Monday, 22 November 2010


  • Originally, me and the man friend were doing the big white wedding business BUT when we actually got up in it and found out how much planning and stressing and extreme dieting it takes, well, it has to be said that's just not us. So now we are having every little girls dream- an Elvis wedding in Las Vegas! I have always said that the only way i would get married was Vegas style, so I don't know why we ever tried planning anything different, when Elvis beckons, resistance is futile!! One thing that I do not regret was that when we thought we were doing a big wedding was that I simply refused to buy a wedding cake. I figured when you love baking as much as me, it would be a sin to not at least try. So i equipped myself with Peggy Porschen's "Cake Chic". For anyone who doesn't know who she is, she's a bit of a cake goddess and counts Elton John, Stella McCartney and Madonna as clients, so the girls got the stats to back it up... I based my cake on her basic "Large Cake" recipe. One thing that i was completely oblivious to is how long it actually takes to construct one of these bad boys! She says that, for tiered cakes you need to start preparation 5/6 days before your event. The basic strategy is, say you need a cake for a Saturday
  • Bake the sponges on the Monday before
  • Layer them on the Tuesday
  • Cover the cakes with marzipan on Wednesday and leave overnight so that the marzipan has time to dry
  • Thursday  cover the cakes with sugar paste and let them set again overnight
  • Friday is applying decorations

This at first sounds ridiculously daunting but in actuality I think it helps. So the cake starts with a basic Victoria  Sponge recipe which you can utilise for Fondant Fancies or Cup Cakes... This however, in a 20cm cake tin makes 1 half a tier layer. 

  • 200g salted butter at room temp
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs at room temp
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 100ml sugar syrup

  • Warm the oven to 180°c, baking time is 12-15 minutes for the cupcakes and fancies or 20-45 minutes for a large cake depending on size
  • So there's the basic cake recipe. If your not going for the whole iced variety like i was, just layer up the sponges with some jam and butter cream and you have the most amazing Victoria sponge you've ever eaten! Its the sugar syrup that keeps the cake moist for days on end. Its the best cake tip I've learnt in a long time and now i don't bake a cake without doing it! 
  • Right, so you've done a little sleepy and your cake has firmed up nicely and drank in all you yummy sugar syrup. Sooooooo your gonna need..
  • approx 600g of butter cream 
  • approx 600g of jam (your favourite- I like a Raspberry jam here- strawberry can get a bit sickly, whereas Raspberry has a nice sour twang to it)
  • 200ml of sugar syrup
  • icing sugar for dusting 
  • 850g of marzipan
  • a shotglass of clear alcohol ( i used vodka as its taste neutral)
  • 850g sugar paste

  • using a serrated knife trim off the crusts from the top and bottom of both sponges
  • slice each layer in half so you now have 4 layers of approximately 2cm depth
  • place your first layer on a cake board and if you have one and i would a million percent suggest in buying one, there not expensive, a cake turntable! I don't think i could have done the cake without it, it makes spreading a doddle!
  • spread a thin layer of butter cream over the top of the sponge and put on layer 2
  • soak with syrup in the same way you did after baking
  • keep layering away, next with jam and then butter cream until all 4 layers are assembled.  When all 4 layers are built up, gently but firmly press down to make your cake level

  • coat the outside of your cake with butter cream. Start from the center and spread outwards and towards the sides rotating the turntable as you go
  • push the butter cream down the sides and spread it in a nice even layer
  • chill for at least 2 hours, I did mine overnight, so that the cake has time to firm up
  • now your cakes set, dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out your marzipan into a circle that's going to be big enough to cover the tops and sides
  • dust the marzipan with another light sprinkling of icing sugar and roll it over a rolling pin to help you transport it to the cake

  • trim off any extra marzipan around the bottom with a knife or scissors if your comfier with them
  • polish the marzipan with a cake smoother to help it adhere to the butter cream and use the palm of your hands to smooth in the edges

  • let the marzipan set overnight, go have a bath, get some bubbles on the go and be un-cakey for a while!
  • return to cake fresh as a daisy
  • so now its set nice and firm, brush the marzipan with a frugal coating of alcohol. It works like an edible prit-stick and glues the icing to the marzipan. Also as if by magic the alcohol kills any nasty bacteria that could have built up on your cake during the setting periods. 
  • repeat steps 10-13 but this time using your rolled out sugar paste instead of marzipan
  • voila! one perfectly iced cake. Decorate and layer and repeat and play with as you see fit, i did......



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