Wedding cake practice. My sister is getting married in less than two weeks!!! I’m doing the wedding cake and the meal….and am the maid of honor (matron of honor, technically…sounds so old). Don’t worry, I have help with the food! I’m not that crazy! We’re doing a taco bar, lots of prep work, but easy the day of the wedding. Although when I do a final wedding post covering the food and the cake, I might be singing a different tune….
Actually, I think it will be okay…Kris, my cousin, and her husband are all going to help with the food. It will be okay. It will be okay. My mantra for the next two weeks, haha. Actually, Kris and I did the food from my brother’s wedding, and we did fine, so I have some experience…
My sister made my wedding cake, and she has gone on to make some pretty amazing cakes for her friends’ weddings too. She was thinking about making her own wedding cake, but I volunteered. There is so much to do on the actual wedding day, no time to bake your own cake!
The only stipulations for the cake were to make it a sourdough chocolate cake and to use French buttercream frosting. I ate piece yesterday afternoon, and talk about a piece of cake! You could eat this cake for dinner, literally just this cake and nothing else and you’d be satisfied. This is not a typical, light, fluffy bakery cake. This is a rich, heavy, fudgy cake…probably not the typical wedding cake but I love it. I ate a “very small piece” when I got home from work today to see how it held up the second day. Delicious!
I think I’m in love with French buttercream frosting. This is the first time I have ever made it. My sister gave me her recipe. I made the full recipe, all seven cups worth, because I figured it’s better to have too much frosting than not enough…and I wasn’t sure if I could get the mint-green quite right. I think I did pretty good. French buttercream frosting is all egg yolks, a dozen egg yolks to be exact, one egg, sugar syrup, salt, vanilla, and three cups of butter (yes, three cups of butter, that’s six sticks of butter!!!)! No wonder I love it!!! I was a little skeptical as I was making the frosting. At one point it looks a little separated…but then, as you add in the last little bit of butter, it all comes together.
You will need a sourdough starter to make this cake. My sister had pinned a few chocolate sourdough cake recipes and I decide to go with this one from The Gingered Whisk. It’s has espresso powder in it, which I doubled, and I actually think I’ll add more next time. My sister tried the cake and said she wouldn’t mind a little more coffee flavor. Our family is coffee-obsessed. For the filling, I added espresso powder and cocoa powder to the French buttercream and, oh my gosh, so amazing!
I haven’t decided if I’ll make the cake all mint green with the gold accent or maybe just white with the gold. I had wanted to use gold flakes, but I think the craft store was out. So I got little hearts and I think I might like them better than the flakes. The hearts are perfect for a wedding cake!
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup of fed sourdough starter
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of unsalted butter melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 2 large eggs
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups water
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Optional: Garnish with gold sprinkles of choice. To make mint green frosting color the ratio is 2 drops green to 4 drops of yellow to 4 drops of blue.
FOR THE CAKE: In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, flour, and milk. Let sit for 2-3 hours. It will expand a little bit.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Trace three 9" cake pan circles onto parchment paper. Grease three cake pans with butter, place parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pan, grease and then dust with flour to coat the inside of the cake pan, tap out any excess.
Using an electric mixer, beat together sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cocoa, and espresso powder. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
Slowly at the sourdough mixture to the chocolate mixture, with the mixer on slow speed. Continue to mix until well combined.
Divide batter between cake pans.
Bake 20 minutes, turning halfway through, until a toothpick comes out the center without any crumbs or batter. ***cooking time will vary depending on what size of cake pan you use. I did three 9" pans the first time I made the cake and then used an 8" pan and 4" pan for the actual wedding cake pictured.
Let cool on wire rack.
FOR THE FROSTING: In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat, stirring often. Increase the heat to high, boil until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Once the syrup starts boiling, begin whipping the egg yolks and whole egg together in the mixer bowl to ribbon stage. With the mixer running, carefully pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl. Beat in the salt, then continue beating the mixture until it has cooled to room temperature. Slice off small pieces of butter (~1 tbsp) and toss them into the mixer, one at a time. When the buttercream is smooth, beat in the vanilla.