So many reasons to be thankful and happy.. so many reasons to wake up with a smile on our faces.. so many reasons to laugh, dance and celebrate. It is summer, the sun is shining, most of us live in a peaceful country, many are on vacation, friends are getting married or bring a little human being into this world..
AND we won the world cup. I am still in shock! We were waiting for this to happen for the last 24 years – often enough close to the final, close to holding the cup in “our” hands, close to jump up and down singing songs with a hundred foreign people wearing “Deutschland” Jerseys, yet not so foreign after all, cause at the end we all shared the dream of being world champions for the next four years. Friends in our black-red-golden hearts. The world cup is over and it was wonderful. Thank you Germany for this great team and for the last couple of weeks.
Yes, there are many more things I could say thank you for. Like my mom, who is always trying to help and was a huge help when I started my biggest baking project. Talking about summer and weddings and all that.. remember I mentioned the wedding I was baking for a few weeks ago? I said I would post the pictures as soon as I get the photos from the bride. Thinking about it makes me smile, but I know that during those days back in may, I was exhausted, tired and a wreck. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every minute of this project, simply because it was mine. There is a huge difference in doing something you love to complete exhaustion and doing something you hate.. which exhausts you faster anyway. People around me said, I should never do a project like this again, but at the same time many realized that I was happy at the end. It is the result that counts and that makes the way there enjoyable.
When my friend asked me whether I would like to bake for her wedding, I was honored and frightened at the same time. When she told me what she had in mind.. nope.. that didn’t help to take away my fears. With sparkling eyes she announced that there would be no traditional cake. Instead she raved about the cake pops I made when I left the company I was working for. A cake pop wedding cake was her desired unconventional wedding treat. A challenge. I made cake pops, I made cakes.. but combined is a different story. Along with the “cake” I would make three different kinds of cupcakes and hope that this amount would be enough for all the guests.
For the cake we agreed on Styrofoam dummies as a base. We ordered them on amazon, but you can get them on any cake website. We ordered three different sizes, each layer planned for one cake pop flavor. I made enough fondant to cover all of the three layers, because I did not want to leave it with its ugly Styrofoam surface. On top of that I also planned a small chocolate cake for the top, so the bridal couple would have something to cut.. it would be a little difficult to do that with a tiny cake pop 😉 Because both of them are huge chocolate fans, the upper cake had to be chocolate. I made my usual chocolate cake with my pudding butter cream filling. For the cake pop layers, I made the three kinds posted in this post – vanilla, chocolate, lemon. Of course there also had to be chocolate cupcakes, along with lemon ones and peach ones, to cover the fruity flavors (recipe for the peach ones will follow. The other ones are already posted here).
A week before the actual date I started to prepare the decoration. Because the bride likes peonies, this was the flower of choice. Not an easy one and I never tried it before, but I think they came out ok (considering that I did not have the cutters and was just improvising a little with cutters I had from making Christmas cookies, I think they came out really good 😉 ). I used a lot of gum paste and eventually started to use Styrofoam balls for the center, in order to use less gum paste (one of those balls can make a whole flower, so it is kind of waste, especially since nobody is going to eat it anyway). Additional little flowers were made for the cupcakes and cake pops. Two days before the wedding, my helping hand – mom – arrived. With tons of flour, sugar, butter, four packages of eggs, around 20 packages of chocolate and many ingredients more we made 240 cake pops, rolled them, covered them with chocolate and decorated them. It took us two full days and nights, until the cake pops were ready to go.
The wedding day arrived and we were eager to finish the cake. Styrofoam sounds easy, but trust me: it is not! Sticking the cake pops inside turned out to be a little tricky. We tried, but the cake pops are very fragile and easy to smash. With a screwdriver we estimated the positions of the cake pops and made holes into the lowest Styrofoam cake. We thought we sorted it out, but after the second or third cake pop, we realized we have been wrong on most of the positions. We had to make all the holes before sticking the cake pops in, because it took a lot of effort and shaking and moving, which would smash the cake pops. A few trials and a perforated Styrofoam cake later, the lowest layer was cake popped 😉 The two upper layers were not much easier. It took us quite a while to fill the three layers with cake pops and some of them were smashed, so if you ever plan to make a cake like this, plan enough time and enough spare cake pops. With some fondant we made a pearl border for the edges of each layer, put the chocolate cake on top and decorated the cake with the peonies. It sounds like a quick and easy peasy kind of cake.. well.. it is not 😉 After days and nights of work, my mom and I delivered the cake at the wedding, decorated the cupcakes (I decided to do it right there, so I would not have to worry about temperature or transport of the cupcakes) and were happy to see the smiling faces of the bridal couple and all the guests.
Although I was tired, my heart was filled with joy. When I listen to my mom telling people about these couple of days, I smile, hearing her say: ” We didn’t sleep, we worked day and night and we were so tired, but then you see those two smile at you and you see how happy they are about what we did and all is forgotten”. I could not say it better.
Thank you Maria and Tim for this challenge and your trust in me.