Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wedding Anniversary Fondant Cupcakes

Leon & Veronica's 25th wedding anniversary was the first I've ever attended (still looking good, you two!) and it was beautiful, with singing and dancing presentations from their talented nephews and nieces but the most entertaining and heart-warming presentation was by their three kids who re-enacted scenes from their first meeting. My favorite was the 'The Most Awesome Proposal In The World', something like that. I was probably the one who laughed the loudest in the ballroom of over 300 people.

And so we did it, decorated 328 cupcakes and a top cake in one day. I wouldn't have been able to do it if not for my friends Elaine, Aifuah and Lily. I started around 9 am while Aifuah came about an hour later and the others before lunch time. We worked so hard that we forgot about lunch (Hub bought some buns but nobody stopped to eat). I had planned to deliver the cakes (this part I hate; I didn't know that I'd have to deliver) by 4 or 5 pm so that the couple can take photos of my piece de resistance before the guests arrive but a near-disaster happened at 2:30 pm and I only got to the hotel at 6:40 pm (the cakes were delivered earlier) to oversee the setting up of the cake stand.

Aifuah is the expert in sugarpaste cakes, at least among us, but she got the flu early in the week so she couldn't make the covering fondant on Thursday as planned. She had made 1 kg of fondant on Monday for the flowers. So I had to get commercial fondant from the stores. Commercial 'rolled fondant' is soft, marshmallowy and very pliable. At RM10 a kg, commercial fondant is affordable and SO much easier to use than home-made fondant. With home-made fondant, I could make a small rose in 8 to 10 minutes but with commercial fondant, which doesn't need much kneading, I could get the same thing done in 2.5 minutes.

The near-disaster came when Aifuah draped the covering fondant over the very tall (3 stacked cakes, about 9"/22 cm high) American-style prune buttercake. The soft and stretchy fondant immediately pulled off at the edge of the cake top, leaving a piece of jagged-edged fondant on the top and the rest of the fondant around the bottom of the cake. We were stunned! I would have cried if I was the only one doing the job.

Aifuah suggested we cover the cake with Swiss buttercream but the butter needed to thaw and the icing would melt if the completed cake was not chilled. Lily suggested royal icing but I haven't made that in years plus it needed to harden. I decided to make our own covering fondant, even at that late stage, because Aifuah and I have made fondant before and it was better to go with something we know. Elaine ran to the nearest cake ingredients shop to get liquid glucose but she also got a kg of imported fondant (lifesaver!). Upon kneading, the fondant  was crumbly and dry. Arggghh! In a final effort, I threw the crumbly fondant, the salvaged soft fondant and lots of icing sugar into the mixer. The texture was much firmer and we held our breaths as Aifuah draped the new fondant over the cake (reduced to 2 stacked cakes now).  The fondant didn't pull away. By then it was about 4 pm. 1/4 of the cupcakes were still not done because of the fuss over the failed fondant.

What have I learnt? 1) Decorating 328 cupcakes and a main cake on the same day is asking for trouble! i should've covered the main cake the night before as planned. I couldn't because I couldn't find 6" round cake boards in the stores for stacking the main cakes. 2) Delivery is part of the deal (I didn't know that) and thank God I got last minute help from friends and their wonderful kids! 3) I have wonderful friends who didn't complain, and instead said they enjoyed themselves. Love you ladies, you did a wonderful job!

DSC_1057_1024x678We didn't cut the tops off the cakes at first and that resulted in gaps between the cakes and the fondant.


The top cake was covered in ivory colored fondant, flowers were made with home-made fondant.



The cake stand, made with the help of Elaine and my helper Vero, was based on a post by Cake Journal.

To Iona & sisters: Thanks for delivering the cakes!


Zurin said...

WOOOOOO Terri..that is stunning! Love the two colour scheme...very simple and elegant. The roses you made are just beautiful!

Congratulations for pulling it off. I wish I could have been there to help you :)))) its os fun when youre doing it with friends to share all teh stress.unfortunately I dont have friends who are into cake decorating or sugar paste.:(

store bought fondant is too soft for me. I bought some the other day but didnt use it and I ended up making my own. But for cupcakes I think theyre just fine to use.

You should be proud of your achievement and Yes! neevr make everything on the same day...that much I have learnt :)

btw....I never deliver the cakes I make......My responsibility ends when the cake is completed. I cannot take the extra stress...I'll die....LOL

Johnathan Oh said...

Totally salute you Sis!!!

Jazzee said...

WOW!!! Kudos!

bh said...

great job Terri - the cake and cupcakes look beautiful...

you ladies handled the tricky situation well... real team effort eh... and so much hardwork! well done! :)

red | hongyi said...

