Monday, July 16, 2012

PB&J Wedding Cake

My Dearest Sally,

What an amazing day! I could not have imagined it more beautiful than it was and I am so blessed that you were there beside me. Jesse and I cannot thank you and Jason enough for your love and support. We love you very much.

I can hear the many voices along the way telling me that I was crazy to try and make my own wedding cake. This is true. But everyone knows I am a little crazy so they really should not have been surprised. It was a process and a journey that was stressful and OH SO MUCH FUN at the same time. The hardest part was not scraping my oven clean after I did a trial run and filled the pans too full. Nor was it trying to cut the layers perfectly flat or the dowling just right. Nope, nope, nope. The most difficult part was getting Jesse to approve the icing flavour. We tried various forms of buttercream to no avail. They just didn't taste the way icing should apparently! Finally I found a simple recipe for vanilla frosting. Jesse liked vanilla alright but wanted to experiment. I put peanut butter in one small batch and chocolate in another. He loved both of those options but his favorite was the combination! In the end we had peanut butter vanilla frosting with a strawberry rhubarb vanilla filling. Three tiers and many hours later BAM! Wedding cake. The final product was a 10" chocolate pound cake followed by an 8" vanilla pound cake, topped off with a 6" simple white cake. I used three dowling pieces in the bottom two layers for support and I am glad I did. The cake was heavy!

Peanut Butter Vanilla Frosting

(adapted from Wedding Cake Art and Design - Toba Garrett)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 cup peanut butter (determined by flavour)

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

3. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Simple Vanilla Pound Cake

(adapted from Wedding Cake Art and Design - Toba Garrett)

4 3/4 cups cake flour
4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pkg. cream cheese
2 tbsp vanilla
5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray or line the cake pans.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix for 2 minutes on stir speed with the paddle attachment to sift and blend in the ingredients.

3. Add the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the bowl. Beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Stop and scrape the bowl. Beat for another minute.

4. Whisk the eggs and whole milk together. Add the batter in 3 increments on low speed. Stop and scrape the bowl; then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Stop, scrape the bowl, and then beat for 1 minute longer.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  

I cannot thank Rebecca enough for volunteering her advice and her amazing cake pans. Jesse has decided that I need to make cake more often. Oh what have I done! Jesse and I will begin to tear apart walls next week and plan to have you and Jason over a visit before the summer is out. What is summer without your people?

All my love to you and Jason. God bless and buckle in for whatever we have coming for us! I can't wait.

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