The Wedding Cake
What to do, what to do? There are so many options and, unusually for a bride, she hasn’t given any guidance – beyond a very simple ‘classic but with a modern twist’. Ok, then.
As I always do, I preheat the oven, roll up my sleeves and sprinkle a heavy dusting of flour across my marble worktop. It helps me think.
If she wants classic, then it’s got to be ostensibly white and featuring some tiers. Perhaps it could look relatively simple and traditional on the outside, but the ‘twist’ could be in the flavouring?
Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Calmly, almost robotically – I have done this a million times at work – I start to measure out the flour and grease the cake tins. Normally I listen to Radio 4 while I bake, but today opera seems appropriate.
There’s something rather therapeutic about viciously rolling out icing. I accidentally tear holes in a large portion of it and have to start again.
While I fashion the sugar flowers which will appear in twee little bouquets trailing all the way down the layers, I start thinking about the filling. Ginger and lemongrass is quite popular at the moment. Passionfruit and bergamot is also up there…anything light and fragrant, heavy fruitcakes and chocolate fudges are definitely out this season. A pity, they’re so easy to get right…
Every wedding cake has to be perfect – which makes this one tricky when I don’t really know exactly what the bride wants.
At times like these, I get my inspiration by thinking about the bride and throwing in the ingredients that spring to mind.
Ha, well this will be easy! Let’s start with a nice big tablespoon of spite. Because you don’t take another’s woman husband away on her birthday, in front of her kids without being a wee bit spiteful. There’s a time and a place, after all.
Then let’s add a sprig of malice. A nice mound of grated jealousy, a soupçon of revenge, a pinch of bad feeling, a hefty layer of karma, several tablespoons of acrimony, a long hard squirt of deadly nightshade and a sugar icing made from myrrh (for bitterness).
What on earth would possess a man to ask his first wife to lovingly bake a perfect cake for his wedding to the second?