Sweet Leaf

Finding Beauty through Baking ~by Susan Baxter-Peace

Cheese Cake, Pt. 3: Putting it all Together September 9, 2014

Here we are, the tests have been done, the embellishments are planned, and now we have to get it all together for the main event. Timewise it would be nearly impossible to get all the cakes baked, assembled and decorated the day of the event, so it takes some planning to get it all ready in a logical order.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I made the marzipan crackers about a week in advance, so they would have time to dry and harden. I made all the cakes in the week leading up to the wedding and froze them until the night before. I first made the blue cheese cake, which was a sour cream cake. I baked it in a 10-inch pan, then cut it into wedges. I sliced the wedges in two, so I could put a layer of buttercream in the middle. then put a thin coat of frosting over each wedge of cake to help keep in moisture. I wrapped each in wax paper, then in plastic wrap, and froze them in a plastic container. They were well protected!

The brie cake was also a sour cream cake, and also baked in the 10-inch pan. I actually made two of these, as I wanted to make sure there would be enough cake for all the guests, but only one was part of the display. I spread a layer of ermine frosting (which you may remember from this post from last year) in the middle of these cakes, and again spread a thin crumb coat over the cakes and wrapped them up well to freeze. The gouda cake was an olive oil cake, with orange zest flavouring. This was made in a 14-inch pan, and I had to make two of these to get it to the right height, then frosted the same as the others.

The day before the wedding all the cakes came out of the freezer and I spread each with another layer of frosting. This helped to smooth the surface of the cakes, which is important because otherwise every little bubble and bump would show through the marzipan. I also made all of the frosted grapes the night before, as I mentioned in last week’s post.

On the big day I was up at 6:00am to get started. We needed to leave around 10:00am to get to the venue on time to set up the cake, so I allotted an hour per cake, with an extra hour to get myself ready since we were also attending the wedding. I started from the bottom and rolled out the marzipan, which I had coloured the day before, for the gouda cake first. It was a good thing I had lots of counter space, because it needed to be rolled out quite large to fit over a 14-inch diameter by 4-inch high cake! It went pretty well, with not too much folding at the bottom, so it was relatively easy to trim and smooth. I then measured where the dowels would need to go to hold up the next layer, inserted them, and trimmed them to the right height.

The brie cake was also pretty straightforward. I rolled out the marzipan, which was still its natural colour, laid it on, trimmed, smoothed, and then rubbed icing sugar all over. The blue cheese wedges took a little more time. I had to roll out and trim a couple different pieces of marzipan to fit, the marbled piece for the flat sides, and plain for the rind. Once trimmed I rubbed icing sugar on the rind. The extra blue part of the cheese I would put on during assembly at the venue.

We got to the venue around 12:00 noon and I went right to work setting it all up. I transferred the gouda to the cutting board first, then carefully transferred the brie on top of that. Then I decorated the blue cheese wedge before setting it on top. I filled the mini wine glasses with the coloured piping gel, then used clear gel to secure them in place next to the blue cheese. Placing all the grapes was pretty time consuming since they had to be placed one by one. Once they were all in, I brushed off any excess icing sugar that dropped during assembly, and set out the crackers and cheese knife. Sounds easy, right? It took about two hours from when I got there to finish the final display.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was so grateful for the opportunity to make this cake. I learned a lot, and it has really inspired me to test out some new recipes, ideas and techniques, and I look forward to whatever the next challenge might be!

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