In the week leading up to our departure, I figured out a plan and tried a few recipes. I decided on a three tiered cake as follows: 12 " chocolate cake, 9" vanilla cake, both three layers with fillings of dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse, and a 6" half chocolate and half vanilla cake with dark chocolate mousse for the bride and groom to keep. The whole cake would be iced in a white chocolate buttercream. For my first cake, I was certainly not going with fondant and, besides, who even likes the taste of fondant anyway!
Luckily Deb Perelman, the genius behind Smitten Kitchen, already jumped into her own wedding cake project, making it easier for the rest of us. You can find her whole story as well as both the chocolate and vanilla cake recipes here. I must note, however, for the chocolate cake I added half the cinnamon and a few extra tablespoons of cocoa. i like my chocolate rich! In order to maximize our time, the cakes were baked two days prior. After they got brushed with a syrup of vanilla, sugar and Galliano for the vanilla cake, and coffee, Kahlua and sugar for the chocolate, they were wrapped tightly in plastic wrap,and refrigerated til the big day.
The chocolate mousse was adapted from an Alton Brown recipe on the Food Network but I did make some changes: I substituted Kahlua for the rum, used 2/3 extra dark chocolate and 1/3 milk chocolate, and added some brown sugar to adjust the sweetness plus a good pinch of sea salt. The result was rich and chocolatey with great coffee undertones. For the white chocolate mousse, I simply used white chocolate in place of the chocolate, vanilla for the Kahlua, but added more whipped cream to account for the sweetness. It was a fluffier, lighter tasting mousse that complimented the dark nicely.
As for the buttercream, I simply went for it. Butter, icing sugar, clear vanilla, lemon juice, cream, and some white chocolate. I made two batches, giving the sister-in-law's KitchenAid a run for its money, and adjusting the taste as I went. Yes, it was mad sweet but when combined with the cake and mousse, it totally worked. I kinda ran out of time and was icing the cake the morning of the wedding. Yup, shit got real. But luckily, I have the world's best boyfriend and he helped me every step of the way. We delivered the cake in layers before the wedding, doing the final assembly and decoration before the reception.
|even better plating for the bride|