Monday, June 22, 2009

Wedding in Oregon

We are back safe and sound from Oregon. As you can see from the picture we had a beautiful day on the Oregon Coast for our beach wedding and we had a fantastic time celebrating with our family and friends. My goal was for a simple, easy, relaxed celebration and that is exactly what we got. Our only complaint is that our DJ was terrible, but that was funny more than anything (Du Hast was playing at one point... I'm not against Rammstein, I even have the album the song is on, but not necessarily appropriate for a wedding.) Luckily the DJ was one of the least important aspects of the whole thing since we decided we didn't want to do any of the traditional dances and we knew that the people we were expecting at the wedding were not really into dancing anyway.

And since this is a food blog... about the cake. I refer to the cake as a little Forest Gump. It looks great from a distance, but when you got up close you could see the problems. The first problem we ran into is that I did not bring the recipe with me to Oregon. I intentionally didn't bring the book the recipe was in because I was SURE that I had blogged about it. Have I mentioned that my memory sucks? Because I hadn't blogged about it. I intended to blog about it, but I never quite got around to it. Oops.

The recipe I intended to use was from the Sweet Melissa Baking book. It was a superb lemon pound cake that was soft and moist, and yet firm enough to stand up to being done in layers with frosting and fondant. I searched high and low online and could not find the recipe posted anywhere. The book was not in the local library and the town does not have a book store to speak of. (lots of used book stores which are normally great, but not so great in this case.)

So I started looking for alternatives. I had the Cake Love Lemon Pound Cake recipe online and that certainly has the qualities I was looking for -- soft, moist, yet still firm -- but that recipe calls for a lot of obscure ingredients that I wasn't even sure we would find in the small town grocery stores and I didn't feel like driving to the bigger towns -- at least 2 hours away -- to hunt for them.

I had found other recipes in my blog, but I wasn't thrilled enough with them to use for my wedding cake. I looked around the blogosphere and found many great-looking recipes, but I didn't want to try something new either. In the end I went with one of my go-to lemon cake recipes -- the Ina Garten Lemon Cake. It's a great, fantastic, wonderful cake... but it's awfully moist and soft and I was very concerned about how it would hold up as a stacked layer cake with fondant.

Luckily my mother has lots and lots of stuff for baking and decorating cakes and she had a great wedding cake stand that would serve quite nicely and eliminate the extra weight of the cakes stacked on each other. Which was a good thing because the cakes were so soft that when the fondant went on they got a little bulgy and crooked. The fondant was also stretched, lumpy and/or torn in a few places, but we were expecting a certain amount of that because our experience was limited and we were okay with it.

What I loved most about this cake though was that it was a true group effort. I did the cakes and the buttercream. Chris did the fondant work. My friend Lindsay, who is a whiz with arts and crafts and created all of the decorations for the reception, did the ribbon work. And my mom did the finishing touches with the buttercream dots. The cake in the picture below is not actually how it looked at the wedding -- but I didn't think to take pictures of it then, too many other things on my mind I suppose. At the reception there was a cake topper as well as rose petals scattered around the edges of the cake and it looked pretty damn great for a wedding cake we made ourselves and decorated in a vacation rental.

The cake also tasted great which is always a plus. :)


Sweetie said...

congrats!! cake looks gorgeous

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Congratulations! Looks like you overcame all your problems with ease!

burkie said...

the cake was very was the beer :)
the noticed that the local library was also a thrift shop, which i guess makes sense because, really, a library is a thrift shop for books, right? just not that book.