Of White Stags and Mustaches

I just got back from setting up two cakes at Brianna and Doug's wedding, on a magnificent property overlooking the McKenzie river.  The whimsy and artistry of the ceremony and reception decor were incomparable; this bride seems to have a unique gift for styling an outdoor wedding!  I saw so many beautiful touches throughout, all of which brought personality and charm to their sweet affair.  Three of my fellow industry vendors and friends were there too, Anastasia Ehlers (the floral designer) and Anne and Paul Nunn (the photographers), so it felt like a reunion of sorts for us all.  The last time the four of us had seen each other was at our inspiration photo shoot at the Owen Rose Garden back in early June.  Today, we got to celebrate the hugely exciting news that our shoot will be featured on Style Me Pretty later this year!  (Hooray!)

Originally, Brianna's wedding cake was to be piped in the Peggy Porschen style, like the picture below, but in white on white instead:

Then, a few weeks back, Brianna saw a photo of a wedding cake on my website, and told me she loved the pearl 'jewelry' on that confection. I happily agreed to change the design, and we went with tiny white pearls on pale ivory fondant.  I stacked the cake on site, as I had been warned about the steep gravel driveway leading down to the wedding venue (yikes!), and didn't want to take any chances with a tiered cake.  Brianna had placed two milk glass cake stands on the cake table for me beforehand, and Anastasia supplied a stunning array of fresh blooms for me to style on the cake once it was assembled and ribboned. Here are some in-process shots of each tier, top to bottom, from this morning:

 And here's the finished cake:

All three tiers (6-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch; each 5 inches high) were lemon cake with a rich blackberry Italian meringue buttercream filling and fondant covering. I applied each one of the pearls by hand, with a special pair of tweezers, using fresh Royal Icing as the glue (BTW - a tip for bakers: I have found that Royal Icing made with pasteurized egg whites is a MUCH better 'glue' than when it's made with meringue powder). The fondant has white chocolate added to it, for a softer mouthfeel and a delicious flavor - my goal is never to see any uneaten strips of fondant on a cake plate, ever!

The groom's cake, on its separate stand (isn't it cute?) is a 6-inch round Caramel Toffee Fudge confection. The base is dark chocolate sponge (thank you, Peggy Porschen, your recipe is amazing), layered with homemade bitter caramel sauce, Belgian chocolate ganache, and English toffee bits. The covering is homemade milk-chocolate fondant, adorned with Baroque-style mouldings made from gumpaste.  Brianna, the bride, treasure-hunted for the white stag topper, and an amazing pair of peach garden roses completed the decor.

Another couple of in-process shots from this morning:

Another view of the finished groom's cake:

Two more things: check out Anastasia's blog post for more pics, particularly of the jaw-droppingly beautiful floral arrangements she did.  Also, Brianna and Doug's engagement photo shoot (on Mount Pisgah, with Anne Nunn) is completely delightful and worth checking out, not least because the bride is gorgeous and the groom is sporting a fantastic Wyatt Earp-style handlebar mustache.  I drew inspiration from his achingly cool personal grooming choice to bake up a batch of shortbread cookies, punched into the appropriate shapes with a cutter set from Fuzzy Ink, which were wrapped up for the guests to take home in little cellophane bags tied with a satin ribbon. (The cookies were orange shortbread iced with thinly-rolled modeling chocolate.)  Just for fun!

And that's a wrap for the weekend.  Thanks to Brianna and Doug, to all the talented vendors involved in this awesome shindig, and thanks to all the Honey Crumb readers and fans who have "liked" our new page on Facebook.