Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the cake

There's a girl at work, Brenda, who bakes. In fact, back in the day she made cakes for events until it wasn't fun anymore. Her stuff is AMAZING, guys. I pretty much love most any type of dessert, unlike some people [cough, mom*, cough] whose praise peaks at "it was okay" for pretty much anything. Even she says Brenda's stuff is "pretty good" (read: blue ribbon!). It's sweet without being cloying, fluffy but still has substance and it's just all-around scrumptious. She makes her own frosting that's so light I never want to scrape any off before digging in. And the cakes look amazing, too--she's got a fat binder with all these "Ace-of-Cake" type photos and letters from people who love her stuff as much as we do. I've known I wanted her to make my wedding cake long ago, even before she created that awesome underwear graduation cake for my brother.

I'd seen Brenda turn people's requests down. She's in nursing school and working and has a family and lots of stuff going on. And I can only assume that the kinds of cakes she makes take a LOT of tender loving time. I was worried she'd say no. Somehow, my mom got her to do it.

Unfortunately Jon and I like things very simple, which can come off a little boring. We were thinking a really small, one-tier cake with maybe a ribbon around it for us to cut in front of everyone, and then a couple of sheet cakes the back (made by her, of course). We wanted to make the least work for Brenda as possible. But she wanted us to have a much bigger and fancier cake, with different layers in different colors. She convinced us to go with a three-tier cake featuring a white-on-white design that Jon liked. And then she made two extra sheet cakes as well. Yellow cake with strawberry filling. If anyone knows about the Jewel strawberry shortcakes around this area, it was better than that. And she made chocolate cake, too.

Before the wedding, Brenda had gone with me to the floral shop at the hospital. In a flash of reality a few weeks before the wedding, when mfm was trying to explain to me how far gone I was, I made the smart decision to have the florist make our boutonnieres and corsages because we were teetering on the precipice of too much DIY (before this wedding, I would have said there was no such thing, but I HAVE SEEN THE EDGE, PEOPLE, AND IT IS TERRIFYING). I had picked out some orange spray roses for Brenda to work with.

From the four or five bites I was able to inhale that day, this cake was every bit as good as I had hoped.

As per Syar's request, here is a clearer view of the detailing on the cake. I hope it's a little better.

You noticed the oddly misshapen stick figures on the front of the cake's middle tier? Yep, another sign the DIY train had been way too close to the cliff without a guardrail. My plan was to make a stick-figure caketopper out of floral wire as a callback to our invitations. It was a decent idea--just not one I should have been executing THE DAY OF OUR WEDDING WHILE SITTING IN THE MAKEUP CHAIR. I rave about my photographer not only because he does awesome work and has a great personality; he whipped up the "bouquet" the stick-figure bride is holding while I had to put down the pliers and look to the ceiling for mascara.

I realize that caketopper is not my best work. Another lesson I learned with this wedding is to just let things go, so I got over it. In fact, I'm just happy it was on the cake all: Jon and I were standing behind the cake when we cut it, so when I didn't see it on top of the cake, I assumed it wasn't there and was sad. I never should have doubted my sisters-in-law, cc and pp; they made SO much happen that I didn't even hear about until later. I only realized the stick figures had been on the cake all the time when we went to pick up the top tier and they were there in the box.

Don't take my word for it: There was a three-tier cake, plus two sheets in the back. And, aside from the top we got to save for next September 17, there wasn't a single piece of cake left over.

Brenda, if the nursing thing doesn't work out, please open a bakery.


Eclectic Bride-Wife-Mom said...

I LOVED your cake and I've had the Jewel strawberry shortcake on multiple occasions (growing up across the street is hazzard). I didn't see the toppers...but they are cute!

SupaCoo said...

Cadiz! I've been reading all month and trying to post comments but there's something up with comments and I can't post from my iPad. GRRR! Just so you know, I'm out here!! Anyway, I am LOVING this! Your wedding looked spectacular! I can't believe everything you did - I am blown away at how awesome it all came out. WELL DONE!!

Shalini said...

It's so nice that you'll have a record of this forever and ever. I can barely remember our first song at our wedding.

Syar said...

Is there a close up of that cake? The texture of it looks amazing! And I really like the colour combo, and the cake toppers (which I thought was frosting)

cadiz12 said...

omg, jewel strawberry shortcake is THE BEST. brenda's stuff is better, but much harder to get.

supacoo! so glad to hear from you! i know you have your hands full these days.

shalini, we are nothing if not recordkeepers. i'm embarrassed how often i refer to the blog to settle bets about when/how things happened in the past.

syar: your wish is my command. i hope the new photo is close enough. i have no idea where the caketoppers are, but i'm sure whenever we get photos back from Albert, there will be some.