When a food critic turns the poison pen on herself

A&R’s Tiffany blue wedding cake November 26, 2009

Filed under: Wedding cakes — crummb @ 2:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

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.


Preparing the flowers for this cake was both fun and deathly terrifying. Over a year ago, I stuck fresh rose petals on L&G’s chocolate ganache wedding cake and they wilted so fast that they looked like wet newspaper bits creeping up a pile of sh**. Needless to say, I’ve been scarred ever since.

But I decided to give fresh flowers another go this time because, in my opinion, they will always look better than sugarpaste flowers. I just needed to take extra care. These gorgeous white ranunculus (my fave flower) were first rinsed and soaked in water to get rid of pesticides. Then, with their ends wrapped in wet towels, they were kept fresh in the fridge overnight.

Amy wanted a Tiffany blue cake and I had just the right brand of colouring for the job: Wilton’s teal. Just a few drops were enough to colour my 3kg of fondant the perfect shade of Tiffany.

The four tiers of cake (two to make up the bottom tier) took an afternoon to bake. They were filled and crumb-coated with Swiss meringue buttercream, flavoured with organic strawberry puree.

To cover the 6-inch tall bottom tier, I had to roll out the biggest piece of fondant in my young career – 20 inches across! Once draped over the cake, I had to work quickly to cut off the excess.

More trims and tucks to make each cake looking perfectly wrapped.

The brown grosgrain ribbons and flowers were attached on-site. I love how this cake turned out, but I think my daughter E is still way cuter.


34 Responses to “A&R’s Tiffany blue wedding cake”

  1. Amy Says:

    Dear Pau Lin,

    Thanks for making the cake for us! That’s exactly what I wanted and it’s delicious too!!

    and…hahah…sorry for the wrong info, cos to me the stage is small :p

    But I still love your cake!!!


    • crummb Says:

      nonono! the stage wasn’t big. it was the fake cake that was HUGE! did you see it? ask peiling to describe it to you. it was hilarious!! 🙂

      • Amy Says:

        is it? I did not see the fake one…um let’s see whether anyone has taken a picture of it 🙂

  2. Midori Says:


    • crummb Says:

      awww thank you! i wanna start my home bakery next year, specialising in wedding cakes. hope i get orders!

      • thomas Says:

        i’ll send you lots of referrals when you do….i’m not patronising you in the least o.x. but the least of your worries will be whether you get orders…..i think your major problem will be whether you can cope with the deluge….
        everytime i see a new creation on your blog, berlin’s “take my breath away” starts playing inside my head….i was like: “wah lau, the tiffany blue is soo coooool!”

      • crummb Says:

        i should be ready for business from the second half of next year. tell all your friends about me! 🙂

  3. vivian Says:

    this cake is so pretty! if only tiffany has cafes in their stores they would surely get the receipe from u!

  4. Chris Says:

    What a lovely, minimalist cake! Tiffany pimples beat plaster-of-paris birdsnestravaganzas hands down on any occasion.
    Next round – LV wedding cake with leather-textured fondant and individually piped royal icing decals!

  5. cookie Says:

    sorry for being a copycat but I just have to… “wah lau, the tiffany blue is soo coooool!”

  6. insomniac Says:

    That is beautiful and classy! Very inspiring. Wish you had posted pictures of the inside of the cake when cut as well, cos it sounds yummy from your description. Can I ask if you syrup your sponge layers, or if you had tried? Trying to make my daughter a cake. the recipe calls for syrupping the sponge layers but am wondering would this not make the cake soggy? Thanks.

    • crummb Says:

      heehee, we didn’t stay long enough for the cake-cutting to take photos of the inside – that’s the problem when you have a toddler who starts demanding “i wanna go hoooome” before the main course!
      these cakes were moist enough on their own so i didn’t brush over any syrup. but yes, some sponge cake recipes call for syrup, especially genoise sponges (the type where you fold in melted butter at the end). i’ve done it before and it didn’t make the cake soggy. just make sure you don’t add too much. it does help make a genoise more moist, cos a genoise on their own can be a bit dry. in fact, i spiked my syrup with a bit of whiskey, and the cake tasted fantastic!! (but don’t think you should do this for your daughter’s cake haha) hope this helps!

