I took the day off work today so that I could do something I'd been thinking about for weeks. The day could only end in success, but it was how I was going to get to the end which had been troubling me. It was wedding cake day.
I did all the shopping last night and bought plenty of extra stuff too, just in case. The chocolate curls had been delivered last week. I'd spent last night giving the kitchen a deep clean. All was ready. Never before have I started cooking with such a mix of trepidation, excitement and burdened with the wait of expectation.
Thankfully, it all went pretty smoothly:
I cooked the three sponges sequentially and they turned out very consistently. They were standard 4442 sponge cakes, two chocolate and one vanilla (with fudge chunks) sandwiched together with fudge icing.
I had to make three times the amount of chocolate fudge icing as I did on the tasting day. Unfortunately I only realised this as the first batch was running out and it was a nervous few minutes while I whipped up the next. Fortunately a pallet knife dipped in hot water really was my best friend.
The finishing touches were the chocolate curls which were much harder to apply than I thought they would be. I've not idea how many rotations of the cake it took to completely cover the sides of the cake to an acceptable level. However, it was worth the effort. The annoying thing was that I kept dropping them on the top and so had to re-smooth it. Oh and here's a tip: when icing a the surface of a cake and trying to get it smooth, having a pallet knife that is larger than the actual cake would be REALLY helpful.
The most nerve-racking part was moving the cake from my icing board to the silver display board. I'm not sure I breathed whilst slipping the pallet knife under the whole cake and sliding it across. I was terrified that the cake would crumble or break and I'd have to start again.
The final touch were the fudge pieces around the perimeter. It was actually quite relaxing doing these as I was confident that it was job well done and all I had to do was wait for Paul to come and collect the finished cake and I would be absolved of any level of responsibility!