25 hours. 175 cupcakes. 16 lbs of fondant. 8 lbs of buttercream. 2 lbs of gumpaste. 1 six inch layer cake. 1 crazy baker. 1 happy newly wedded couple. 1 labor of love.
Let me explain something. I'm an emotional baker. When my friend Beth got engaged, she asked me to bake her wedding cupcakes. I was delighted. I was honored. I was elated. I was googling wedding cupcakes until I was seeing double. I was bombarding her with cupcake liner designs and wedding pictures. For a week straight, I would fall asleep thinking about the pros and cons of buttercream and fondant. The thing is, when I bake for someone I care about, it's more than mixing ingredients and putting them in a greased and floured pan for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. I bake my feelings along with the butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Baking is my non-verbal way of saying "I couldn't be more excited for you!" or "I appreciate your friendship" or "I love you!" When I get worked up with emotion, I stumble over my words and they sound trite and inadequate, so I rely on cake and frosting to do all the talking. I pour my feelings into each wave of my spatula and every squeeze of my piping bag. And these cupcakes were no exception.
...but as the cupcake pans kept coming out of the oven, I began to realize just what a big undertaking it was going to be. I mean, these were more than a few thank you cookies. These were more than a birthday cake. I couldn't just slap trick candles on top and have a waiter at TGIFriday's bring them out singing and hope the lighting was dark enough to cover any flaws. These cupcakes were for someone's wedding. One of the most memorable days of a person's life. This was serious business. I had originally intended on making poured fondant, but after giving it some thought, I decided to give rolled fondant a try.
some of the many, many cupcakes.
Once the cupcakes were baked, it was time to make the fondant from scratch. [Get the recipe here from cakescanada.com. I played with the recipe a little bit. I found that it was much quicker to stir by hand than to try to use the dough hook. Plus, I was using my sister's Kitchenaid and didn't want to have to buy her another if I broke the motor on it.]
Melting the bloomed gelatin, corn syrup, vanilla extract and glycerin over a double boiler.
Then the cutting began. (I used an Ateco biscuit cutter which was the perfect size to cover a cupcake. If your cupcakes are a little big, the beauty of this fondant is that it can be gently stretched with your hands over the uncovered cupcake area).
Decorated! (I used the tiniest cutter from a Wilton circle cutter set to get the uniform circles. The smaller circles were cut from the same cutter, broken into two and then rolled and flattened to form smaller circles).
...and so, with every whirl of my Kitchenaid, every swirl of frosting, every tiny fondant circle and every crumb of cupcake, I say...
Congratulations, Mike & Beth!!