MOMMY! You're amazing...seen you bake cakes since I was a toddler and you've never failed to amaze me again and again but this time, I'm so impressed I had to pick up my jaws from the office floor haha!!! I'm so proud of you!


also, you look stunning in my can have it!

Laura said...

It looks fantastic!!! You did a really really good job!!
I can understand how stressed you are! could open a cake shop!!


Pureglutton said...

Beautiful! All your hard work and stress have yielded great results - congrats!

terri@adailyobsession said...

zurin: thnk u, your posts on wedding cakes were my reference:)

i know, i didn't know when i took on the project tt i had to deliver the cakes too. in fact, i even had to pick the cupcakes from the baker but tt wasn't so bad bc she lived less than 10 min away. but delivering was bad bc there were trays n trays of cakes n i didn't plan for the delivery, thinking tt me n hub could handle it but on tt day, with so much still not done and so many things to transport (cakes, cake stand, main cake...), i called a friend and another friend last minute and they were just GREAT, coming to my aid, one of them sent his 4 daughters, the sweetest girls in town! i didn't have enough time to do my hair n all tt! did my make up in the car! ah, the things i do for friends!

u know what, my friend e and i are kinda in an anti-climax state, itching to do more cakes! i miss not doing the flowers. but i promised them tt if i ever take up such projects again, i'll charge...

joh: thank you bro!

jayzee: *big smile* thnx, i had the best team.

bh: yes, they were great! but next time you join us huh.

red:aw honey. i was just telling aunty aifuah about the cake i baked for you when you were 6 or 7, the one with fish, sea snails, first fondant cake n everyone was so amazed but looking at the cakes ppl do now, mine was nothing!

the reason i could wear your dress was bc i hardly ate the whole week, working overtime:)

laura: thanz! haha..i can't handle the stress:))

pureglutton: thnx!!!

Chocolate, Cookies & Candies said...

WHOA, Terri! You've outdone yourself. This is AMAZING! Bravo!

Kikukat said...

Wow, your decorating is totally amazing! I am speechless. I've been hesitant to work with fondant because of the climate here, but KK is likely just as warm as where I am. Wow!!!

tina said...

Hats off to you for pulling it off! Congrats!

jackie said...

Wow - Terri. Congrats on completing such a "monumental" task. It is indeed a successful venture. Loved the colours and delicate looking flowers. So stylish in a elegant, classy and yet understated sort of way. If you do set up shop - I'd be the first to order (even if it means having to get it delivered across to KL).

Btw- really want to thank you for all the advice and tips you shared (re. my attempts at your mango cheesecake and spare ribs). They all turned out really well and I got so much praise for it.
Thanks a million as usual :-)

Marqueelasvegas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terri@adailyobsession said...

ccc: thnx:) it was a team effort tt made it work!

kikukat: yes, our weather would be the same as hawaii's. try making it, it's really fun and creative. i was at a cake ingredients store today, didn't check it out b4 i did last week's project, and i realise tt all those beautiful cakes i see on other websites are all done with help from wilton fondant tools and gadgets. they have everything, from imprint mats of handbags to curved trays for shaping live in the states so it'll be easy n cheap to get wilton stuff. try it:) in drier weather, the problem is the fondant dries up very quickly. in our humid weather, the opposite situation--too wet fondant--can be countered by adding more icing sugar n using cornflour to dust your hands n working surfaces.

tina: thank you :)))

jackie: thank you::))) i am so happy with all the nice comments. hey, you can make fondant cakes too, just read up online. it looks impressive but is easy really.

marqu: spam

Johnathan Oh said...

Ahh Terri, you looked good too! ;)

Aminah Ambrose said...

wow! amazing! congrats on a job well done despite the odds.. love the roses that u made n the cupcakes.. beautiful..I salute u my dear friend..:)

terri@adailyobsession said...

joh: thank you:D

aminah:i saw u n hub driving home the other day about 5-ish. i was running the 7k. got gaya ah,living on a resort by the sea:D

the lunch guy said...

woman, you are truly possessed. you are not a foodie, you are a food psycho.

congrats on the accomplishment, IMHO, its monumental considering the fact that Murphy's law will always enter into a project like this and in this case, more than once.

i remain in awe of your scope of knowledge and technique.

BTW: if you want your creations to look their best, don't you and your friends stand next to them. they will always pale in comparison.

terri@adailyobsession said...

lunchguy: i am a food pycho! and yes, murphy's law is very much the rule in my life more so bc i am a procrastinator n do things best under stress. and i love that final comment:DDD

terri@adailyobsession said...


Marquee Las Vegas said...

These are AWESOME! I loveeeeeeee all the details! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):)
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