This past weekend, my aunt threw a party to celebrate her recent marriage. She and her husband had a tiny ceremony in North Carolina with just the two of them and my aunt's two kids, so she wanted to have a larger party to celebrate with her friends and family. I immediately offered to bake the cake and cupcakes. After work on Friday, I made the very long, traffic-ridden journey out to Effort, PA where she lives. If you've never been there, it's really quite an experience. When she asked where I was en route, my response was "Well I just passed a fireworks store and an ammo supply shop."
My painting workstation
My aunt is not a baker and her kitchen is virtually devoid of any baking equipment or ingredients. Earlier in the week, I had given her a grocery list of things I would need, and I brought a few things of my own like a mixer and fondant. Unfortunately, shortly after I began baking, my mixer spazzed out and broke. I was pleasantly surprised when my aunt pulled out her own hand mixer. I don't know what I would have done if she didn't have one. Mix things by hand? How did people bake before the introduction of motors for mixers?
Close-up of the flowers
The first thing to go into the oven was a 6 inch round vanilla cake. I set aside the leftover vanilla batter, mixed some chocolate, and prepared the marble cupcakes. Once the cake was cooling and the marble cupcakes were in the oven, I began mixing one of my favorites - red velvet. I've talked here before about my love of red velvet; to me it's such a classic, awesome flavor. In the event that I one day get married myself, I want a red velvet cake or cupcakes (baked by me of course). My younger cousins were shocked to see the bright red batter though. After declaring it looked like something off a horror movie set, I don't think I would have been able to bribe them to eat it.
Unfrosted cake - the filling spilling out
After everything was baked and set aside, I rolled out some fondant and cut the flowers that would adorn the cake and cupcakes. To expedite the process, my aunt painted them with a sapphire-colored luster dust while I "glued" on the edible pearl centers. Her new last name begins with 'S' (as did her former last name), and she requested a monogram on the cake. I formed the S out of a rolled snake of fondant, set it aside to dry, and painted that with the luster dust as well. After filling the cake with chocolate mousse I had prepared earlier and fresh raspberries, I covered it with plastic wrap and stored it for the night in the refrigerator.This post is pretty long, so I'm going to split it into two and post the rest tomorrow. To be continued...