Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Cake Recipe

Today is my 2nd Wedding Anniversary (a date that my wonderful husband never seem to remember), and as I sat here angrily tapping on the keyboard, the rest of the world is rejoicing on the wedding of the century, the fairytale matrimony of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  Here I am as a baker, the first that I wonder about is "OMG! what does their wedding cake look like?"
I somehow obtain the recipe that official baker of the royal wedding cake, British pastry chef Fiona Cairns had used for the Royal Wedding Cake! I'm wonder why they have the recipe posted for the whole world to see...anyways here it is!

Ingredients for the Cake:
  • One 6-inch square (3-inch deep) square cake pan
  • One 8-inch square (3-inch deep) square cake pan
  • One 10-inch square (3-inch deep) square cake pan
  • Double the recipe for Rich Tamarind Fruit Cake batter (recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons brandy, plus more to feed the cake
  • 1 cup apricot jam, gently warmed and pushed through a sieve
  • 6 3/4 pounds marzipan
  • confectioners' sugar, for rolling
Sizes for Cake Boards and Drums:
  • One 8-inch square thin board
  • One 10-inch square thin board
  • One 12-inch square thin board
  • One 6-inch square (1/2-inch thick) cake drum
  • One 8-inch square (1/2-inch thick) cake drum
  • One 10-inch square (1/2-inch thick) cake drum
Preparing the Rich Tamarind Fruit Cake:

Single cake makes 25-30 slices

A Note from Fiona Cairns About the Recipe:

I started my business using this particularly moist, dark recipe as a Christmas cake, producing hundreds of miniatures cooked in baked bean cans from my kitchen table. It has been tweaked by adding tamarind -- my husband's bright idea. Make it up to three months in advance, or at least a week before you want it, to let it mature and absorb the brandy.

Ingredients for the Fruit Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups candied cherries
  • 2 cups golden raisins
  • 2 cups dark raisins, preferably Thompson
  • 1 1/4 cups mixed candied citrus peel
  • 2/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons bitter orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • finely grated zest of 1 organic orange
  • finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 1 heaped tablespoon apple pie spice
  • 6 tablespoons brandy, plus 3 tablespoons to feed the cake
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
    Preparing the Fruit Cake Batter:
The day before, rinse the cherries, then dry them well with paper towels and cut each in half. Place the golden and dark raisins, mixed peel, ginger, currants, cherries, molasses, marmalade, tamarind paste, zests and spice into a large bowl. Pour in 6 tablespoons of brandy, stir well, cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with brown paper and tie with string, to protect the cake from scorching in the oven.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven, shaking once. Cool slightly, chop coarsely and set aside.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. In an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes until it turns pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds, then very gradually the eggs, mixing well between each addition. Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon and then the soaked fruits (and any liquid) and nuts.

Spread the batter into the pan. Bake on an oven rack in the lower third of the oven for about 2 1/2-3 hours. If a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, it is ready. If it browns too much before it is fully cooked, make a circle of foil a bit larger than the cake, pierce a hole in the center and open it up, then place it over the pan.

Lt cool in the pan. Pierce all over with a wooden toothpick and evenly sprinkle over the remaining 3 tablespoons brandy. Remove from the pan and discard the paper. Wrap in fresh parchment paper, then aluminum foil, and let stand for a week or up to three months. Unwrap and sprinkle with with 1 tablespoon more brandy every other week, if you like, for extra succulence and booziness!
Here is the original the recipe!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boy Oh Boy!

        It was just yesterday that I was talking about life's little miracles, then today Hubbie gave me a call saying that our friend Steven's wife Cecilia is going into labor! The horrible contractions started 5am in the morning and carried into the late afternoon, they tried going to the hospital a few times but were sent home everytime because they say she's only 3 cm dilated and not ready yet. But she is in so much pain! Sighs, though I know every mom went through that. So, what happen was Steven gave me a call saying if I can accompany them to the hospital and talk with them in case they don't let her stay. Though when we got there, they checked her right in. (Yessss!)
        There I sat, holding her hands as the contractions came and go leaving her gasping with pain each time. I start wondering how do women in the olden days cooped with the pain?! Most of them have the babies right in their own home and bed! Sometimes with no help at all too!  I remembered there are some cultures where the woman at labor isn't suppose to utter one sound during the whole labor process, wow wow WOW! I definitely cant do that, I remember I was screaming like there is no tomorrow because somehow the epidural only numbed one side of my body.
        Did I mention how much I just hate needles?! Ouch! I flinched as the RN insert the IV needle in her arm and drew out at least 3-4 vials of blood and finally connect it to a bag of IV fluid. Oh my goodness! I don't want to think about it. To cut the story short, I sat with her for a couple hours until after she got her epidural...then I went home.  It's like around 11pm at the moment and I received news that Cecilia is now 8 cm dilated!! Yay! Baby Eric is on the way!!! Yup its a boy!! I can't wait to meet the little one tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Lil One's Lady Bug Cake

Wow it's been a while since I wrote in this blog! Well, to this day I'm still trying to get over the fact that I'm a mommy, sometimes I just stare blankly at my little precious mini-hubbie (gosh, an exact copy of my husband!) standing right in front of me, wondering how miraculous life can be.  This little being that came from my tummy...made from my own flesh and blood, yet I wonder how can something this little and this innocent can drive you up the wall, and could melt my heart with a simple hug or kiss the next minute. ^^

My baby girl, her name is Evelynn, will soon turn 2 in just about a month & 1/2!! wow! I cant believe how fast time flies! (I bet every mom says that, hehe) Anyways...I'm just very excited because I'm planning to organize a birthday party for her with a UNDER the SEA theme w/ mermaids & treasures, I just feel sad that I haven't celebrate her 1st birthday! I regret it so much. I'll try to make this year's birthday extra special to make up.  I cant believe I only made her a cake once,(shown below)  its to honor her 6th month in this world.