Heroic Wedding Cake
This time last week, I was attending my cousin's wedding at the beautiful Ringwood Hall in Derbyshire. Usually, I arrive in advance of the wedding, set up the cake and then leave without seeing the bride but this time I got to stay! The sun shone and the bride & groom looked so happy as they took their vows and then celebrated with everyone. Felicity wore a gorgeous beaded gown, the bridesmaids were in long, floaty sage green dresses and the men looked very dapper in their full suits & buttonholes.
Closer inspection, however, revealed quirky touches... A Lego 'Iron Man' in the groom's buttonhole... Silver hammer 'Thor' cufflinks on the Father of the Bride... Oh and the date of the wedding? May the fourth...
When Felicity first asked me to make her wedding cake, I had no idea of the direction it would take. It clearly needed a super hero element to keep husband-to-be Stuart happy, but it also needed to be 'weddingy' and I wanted to inject some of my style into it as well to make it truly unique.
Once I was happy with the design and had the go-ahead from the couple, it was time to start on the Marvel element - The Hulk's fist! I have seen many a super hero cake (mainly for kid's birthdays!) but never made The Hulk's fist before. After consulting the oracle that is Google, I opted to use Rice Krispies & Marshmallow to model the hand with as it is light and relatively easy to manipulate. I've documented the making of 'the fist' in photos should anyone wish to have a go.
First you need to make a rough fist shape and cut out a ledge where the fingers tuck under themselves.
Using a modelling tool (or the back of a knife), carve the fingers then using the piece you cut away, shape the thumb & stick in place.
Next, cover the hand in buttercream to smooth the surface. Refrigerate then add a second layer to get rid of any bumps or hollows.
Now you need to colour some fondant and roll it out big enough to be able to completely cover the fist. You need to work quite quickly here so that the fondant doesn't dry out & crack, but equally, you need to be very careful as you work the fondant into all the creases so that you don't tear it. I found that using my hands for this bit (rather than a modelling tool) kept the fondant pliable & smooth.
To add the nail detail, knuckle lines and palm creases I did use a modelling tool but only with light pressure. I used my own clenched fist as a guide to where the lines & creases needed to go!
After a couple of hours, I mixed a small amount of black food colouring with some water and picked out the detail of the nails & creases. The final touch was to use a clear edible glaze spray to seal the colour, protect the exterior and add shine. Et voila! An edible Hulk's fist ready to top the wedding cake.
Felicity & Stuart chose a classic Victoria sponge for the bottom tier which had a simple, semi-naked finish. The middle tier was a rich chocolate cake and the top tier was a tasty salted caramel sponge.
To bring all the elements of the wedding cake together, I hand painted the fondant on the middle tier with a light green watercolour wash. I used my favourite Squire Kitchen edible paints by Natasha Collins and built up the layers to give a delicate ombre effect. Felicity had given me some off-cuts from the bridesmaid's dresses so I used some of these as a sash to tie around the base of the middle tier and drape over the bottom tier.
I absolutely LOVE these delicate shades of green teamed with the organza ribbon around the top tier, the bridesmaid's dress material around the middle tier and some eucalyptus tucked in.
To add the fist to the top of the cake, I cut slices in the surface of the fondant on the top tier and folded them back. Then to complete the drama, I cut lots of triangular white icing shards and attached them to the top and sides of the cake, sticking out at different angles. These helped to bring the explosion of the fist into the design of the cake as well as adding movement and a modern twist.
The final details were the flowers. Some gorgeous pale pink roses, forget-me-nots and daisies.
A truly unique cake that suited this happy & laid back couple down to the ground.
Congratulations Felicity & Stuart!