Our Wedding Cake

Whenever I thought about my wedding day I didn’t picture my dress or imagine getting married in the church I grew up in, I thought about the food. I daydreamed about the various courses and the flow of the meal, what types of sauces would be drizzled over the entrees and what desserts would sweeten the whole event. Desserts turned from a simple plate to finish the meal to an entire dessert table featuring cookies, tarts and candy all centered around The Cake. I used to naively think that I would make my own wedding cake. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to show my friends and family all the skills and efforts that I possessed, someone who started baking as a hobby but had become skilled enough to tackle a feat like this.

After we got engaged I realized this was a ridiculous undertaking. I never fully realized how much went into planning a wedding and how much of it has to be done closer to the day. I have never made a multi-tiered cake before and it would be crazy to think of doing this for the first time the week of my wedding. If I failed, where would we get a cake of that size and beauty that would be substantial enough for our wedding?

Although this was a sad realization it meant that we could do cake tastings. Is there anything better than eating cake for free? I don’t think so. I went to a bridal show at the start of January with my entire family (that started as a nightmare and is a whole other story) and was able to sample three bakeries. I then researched Toronto bakeries (this list by BlogTO is a good starting point but it is out of date – Bakerbots is currently not taking orders and Cake Opera no longer exists) and started setting up appointments.

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Blog Crush – Brown Eyed Baker

I have a new blog crush and her name is Brown Eyed Baker. I came across BEB about a year ago when I first made her delicious and ridiculous St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes. Since then, order I have been following her religious, click salivating over her recipes and hoarding them. In the past month, help I have made three of her recipes. I think I can easily say that I am addicted.

First I made her Sesame Chicken.

Photo Credit: Brown Eyed Baker

This was a big milestone for me as a cook because it gave me the opportunity to deep fry for the first time. That’s right: I had never actually deep fried anything because I was absolutely terrified of vats of boiling oil, a valid fear in my opinion. With my trusty thermometer in hand and GC by my side I conquered this fear.

This dish was delicious and has led me to believe that I can make American-style Chinese food at home. The chicken was crispy but not greasy, moist and juicy and smothered in a tangy, sweet sauce that has a slight nuttiness from the sesame oil and seeds. One thing I do need to get better with is making rice. I know, I know. You are probably thinking, “Audrey, you have a food blog. How can you possibly not be able to make rice?” I get impatient and worry about it crusting to the bottom of my pans.

Then I made her Bourbon Slush.

Photo Credit: Brown Eyed Baker

I made this last week for a night in at our friends’ place. This was a citrus, sweet blend that added a nice frosty touch to your traditional cocktail. The bourbon flavor was subtle but present. On a cold winter day this was just the thing to keep us toasty and warm. If you are not a bourbon or hard liquor drinker, you will still enjoy this cocktail. If you have the time and the foresight to plan, you should give this recipe a try.

And lastly, I made her Black Forest Cheesecake.

Holy smokes. This cake is ridiculous, rich, and luscious and everything you could ever want in a cheesecake. I think a little part of me died it was so amazing. It is not a cheesecake for the faint of heart as it is decadent and may induce heart palpitations. This cake should probably only be enjoyed on special occasions and not random Thursday nights.

I loved all three of these recipes and they will definitely be making a regular appearance in my kitchen. I will admit that they are slightly time consuming and may result in your house smelling like the Food Pavilion of the Ex (an actual description of my kitchen by GC after making sesame chicken) but they are worth your time, effort, and calories.

Happy munching!