Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cupcakes of Love!!!

A little while ago, one of the biggest honours in the world was bestowed upon me. My dear Iris told me that she and Wolfgang were (finally, eh) getting married. Happiness! Then she asked if I would bake their wedding cake for them. Happiness³!!! I mean, seriously, how wonderful is that? Not only did I get to attend my beautiful friends' wedding, I even got to make a contribution - and in the one way I know how: baking. Incredible. Especially because I am by no means a professional, far from it. 

I've been planning and preparing this for months now, pre-ordering modeling tools and calculating ingredients and making a bake schedule for the three days I'd have in Austria before the wedding - I arrived on the 12th so I could be ready for the 16th. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning were spent in the kitchen and I had the BEST time. My mom, not so much, because she played kitchen elf for me. That meant she weighed my ingredients, she got additional ingredients when I was short (see, we calculated together, but we're just both not very good at it) and she did the dishes for me so I could concentrate on mixing and stirring and pouring and shaping and arranging and all of that. I'm making it sound way more complicated than it really is, by the way. Baking is not that hard. 

Now, there were 118 confirmed guests for the wedding and because I don't like tier cakes and also don't know how to make them but I know how to make cupcakes and Iris and Wolfgang both love the cupcakes I make (I believe that's why they asked me in the first place, but not sure) and I wanted to be sure nobody was left without a piece,... I decided on the following: A cake for the couple and their immediate family plus witnesses. A cupcake each in the same scheme of flavour and colour for the rest of the guests. 

Summery, light, fresh. 
Curd and cream, raspberries, poppy seeds and very little sugar. 
White with yellow, orange and red (the wedding flower was the gerbera). 

Here's my Wednesday through Saturday kitchen adventure: 

First, on Wednesday, I made 127 marzipan flowers for the 120 planned cupcakes. Opening the modeling kit I'd bought online was like opening gifts for Christmas, hence the huge grin on my face. We got the marzipan from the supermarket, my mom got the food colouring at a specialty cake store for me before I arrived, the white writing I got online. Why make 127 if there were going to be 120 cupcakes? Because errare humanum est. 

Thursday and Friday were days of pure baking and cake-making. Sometimes I even ended up sitting in front of the oven with my crochet project just because I was so excited for the wedding and all of that, I couldn't be away from the oven for even 30 minutes (the baking time). I'm not really good at drawing or calligraphy, so the centre piece for the cake didn't come out as neatly as I would have liked it, but here's me kneeling on the floor in front of the counter so I could correct the icing with a toothpick. Perfection is not easily achieved. Here, it wasn't achieved at all, but it looked nice anyway. 

Layout of the flowers on sandwich paper, flowers on the cake, finished cake just before driving to Perchtoldsdorf for the wedding. Unfortunately, the marzipan soaked up some of the raspberries' colour, but it wasn't terrible. 

The cupcakes: process and finished product. The 120 nicest ones were taken to the wedding, about seven or eight or so were left home, because I didn't deem them good enough. I'd made more of the cupcakes as well, not just the flowers. Because, as before, errare bla bla. I'm told they were really good. I did take a bite of one of them just to see what they were like and I enjoyed it as well, but you can't really trust your own opinion with these things, can you? So I'm going by what I saw around me at the reception and what people told me. And that was even better than what I'd thought! 

How to get a fully decorated cupcake into a fancy liner if you can't put them in plain and then decorate, because that way they wouldn't fit in the fridge anymore: put liner around bottleneck, put cupcake on top of bottle, lift liner around cupcake, voilà. 

Again, and I cannot repeat this often enough, I loved doing that. I love that I got to bake my friends' wedding cake, I love that I made cupcakes for all of their family and friends, I love that I got to make a contribution to their big day and play a small part in their story, I can't even begin to describe how honoured that makes me feel and how touched I am by all of it. Really, guys, if you read this, I don't think you have yet grasped how much this meant and still means to me. 

Here's the moment that I'd been waiting for ever since the I DOs happened: 

I love you two. 

Thank you.