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Saturday, November 10, 2012

RUSTIC ELEGANCE WEDDING CAKE

I've been so excited to share this with you, but I wanted to wait until we received some of the professional pictures back.  This is the last of the DIY projects from the wedding.  My daughter and I knew we wanted the wedding cake to reflect the autumn in Colorado theme, so she started collecting some pictures on her phone and on Pinterest of the cakes that she liked.  We met with Jeanette from King Soopers with our ideas sharing the pictures of frosting with mountains, trees and clouds sculpted into the frosting.  As we continued talking, Jeanette showed more and more interest, jumping right into the conversation, getting a feel for the vision we had right from the get go!  Did I tell you this was right after the scrumptious taste testing of four of their flavor combinations.  Yuuummmmmyy!!
When I described the idea of the birch tree pillars she started smiling from ear-to-ear and became more and more interested in the cake; she talked about gum paste.  What the heck is gum paste?

Anyway, if you've been following my blog, you know about the birch tree base for the cake to sit on that my husband and I made earlier in the year.  The frosting, greenery and pine cones, would pull the entire theme together and the pillars would be the Pièce de résistance.  Jeanette is a store manager, so she said that she doesn't do the baking/decorating any longer, but she would definitely oversee the process.

After our visit, I promptly went home and started watching some You Tube videos of gum paste cake creations (flowers, leaves, etc.) that you could make.  Hot Damn!  They made it look so easy.  So, I high tailed it up to my local Hobby Lobby and purchased a package of Wilton cake pillars, a tub of gum paste, a little rolling pin, some lollipop sticks (they would make some awesome branches right?) and brown cake dye.

That began my fearless afternoon adventure.  It was fun.  I have a number of Aspen trees (birch family) in my backyard that I could turn to for live inspiration.  Heck, I was good to go!  The first step was to sweet talk my husband into drilling two-three holes into each pillar.
Once that was done, I began whittling the lollipop sticks (you heard me, whittling).  I wanted them to be different circumferences and have layers peeled back to simulate the bark peeling on a tree limb.  I used an exacto knife to get the proper effect. 

As I trimmed it, the stick obviously became more pliable, so I was also able to bend it a bit better.  After the whittling, I hot glued them into the drilled holes.
From there, I rolled out the gum paste.  It has the consistency of cookie dough, but is a bit more pliable.  I then sculpted it around the pillars and sticks, working it like you would clay.   

For the smaller branches, I used some white floral wire.  Then came the brown cake dye, I actually painted it and smudged it to get the look of the dark patches you see on birch trees.

I dropped by King Soopers to show Jeanette the following weekend, and she was impressed.  My daughter and I knew she had to be the one to help us with our cake creation; she knew exactly what we wanted.  Ssssooo, I shamelessly begged her to be our baker and she agreed.  She was actually really excited, being a creative soul herself.  

So, our funny wedding story (everyone has one right?), well, it's funny now...not at the time.  When we arrived the venue was without power and had been for about two hours.  What??!!!!!  So, there was poor Jeanette hand carrying the cake down the pitch black staircase (no elevator, no light) layer by layer and putting the cake together by candlelight.  Bless her heart! 

Fortunately, about 30 minutes before the guests started arriving, the power came back on.  Whew! Thank you Jeanette, for bringing our vision to life.  It was exactly how we hoped it would look......and the cake itself?  Delicious.  Chocolate cake, butter cream frosting (the kind that makes your teeth hurt) and raspberry mousse filling.  So moist and fresh, it was delectable!
The beautiful cake topper is handcrafted by artist, Gina Freehill and has a verse running down the length of the bride's gown which reads: This day I will marry my friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love.

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