5 show-stopping DIY wedding cakes - Wedding Album

5 show-stopping DIY wedding cakes

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Thinking of making your own wedding cake? With our help, it won’t be as daunting as it seems. We also know that you have flavours you go back to time and time again, but it’s your wedding day, the day to make a splash and to treat your guests, and yourself, to something extra special.

1. FRENCH VANILLA AND LAVENDER CAKE WITH CARAMELISED WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE AND SALTED CARAMEL

INGREDIENTS
For the French vanilla and lavender sponge
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2½ cups flour
1 cup milk
¾ cup vegetable oil
2¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp lavender essence (ask for it at your local baking store)
1½ cups white sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the caramelised white chocolate
200g white chocolate
200 ml cream
½ tsp salt
For the salted caramel
¼ cup water
200g white sugar
160 ml cream
45g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp salt

METHOD
For the French vanilla and lavender sponge
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 23 cm round cake tins.
2. Whisk sugar and eggs together until pale. Add flour, milk, oil, baking powder, vanilla and lavender. Beat for 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Don’t overbeat.
3. Pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4. Place sugar, water and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve.
5. Poke holes in the sponge and pour the syrup over the still-hot cake. Cool completely.
For the caramelised white chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 130°C.
2. Place the white chocolate on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes. Take it out every 10 minutes to mix.
3. Once the chocolate has reached a deep golden colour, remove and place in a pot with the cream and salt. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.
For the salted caramel
1. In a medium pot over medium heat, heat the water and sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and starts to bubble.
2. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stop stirring completely. Let the mixture continue boiling until it turns an amber colour (this can take between 6–10 minutes).
3. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream, working very carefully. Finally, mix in the butter, vanilla essence and salt.

2. PINK CHAMPAGNE CAKE WITH VANILLA PASTRY CREAM AND CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM

INGREDIENTS
For the pink Champagne sponge
345g flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
150g butter, softened
325g caster sugar
3-5 drops soft pink gel food colouring
250 ml Champagne
6 egg whites
½ tsp vanilla essence
For the vanilla pastry cream
1½ cups cream
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Champagne buttercream
115g butter, softened
380g icing sugar, sifted
155 ml sparkling white wine

METHOD
For the pink Champagne sponge
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line three 23 cm round cake tins.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until very light and pale. Mix in the food colouring.
4. Alternating between flour mixture and Champagne, combine and blend into the creamed butter mixture, until just mixed.
5. In a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the mixture in three additions.’
6. Divide evenly into your prepared pans. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins.
For the vanilla pastry cream
1. Warm the cream in a pot until boiling point, then remove from heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks to form a thick paste.
3. Pour a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Continue slowly adding the cream, whisking continuously. Then pour everything back into the pot.
4. Cook over medium heat, whisking continually. When thickened, add the vanilla.
5. Pass through a sieve to ensure a smooth consistency.
For the Champagne buttercream
1. Beat butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the sifted icing sugar.
2. When the mixture starts to get too thick to mix smoothly, start adding the sparkling wine in three batches, before mixing in more icing sugar.
3. Continue to beat in icing sugar, and sparkling white wine, until all of the icing sugar is incorporated and desired consistency is reached.

3. PINOT NOIR CAKE WITH DARK CHOCOLATE ITALIAN PASTRY CREAM AND CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM

INGREDIENTS
For the Pinot Noir sponge
400 ml Pinot Noir
½ cup sugar
3-4 drops red food colouring (optional)
400g white sugar
⅔ cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g cake flour
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120 ml buttermilk
110g sour cream
For the dark chocolate Italian pastry cream
100g dark chocolate
¾ cup full-cream milk
¾ cup cream
4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
For the chocolate espresso buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
2-3 tsp vanilla essence
3-4 tbsp espresso
½ cup ground coffee, optional

METHOD
For the Pinot Noir sponge
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and flour three 23 cm cake tins.
2. Start the syrup by placing the Pinot Noir and the ½ cup sugar in a pot. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Mix in the food colouring.
3. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla for one minute until combined. Sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb. Whisk until just combined.
4. Whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and Pinot Noir syrup until combined. Gradually add the sugar and flour mixture.
5. Divide between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then turn out on to wire racks to cool.
For the dark chocolate Italian pastry cream
1. Melt chocolate either in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. Set aside to cool to warm.
2. In a pot, heat the milk and cream (do not boil). Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and flour. Pour a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Then slowly add the rest, whisking continuously. Pour everything back into the pot over medium heat and whisk until thickened.
4. Fold in the melted chocolate.
For the chocolate espresso buttercream
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat for 5-7 minutes, until light and fluffy.
2. Add more icing sugar if you want a heavier icing, or a dash of milk to thin it out.

4. HUMMINGBIRD CAKE WITH POPPYSEED CREAM CHEESE AND SALTED HONEY BUTTERCREAM

INGREDIENTS
For the hummingbird sponge
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
370g cake flour
1 tsp  bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp salt
2 cups mashed banana (4 ripe bananas)
230g crushed pineapple
3 large eggs, at room temperature
160 ml vegetable oil
350g brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
For the poppyseed cream cheese
230g cream cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp poppy seeds
¼ cup icing sugar
For the salted honey buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
5 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
75 ml cream
4 tbsp honey, optional
½ tsp sea salt flakes

METHOD
For the hummingbird sponge
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2. Spread the nuts on a lined baking tray. Toast for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
3. Turn oven up to 180°C. Grease and lightly flour three 23 cm cake tins.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
5. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until just combined.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until completely combined. Fold in the toasted nuts.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
8. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tins set on a wire rack.
For the poppyseed cream cheese
1. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.
For the salted honey buttercream
1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Beat for 5-7 minutes, until light and fluffy.

5. CHOCOLATE MUD CAKE WITH GRAPEFRUIT CURD AND ITALIAN MERINGUE

INGREDIENTS
For the chocolate mud sponge
1 cup unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate (we used 70%)
2 cups white sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
300 ml strong hot coffee
1 tbsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs
285g flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
For the grapefruit curd
¼ cup cornflour
2 cups grapefruit juice
6 egg yolks
Zest of 1 grapefruit
1¼ cups white sugar
¼ tsp salt
200g chilled butter
For the Italian meringue
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 tbsp icing sugar

METHOD
For the chocolate mud sponge
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line three round 23 cm cake tins.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave-proof bowl. Whisk every 30 seconds until completely melted.
3. Whisk in the sugar followed by the cocoa powder, until fully incorporated.
4. Slowly add hot coffee and vanilla whisking until smooth.
5. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
6. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a large mixer bowl. Gradually pour in the chocolate mixture. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
7. Pour into cake tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the grapefruit curd
1. Make a slurry with the cornflour and ½ cup of the grapefruit juice. Set aside.
2. Mix the egg yolks, zest, sugar, salt and the rest of the grapefruit juice in a pot. Place on medium heat and bring to the boil.
3. Slowly add the cornflour mixture and allow to thicken for 2–3 minutes, whisking continuously.
4. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.
For the Italian meringue
1. Place the egg whites in a clean, dry glass bowl. Beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form.Whisk in ¼ cup of the sugar to stabilise.
2. In a pot, combine water and ¾ cup sugar and place over medium heat. The syrup is ready when thin threads of syrup form when lifting a dipped-in spoon and the last few drops stay on the spoon.
3. Immediately start adding it to the egg whites in a thin stream, while beating on high.
4. Beat for a further 5 minutes on low to cool down, then add the icing sugar.

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