WHEN bride-to-be Charmayne found this cake design on a bridal website and email-ed it to me, I shot back: “I WANNA MAKE THIS!!!!” It was so pretty and easy-to-make, it absolutely killed me that I hadn’t come up with the idea myself. All I needed was a flower-shaped cookie cutter and I’d be all set.
Charmayne said when she was walking down the aisle in the hotel ballroom and saw the cake out front, she thought it was so pretty she almost cried. (Okay, she probably said this only because I shamelessly asked her for some ego-massage. But still.) Anyway, all hail Michelle Doll Cakes in New York for creating the design. I am but a wannabe.
This was going to be a real labour of love because Alvin and my husband Z go way back. (Apparently, when Alvin was told last month that Z might have to miss the wedding because of work, Alvin was like Patrick Swayze in Ghost.) So the cake had to be perfect. And the quest began in the dusty, noisy kitchen-supplies district of Yau Ma Tei in Hong Kong.
I was in the city last month for work, and Z tagged along for a short weekend holiday. Since I hardly have time to shop in Singapore, I thought I’d hunt for my flower cutter while there.
Big hugs to the eagle-eyed Z, who spotted this six-petal cutter in a ramshackle shop when I was looking the other way and quite ready to move on to the next store. It was the perfect fit.
Back home, the countdown started in earnest one week before the wedding. I made a nice big ball of pastillage, rolled it out, and cut out the flowers. With a ball-tipped tool, I rounded out the petals for a more 3-D effect. Then they’re placed on tiny saucers to dry.
Two days before the wedding, the butter cakes were shaved down to the perfect height and shape. My kitchen counter was like a miniature war-zone.
Charmayne is the type of bridezilla I love – Can’t choose between strawberry or lemon buttercream? Why not have both! Two tiers were filled with strawberry mousseline buttercream (made with home-made organic strawberry puree, folks!), while one was filled with a lemon version (made with home-made, er, pesticide- and additive-full lemon curd). I didn’t have time to go out and buy organic lemons lah.
The day before Big Day, the cakes were wrapped in The Amazing Massa Ticino fondant (tinted just the right shade of pink). Then, more flowers were cut out to be pasted all over the cakes – this time, made from modelling fondant – which won’t dry out bone-hard like pastillage will – so C&A could actually cut through the cake without breaking their arms. The finished cakes spent the night in our air-conditioned bedroom, once again, getting in the way of husband and wife.
At the hotel ballroom, all that was left to do was stack up the tiers and stick on the 3-D flowers. A bystander said it was very “cute”, like “Disney cake”. Erm, I take it as a compliment.
The day after: The hotel staff kept one tier for C&A to enjoy in their suite (I trust that it was consumed the conventional way). Since I didn’t have a photo of what the cake looked like sliced, I asked Charmayne to take a photo of it. Yumm… I can eat it right now.
Finally, the happy customers, photo taken with an automatic timer.
This brings to mind an evening four years ago when a rake-thin Alvin was sitting by our kitchen counter, gulping beer and moping about a love lost and how difficult it was to find a “good girl”.
Well, how things change. The exact same kitchen counter has now become the site where his wedding cake was made.
I’m so happy that you found your good girl. Love moves in mysterious ways, you two 🙂