Amy and Lisa's Wedding Cake.
I met Lisa and Amy back when I was sponsoring - and later volunteering for - the Twin Cities Pride Festival. Sweet people and an adorable couple, I promised that I would make their wedding cake some day.
As this was LONG before I announced my retirement from cakes, I made an exception to my “No more cakes!” vow, and created the cake for their wedding this past weekend. I also had the honor of shooting the wedding with my husband... an exception to our “No more wedding photography!” vow!
The wedding was one of exceptions. It was exceptionally hot - the ceremony was in the sunken garden area of the Como Conservatory, and - as a greenhouse - it was even warmer inside than it was outside. The couple and their wedding party were exceptionally laid back and fun. For my husband and I - not the most comfortable with people in general - it was exceptionally comfortable for us, knowing a LOT of the people involved. The ceremony was exceptionally beautiful, presided over by a fellow Pride colleague.
To get married, Amy and Lisa had to face exceptional circumstances - they needed to first go to Iowa and get married there, as gay marriage is still not recognized in Minnesota.
As a result, the family and friends in attendance were exceptionally loving and supportive. Most weddings involve the love and support of families, but not in the thick, warm, and completely palpable way that this wedding did.
It was unlike any wedding we’ve ever attended. For our very last wedding to photograph... it was exceptional.
Of course, an exceptional wedding requires an exceptional cake! For Lisa and Amy, I created a custom flavor: Amaretto cake with raspberry-dark chocolate ganache and raspberry mascarpone swiss meringue buttercream!
The cake was covered and draped with custom tinted handmade fondant - colored to match one of their bridesmaid dress colors. It featured handpainted sugarpaste stargazer lilies, and was adorned with silk butterflies upon its arrival at the reception.
The reception was unique and beautiful - emotional speeches by family members, a tour of the caves at the reception facility (The Wasbasha Street Caves), and just a whole lot of fabulousness.
Now, because Lisa brought it up in her speech at the reception - I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the Minnesota Gay Marriage amendment.
I understand that some people were brought up in very different environments than I was, and may have a hard time wrapping their heads around something that they’ve had little exposure to - especially if that exposure came almost entirely as fear propaganda against that “something”.
What I don’t understand is voting against extending basic rights - and happiness - to your fellow human beings, whatever your orientation is. I can’t wrap my head around what misery a person would have to live with, in order to actively campaign against the HARMLESS rights of others. Happy, healthy, and well adjusted people don’t do that kind of thing.
I may not legally be able to vote in time for the next election ... but when the time comes, I hope that you, my readers, will have the love in your hearts for your fellow human beings to vote NO on the amendment.
Stand on the side of Love... I do!
Speaking of love... this cake is “Love at first Bite”. Cliche, maybe.. But oh so true.
Lisa & Amy’s Wedding Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 ¼ cups sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp Salt
3 ½ oz instant vanilla pudding mix
¾ cup water
¾ cup Amaretto
1 ½ cups butter, melted
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
12 oz Good quality dark chocolate chips
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp Chambord liqueur
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 recipe Swiss meringue buttercream
8 oz Mascarpone cheese
1 Tbsp Chambord liqueur
~ 1 cup fresh raspberries, smashed or pureed
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Liberally grease two 8" round cake pans with vegetable shortening, and/or spray with baking spray.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add in eggs, water, and amaretto, beating just until smooth.Carefully add melted butter and vanilla to the batter, mixing on medium
speed until smooth. Divide batter among prepared cake pans.
Bake until golden and knife inserted into center of batter comes out clean and cake springs back - about 45-60 minutes. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning cakes out onto baking rack to cool fully. Ideally, allow to cool to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Allow cake to sit overnight
The next day:
Place chocolate chips into a glass mixing bowl, and put aside. In a small saucepan, combine heavy whipping cream, Chambord, butter, and sugar. Heat to a boil, remove from heat. Pour hot cream mixture into bowl of chocolate chips. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Starting in the middle of the bowl, slowly start stirring the chocolate and cream until all of the chocolate is melted and the cream has disappeared into it – it should be smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap, allow to cool to almost room temperature.
Prepare batch of Swiss meringue buttercream, flavoring with mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and Chambord. Once liquids are fully incorporated into the frosting, add raspberries and continue to beat until broken up and well blended.
To assemble cake:
Remove plastic wrap from cake layers. Carefully slice the domed top off each round, leveling the surface of the cake. Carefully cut each cake in half, horizontally, for 4 thin rounds of cake in all.
To assemble cake layers, spread each cake layer with warm ganache*, then spread generously with raspberry mascarpone buttercream. Once final layer is placed, smooth any frosting that may have bulged from between cake layers.
Chill for 30 minutes before frosting sides and top of cake with remaining buttercream. Serve at room temperature.
* If ganache doesn't spread easily, heat for 5-10 seconds in the microwave and stir well before spreading.
Note: This cake gets VERY hard when chilled. Always serve cakes at room temperature! Cold cake is DRY cake..
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