The shimmering metallic accents on this cake go beautifully with any bride's colour scheme. Look for prepared gum paste and rolled fondant at any cake-decorating supply store. Gum paste mix is also widely available and can be mixed according to package directions for the same result. To give the flowers a curved shape, set them on a plastic artist's paint palette with round wells. Gum paste dries quickly, so by the time you've filled all of the wells, you can begin to remove the flowers to make room for more.
- Portion size 60 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: Best Cakes & Cupcakes Special Issue, 2013
• Flower tool set
• 1/4-inch (5 mm) diameter dowel
• Large cake drum
• 3 cake boards cut into hexagons 1/2 inch (1 cm) smaller than each cake
• Plastic artist's palette with rounded wells
Grease one 12-inch (3 L), one 9-inch (1.75 L) and one 6-inch (750 mL) hexagonal wedding cake pan. Line bottoms and sides with double layer of parchment paper. Set aside.
Butter Cake: Making 3 of the layers at a time, in heavy-duty mixer, beat 1-1/3 cups of the butter with 3 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 6 of the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down bowl after each. Beat in 1 tbsp of the vanilla and 1/2 tsp of the almond extract.
Whisk together 5 cups of the flour, 2 tbsp of the baking powder and 1-1/2 tsp of the salt; add to butter mixture alternately with 2-2/3 cups of the milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk.
Scrape into large and medium pans until half full; scrape into small pan until one-third full. Tap pans on work surface and swirl batter with tip of knife to remove any bubbles. Bake in 350F (180C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes; turn out onto racks and let cool completely. Peel off paper. Repeat to make total of 6 layers. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and overwrap with foil; freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
Royal Icing: In large bowl, beat water with meringue powder until combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in sugar in 4 additions; beat until very stiff, about 4 minutes. Cover with damp towel to prevent drying out. (Make-ahead: Cover towel and bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Buttercream: In food processor, puree strawberries until smooth; press through sieve to remove seeds. Set aside. In large heatproof bowl, whisk egg whites with sugar. Place over smaller saucepan of boiling water; cook, whisking often, until white and thermometer registers 110F (43C), about 1 minute. Remove from heat. With heavy-duty mixer, beat until very cool, about 10 minutes. Add butter, 1/4 cup at a time, beating until satiny. Beat in strawberry puree in 4 additions.
Trim off top of each cake layer to make 1-1/4-inch (3 cm) high layer. Place 1 small layer on cake board; spread top with 1/2 cup buttercream. Top with remaining small layer; spread 2/3 cup buttercream over top and sides, smoothing with spatula.
Repeat with midsize layers, using 3/4 cup buttercream for filling and 1 cup to cover. Repeat with large layers, using 2 cups buttercream for filling and 1-1/2 cups to cover, placing on cake drum. Refrigerate until icing is firm, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely; refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
On cornstarch-dusted work surface, roll out gum paste to 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using various sizes of flower cutters, cut out flowers; shape petals using round ball tool. Place on palette to dry.
In separate bowls, mix 2 tsp each gold and silver powders with enough vodka to make thin paint. Paint onto flowers. Let dry. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container indefinitely.)
Follow How to cover cakes with fondant, using following measurements: large cake,
22 inches (55 cm); medium cake, 19 inches (48 cm); small cake, 16 inches (40 cm).
Place large tier on cake stand. Follow how to build a tiered cake.
Using No. 4 plain tip, pipe royal icing into row of pearl-size beads along bottom edges of each cake.
Pearl paint: Mix 1 tsp white pearl powder with enough vodka to make thin paint. Paint rows of pearls on cake. With remaining royal icing, attach flowers to cake as desired.
To serve, separate tiers. Cut 9-inch (23 cm) hexagon in centre of large cake. Cut border into slices; cut centre into wedges. Cut midsize and small cakes into wedges.