      • Insomniac Says:


        thanks very much. I went ahead to use the syrup and it was as you said very moist and tasty. Bagus!

  7. jocelyn Says:

    MMM. of all tiffany-inspired items, i must say i love cakes the most. and YOURS rank highhh above, definitely classy as a wedding cake! 🙂 and ooh, so looking forward to the day when I’ll be able to savor the cakes instead of just salivating in front of the computer screen haha!

  8. daphnechan00 Says:

    I like………..

  9. Jac Says:

    Yo friend,

    Long time no see…how are you?

    So pretty!!


  10. tellaure Says:

    gorgeous cake as usual (you need to start posting pictures of fail cakes … i’m kind of tired of repeating myself (just kidding) ). i love how understated and simple the decoration is; and how the bottom layer is so damn tall -makes the cake look really elegant and grand. is it a genoise or a butter cake?

    and no pictures of the manager’s blanked out face?? you should have said something to the effect of “well, it’s fake anyway”.

    • crummb Says:

      i just made a super-failed tart shell and sweet potato filling over the weekend. wanted to take a photo and post about it but i didn’t have my camera with me! oh well, i might as well keep up the illusion of always being perfect then 😛
      it was a butter cake. don’t dare using a genoise cos they’re so capricious, plus i’m not sure if they’re strong enough to support all that weight on top.
      so glad you’re still reading me! 🙂

  11. ovenhaven Says:

    Absolutely adore the elegant simplicity of it all! The variation in height of the tiers really adds to the grandeur. Who needs an overcompensating fake cake when you’ve got the real deal right there!

  12. mamalicious Says:

    Classy and Gorgeous!!!

  13. Kat Says:

    What a beautiful cake!!! wow!!! i likes it alot of alotness… and you did this all while 8 months pregs… you are a superstar!!!


    p.s have not forgotten that i owe you pics of my wedding cake now, with the big day past.. still waiting for the photos from the photographer though.. one thing.. i dont recall the photographer taking any pics of my cake, maybe i just missed it… but it was chocolate buttermilk sponge cake, with a buttercream icing and vanilla buttermilk sponge cake with buttercream icing(i didnt want to leave anyone out – not everyone likes chocolate)…while the rest of the fam, and husband to be were out having a pre wedding celebration party, there was me and my cheerful assistant, making wedding cake..

    • crummb Says:

      you made your own wedding cake!!! woww… i wish i made my own too! i really wanna see it… send it over the second you get it! 🙂

  14. june Says:

    the cake looks yummy n v elegant too. it’s the audrey hepburn of wedding cakes! understated, beautiful n jam-packed w substance siah.

    the pix r lovely too! i like how the brown ribbons r offset by the brown curtains in the background.

  15. Wendy Says:


    Stumbled upon your website and thought this cakes looks lovely and just what I will like for my wedding (a REAL cake :))

    My wedding will be Nov this year, and if you have more info on designs /charges of your cakes, do email me!

    Looking forward to hear from you!

    Cheers 🙂

  16. プラダを提示、ひよこの袋に秋のシーズンこのような色ようミリタリーグリーンおり、結果として古典的なトーンの品種シャンブレーとして。さらに時間色、デザイナー教え色合いの変化の茶色とのコースクラシック黒。捏造にの前の秋女性バッグだったダチョウ、ワニと滑らかな革。特に女性バッグです示されているすぐ再びワンタイムトップハンドルと同様、ダブルトップ作業をスタイル。、取り外し可能なショルダーストラップも戻ってくるに、女性バッグを追加を汎用性のハンドバッグに、全体。含むに長いからおそらくストラップ傾向、取り外し可能なストラップに沿って女性バッグキーに汎用性を可能でハンドバッグ。

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