Sunday, July 26, 2009

Anatomy of an Engagement Cake

My lovely friend Jen (of the big variety, not of the small who was married in June) is engaged to Ryan, and on Saturday we all got together to celebrate this! Jen and Ryan asked me to make their engagement cake. I was honoured, and or course said yes. How fabulous to be able to make a vegan engagement cake! Hurrah! Here is what followed...


First up, one needs a flavour. I gave Jen a list of options, and I made some cupcakes for her top picks. This cupcake was the winner. It is a Chocolate Peanut Butter Heavencake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. A chocolate cupcake with the middle pulled out to make a hole which is then filled with Peanut Buttercream and topped off with Ganache. Nom!


How big would the cake need to be? Apparently enough for around about 130 people. The biggest pan I had was a 9x13 inch, but it is more of a pan than a proper cake tin. Also, not big enough! I found this fabulous website, Simply Cake Tin Hire, a lady who lives near me and has a zillion types of cake tins that you can just hire. Hurrah! I was originally going to get the 12x18 inch pan, but alas I found out that my oven is only 17 inches wide! So I hired her 9x13 inch tin, which was much better than mine with its tall sides and super sharp and straight edges. And I decided I would have to put two together to make a giant 13x18 inch cake.


Ingredients! The concept for the cake was to be a two layered cake with Peanut Buttercream in between the layers and all over the top and sides, then smothered in Ganache. Nom! First step - making the cake. Or cakes. I would need to make 4. The recipe I decided to use for the cake was the Chocolate Cake recipe from The Joy Of Vegan Baking.


And here are the ingredients all mixed up and in their tin and about to go into the oven to become...


Cake! Wonderful cake! Cake that I then had to cut 1 inch off the edge of to make them 8x13 inch, otherwise they would be too big for the cake board. I got a 18x18 inch board to display my cake, the biggest I could. Sadly, this meant that the cake in its entirety on the cake board would be too big to fit into anyone's fridge. Meep. So I would have to create and store it in two halves until the day arrived.


I used the Peanut Buttercream Filling and Frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I made a triple batch, which was enough to fill and ice the cake with a bit left over for decorations. So, once one has put on the frosting, one must add...


The Ganache! The recipe is the one used in the Chocolate Raspberry Blackout Cake from Vegan With A Vengeance. I made one batch which just covered the cake for its first layer of ganache. I then popped them on some baking paper on a cookie sheet...


... and covered it with an upturned cupcake carrier, minus the cupcake carrying insert. A perfect fit and kept my cakes safe and sound on the journey of to Jen's. Where I would say goodbye to them until the following day.


Where I had to carefully assemble the two halves on the cakeboard. I was terrified that it would just all fall apart. Amazingly it did not! So we had one big cake!


Which I then proceeded to tart up with lots more Ganache and some piped on Peanut Buttercream frosting. It was not the absolute perfection that I was after, but it was reasonably impressive, if I do say so.


And here is the happy couple, about to massacre my life's work. Well, my work of the last three days. Hurrah for Jen and Ryan!


And a tasty slice of cake on a napkin. And may I say, it was NOM! What did other people think?


Well, I departed shortly after the cake and there was only this little bit left. Apparently people really liked it, and a few even wanted the recipe! No doubt many people there never knew that vegan could taste so good... and so naughty!

So, all in all it was an experience! The end result was pretty gratifying, though I don't know that I would be in a hurry to make a cake of this size too soon. Hee.

Happy engagement to Jen and Ryan!

7 comments:

kristy said...

Looks amazing, I've never heard or thought about cake tin hire, but that's a great idea.

Jeni Treehugger said...

WOAH that looks one helluva Cake. It must feel great making something like that for so many people!
And I'm loving the Cake tin hire lady - what a cool idea.

Mandee said...

Brilliant work, the cake looks fantastic and I am glad it worked out so well and that the couple liked it :)

steph said...

Oh wow, that looks fantastic! I am so intrigued by cake tin hire, that's interesting.

Sal said...

that cake looks amazing!! chocolate and pb is one of my favourite cake combos!

vegan.in.brighton said...

What an awesome looking cake.

Vegetation said...

Wow! That is one impressively massive cake!! I'd be too terrified to make one that big! Cupcakes are about as good as it gets around here and even then I manage to muck them up frequently!