I was super excited when my cousin announced she was getting married. I was even more excited when she asked me to make their wedding cake! After some discussion, she and her fiancé were have to give me free reign with the design as long as it represented Whistler, where they met. Now that sounds like a brilliant thing, but when you have complete freedom, you want to do everything you can think of! They had ordered customised cake toppers from Itty Bitty Wood Shoppe, which gave me a starting point for the look of the cake.
I decided to make the cake look like the mountain as well. Not quite a novelty cake shape, but topsy turvy so that it looked like mountains but in a more elegant way. As an extra challenge, the cake was to be dairy free and low fat. My mum took over the baking and modified the recipes a bit so they would hold up to the carving and stacking needed.
I did some of the advanced decorating myself at home to test out ideas, and roped in dad to help with it too. Making sign posts was more a test of getting the colours right, and came together fairly quickly. Making the right kind of trees was a whole other story. I found this really handy website with 10 ways of making trees which was a great starting point. But even so, none of the trees looked right for the image I was working to. I had recently purchased an extruder, which lets you make strings of sugarpaste. And so I hit on the idea of using this to make the trees. I might have under estimated exactly how long it would take to make trees this way, so my dad spent a fair bit of time helping to make a miniature forest.
The building of the cake happened at my mum’s house, so I lugged my supplies and ganache over to their house. I was impressed I managed just one trip from the car, mum was surprised by how quickly I took over the whole kitchen.
First up was carving all of the cakes. I judged it by eye especially as I wanted a bit of a rough result to keep the mountain theme going. The top tier had to stay flat for the toppers to go on.
Everything then got covered in ganache, made of either white chocolate or dark chocolate. Quite a bit of the kitchen got covered in ganache as well. It is a scary thing working with dark chocolate next to white chocolate, and next to white sugarpaste, but we managed without any mess.
Sugarpasting the cakes was a bit of a challenge. Not only were they reasonably big – apart from the 6 inch cake, there was a 9 and a 12 inch cake – but the lip from carving them makes it trickier to cover.
With that done, the cakes needed stacked. Although similar to stacking a regular shaped cake, the topsy turvy needs to be stacked so the angles look good as well.
The next stage was the decorating, the less technical and more creative part of doing the cake. The first part was to add the snow, made from royal icing. This also acted as the decoration to hide the joins.
Next up was adding the little Inukshuks and the trees. We had the toppers on so we could see how everything fitted together.
Details like the leaves, snowboard and signs were going to be added at the venue, as they were a bit more fragile. I travelled with my ‘assistants’ before the wedding, equipped with a wee emergency kit just in case of any disasters. Thankfully though, there were no problems. I had ordered an extra strong, large box from Catherine Scott to transport the cake in, much better than the normal thin cake boxes you get.
With the cake set up at The Vu, all that was left was for the bride and groom to see the cake – thankfully they loved it too!