 66)

Thank you. I poured over RLB last night, and I'm thinking that the only advantage to making the fondant is that you can flavor it. How do you think purchased fondant would deal with the addition of a little orange flower or rose water? Or maybe orange oil would be better (because it wouldn't fiddle with the water content as much)? Do you have any favorite brands of fondant?

I think I may fill one layer with RLB's pineapple preserve and one with her apricot filling. Then I'll probably use her cream cheese buttercream for some of the filling and the crumb coat. I'm always wary of buttercreams, even if the reception is inside. By June 8th it will be way over 100 degrees here, so transportation will be an interesting trick. Does anyone have experience with this recipe?

I figure I'll cut each layer in half, because that's as tricky as I want to get. Thanks for the freezing trick. Think I may experiment with the recipe tonight.

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Gretchen's picture

(post #26191, reply #13 of 66)

Would you consider making each layer a different flavor?  Daughter's wedding cake was.  Different fillings with each also.

Gretchen

Gretchen
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #26191, reply #14 of 66)

Fondant is fondant, as far as I know. I've never paid much attention to brands. Although I'll work with it, I don't eat it - it just tastes overly sweet and nasty to me - so I've never tried to flavor it. I imagine it would be quite easy to work a little bit of flavoring into it at the kneading stage, though.

Transportation will be interesting. Start with a refrigerated cake, and move it into an pre-airconditioned car, and don't forget to stake the cake - after assembly you drive a great big wooden dowel right down through the center. This keeps the layers from shifting on top of each other during transport. Cut holes in the bases you use for the layers (I always use cardboard) ahead of time so you son't smush the cake in the process.

As for supporting the layers, I swear by RLB's drinking straw method. They're cheap, easy to cut, and they really, really are strong enough.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #26191, reply #17 of 66)

There is rolled fondant and European fondant.


 


Rolled fondant is nasty.