Here’s the thing about making wedding cakes. Baking and decorating a 9/7/5-inch three-tier is like tackling Mount Everest right there at your kitchen table. But once it’s conquered and displayed at a big venue, it can suddenly shrink into a blink-and-you-miss backside pimple.
Case in point: the cake I made for my cousin Ricky’s wedding last week. The venue was One 15 Marina Club in Sentosa Cove, and it was the first time my cake was to be cut on stage in a grand ballroom.
Ricky’s fiancee Amy said it was a “small” stage so the cake wouldn’t look out of place. And as I was hauling my cakes out the front door to the car, it sure had the heft that befitted the occasion: The thick bottom tier, which itself was made up of two tiers to reach 6 inches in height, was so heavy that I had to stop twice to take breathers.
But once I got to the ballroom, the cakes instantly shrivelled up to look like last week’s muffins. It wasn’t because the stage was huge. It was because there was a cake-cutting table there, and sitting on it, a gargantuan, skyscraping fake cake covered in fake fondant and fake roses. To complete the blinding visual assault, it was topped with an enormous nest made of fake twigs and fake birds.
I asked the banquet manager to remove it so I can place my cake in its place. And he went blank for 5 long seconds.
“Take the fake cake away?” he said, looking at my shrivelled muffin, then looking back at his aviarius masterpiece. What he was really saying was, What? You want me to replace this magnum opus with that zit of a cake??!
“Ya,” I said, defending myself meekly, “I have three tiers.”
“Oh,” he said, and, with a slight frown still attached to his face, removed the jacuzzi-sized foam monstrosity.
I proceeded to assemble my cake. Once completed and placed on the table, it was only one-tenth the size of the ginormous tweeting wonder. If you’ve ever wondered what it felt like for David to face the mighty Goliath, just ask my cake.
But when it was cake-cutting time, at least Amy and Ricky were able to run the knife down a real cake, with real buttercream and real fondant — and not some insipid slit pre-cut into a foam block.
Call me old-fashioned. But when it comes to wedding cakes, nothing beats the real thing — backside pimple or not.