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Wedding Cake Dilemma

Asked by bookie. Answered on 16th March 2012

Full question

I'm making my own wedding cake and would like to have three different tiers. I've already made the bottom tier (Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake from Christmas) and would like to have the other two as chocolate and something like a jam and cream sponge. My dilemma is that I need something that will stay fresh for a few days - the longer I can make it before the wedding, the better. I don't know what recipes to use! Can you suggest anything please?

Our answer

It is possible to make cakes 4 to 5 days in advance however we would suggest reconsidering using fresh cream as a filling as this would mean that the cake will need refrigerating and also will only last a couple of days. A vanilla buttercream would be a better option.

You can use your favourite cake recipes for vanilla and chocolate cakes in your chosen sizes. Once the cakes have cooled you can brush them generously with a simple syrup, which will help to keep them moist. The syrup can be made by dissolving equal quantities of water and sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat then bringing the syrup to a boil and boiling for one minute. Cool the syrup before using and you can add a few drops of liqueur if you like too. Sandwich the cooled and syrup coated cakes with buttercream then spread the outside of the cakes with a thin layer of buttercream and cover with ready to roll icing (rolled fondant). The icing will help to keep the cake fresh for a few days by reducing the exposure to air. Keep the cakes in a cool place but not in the fridge as this will cause the icing to become very sticky.

In Australia dark and white chocolate "mud" cakes are popular for wedding cakes as they tend to be quite moist, though unfortunately we can't recommend any particular recipes.

We would also like to mention that if you are stacking the cakes on top of each other then you will need to "dowel" the lower tiers so that they can take the weight of the cakes on top. Dowels can be bought from cake decorating suppiers and cut down to the approppriate size.

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