However, after my previous post, I got tons of comments and compliments on her cakes. When I told her that, her face totally brightened up and it made her feel really good. So, after another wedding last week, she told me, "Now be sure to take pictures and put them on your blog and Facebook so everyone can tell me now good it looks!"
I honestly think this is one of the prettiest cakes my mom has ever made. At first my mom was a little hesitant about the design the bride picked. She had never done chocolate fondant before and my mom is super traditional. But it ended up so pretty!
Things were going well until my mom got sick days before the wedding. I was immediately given more responsibility than I had anticipated. I wound up making two layers of strawberry cake for the top tier of the wedding cake, all the chocolate icing for the other tiers of the wedding cake, 3 gumpaste lilies (which was fun!) and basically, the Superman cake. At first I was excited to get to do these things, then I got really intimidated. I had never done stuff like this before so I was nervous. Plus, I'm friends with the bride and groom and I would hate to ruin their day with junky cakes. Luckily, everything came out great.
My mom's concept for the Superman cake was a giant Superman symbol with Superman bursting out of it. For the symbol, I cut a piece of foam core in the shape. I made an "explosion" out of gumpaste, a sugary medium that dries super fast. Then, I filled in the symbol with royal icing. My mom made these amazing "steel" panels to cover the sides of the cake. On the day of the wedding, I put it all together and I thought it looked amazing! The cake itself was red velvet and it was sooo good.
Royal icing, when made right, is very forgiving and almost defies gravity. When it's the correct consistency, you can pour it on top of a cookie without it running off the edge. It also has a beautiful iridescent quality since it's made from egg whites and it dries evenly. For these reasons, royal icing is the perfect medium to decorate sugar cookies for Christmas. It's basically mostly sugar so it tastes like sugar. You can add vanilla or almond extract to give it more flavor. Even though it's more expensive, I used powdered egg whites (you can find these at any craft store in the cake section; Wilton makes them). I personally wouldn't serve icing made from regular egg whites to kids. Even if they're pasteurized, you just never know. Here's the recipe I used . . . there are a lot of factors in making the icing right, so be sure to read the whole page. I wound up using almost twice as much water as the recipe called for. Just add the water a little bit at a time until it's the consistency you'd like. It should be thin enough to pour, but not so thin that it spreads when you squeeze it from the pastry bag.
The bride and groom loved their cakes. It was a beautiful reception and I'm grateful that they asked me to serve the cake. My sick mom wasn't able to attend, so be sure to send her lots of compliments! ;)