Silk, Piped Lace, and Sugar Peonies at Sodo Park

So, this post is basically a photo-bonanza. It's one of those cakes that has so many interesting angles and details... and I can't help but share them all. Adrianne and Tyler were married on June 10th, and held their reception at the magnificent Herban Feast event venue at Sodo Park. Their near-two-feet-tall cake had five tiers (two of which were of equal diameter and covered in a continuous sheet of fondant, to create a double-barreled -- or double-height -- tier). It provided generous dessert portions to 110 guests, divided between Vanilla Buttermilk cake (with one layer of raspberry meringue filling, one layer of strawberry meringue filling, and one layer of lemon curd folded into cream-cheese frosting) and Mocha cake (chocolate sponge, with two layers of truffle ganache and one layer of espresso buttercream). 

The tiers were brushed with a solution of edible pearl luster dust and vodka; the alcohol evaporates quickly off the surface of the fondant, leaving the shimmery dust behind. I used a weak solution and a soft paintbrush, in order to leave faint brushstrokes behind that would give the cake's surface the appearance of spun silk.

Then, I piped a freehand dahlia design onto the fondant, using Royal Icing tinted a faint ivory-blush color. The piped lines were feathered using a damp paintbrush to create softness and texture (this technique is called brush embroidery).

Here I am (below), piping the trim at the base of each tier, on site. (Hi, everyone!) The cake doesn't have its sugar floral arrangements yet...

I think this shot below best captures the look of the pearl-luster treatment as it appeared in person:

I crafted the closed peonies (in blush pink), sweet peas, berries, and peony leaves from sugar dough (gumpaste) and dusted each petal with powdered edible pigment (appropriately called "petal dust") to create depth. The sugar peony leaves were painted with confectioner's glaze to mimic the waxy sheen of their real counterparts.

The cake was supplied with three tissue-lined boxes, in which the sugar-flower arrangements could be safely transported home. There were three posies on the cake, one of which was a keepsake for Adrianne and Tyler; the other two were for the mothers of the bride and groom respectively. I thought it was a splendid idea on Adrianne's part, to offer these handmade treasures to her mother and mother-in-law as mementoes of the day.

I LOVED making this cake, and I relished the process of designing it together with Adrianne and Tyler. They both had marvelous ideas and an inspiring vision of how their wedding day would come together; also, they were so enthusiastic about the cake that it was simply infectious. I really was over-the-top excited to create it, from the first sketch I produced during our consultation, all the way through to attaching the final peony leaf at Sodo Park last Sunday. 

I didn't snap a photo of it, but at the bride's special request, there was a little surprise 4-inch cake for her mom (Hi, Eve!) in her sought-after flavor, Coconut Passion. Apparently, Eve had been yearning to try my coconut cake, but since the groom shies away from shredded coconut in baked goodies, it didn't feature in the flavor selection for their main dessert. So, it was sweet and fitting that Eve should get her own celebratory confection, adorned with sugar sweet peas (in lilac) and an ivory silk ribbon. [See??  I told you this bride was full of wonderful ideas!]  

A hearty congratulations to you, Adrianne and Tyler!