Last weekend we went to a beautiful wedding of a good friend of ours, at the absolutely stunning Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester. She is such a good friend in fact, Lauren is the one who actually introduced Rob and I!
I’d not had time to make a cake for her hen party a couple of months back, but an invitation to dinner with the bride the night before the wedding was a perfect opportunity for me to make this up. Champagne is one of her absolute favourite things, and pink, and sparkles, so it didn’t take long to decide on this one.
To start with, I baked a rectangular madeira cake, using a printed template of a Moet bottle to ensure it would be big enough. I used the same recipe (and tin, in fact!) as my grandma’s 80th cake, which you can find here.
Once the cake was cool, I used a sharp bread knife, and the same paper template, to cut the cake into the bottle shape:
I also thinned down the neck of the bottle, to give a more realistic and 3D effect.
Next up, and one of the most amazing revelations in my kitchen for a long time, champagne butttercream. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. And so incredibly simple as well. Simply beat together:
– 100g butter
– 250g icing sugar
– 4 tablespoons of champagne
I had a mini bottle of rose champagne which worked absolutely perfectly, and didn’t affect the colour as well. I covered the whole cake in the buttercream, and put in the fridge for about 45 minutes to firm up (and give me time to lick the bowl of champagne buttercream completely clean!)
Transferring the cake over to its presentation board, I covered in a dark green fondant. Because I didn’t want food colouring-stained hands for the wedding, I bought some pre-coloured fondant – the colour I used was Regalice bottle green.
A quick bit of trimming later, the rest of the bottle of champagne came into play as I took a few minutes to admire my work so far, and decide on how to decorate next.
First up was to colour some fondant for the label and foil neck. As I mentioned pink is a big favourite (and I had insider information that it was part of the wedding colour scheme), so I followed suit from the Moet template with a hot pink colour.
For the main part of the label, I wanted to keep it quite simple, with just Lauren’s name. Using some letter stencils, I carefully imprinted the name across the pink fondant, before filling in with an edible ink pen – the one I use is a Rainbow Dust Double-Ended pen – having both the thick and fine nibs was a great help with this cake.
On the top of the label, I carefully printed the champagne name, finishing with a yellow heart dotted with gold edible glitter. I also used a scalloped edge tool to carefully print a tiny dotted line all the way around the edge.
The finished label:
Next up was the neck section of the bottle. Using the same pink fondant, I covered the top section, and added an extra layer around where the cork would be, using a fine knife to create lines to look like foil.
Again my not-so-steady hand got to some writing, isn’t it funny how you can look at a word for so long and it doesn’t seem to be spelt right any more? Thankfully my second set of champagne lettering turned out ok too 🙂
Following the design of my template, I also added a gold-edged black ribbon, and golden round seal. As a memento of the year of the wedding, I printed 2013 onto the gold seal.
You may also spy rather a lot of sparkle – to look like real champagne foil a lot of edible glitter was needed!
For a finishing touch, I added some stems of gold spray pearls (non-edible), coming out the top of the cake, to look like champagne bubbles.
Well I thought it was a pretty good cake, but I’d no idea the bride would love it quite so much! She promptly whisked it away for use in the wedding, alongside their main wedding cake! With the promise that a helpful family member would add the groom’s name; I hadn’t expected her to put it into the wedding at all, I’d have added it myself if I’d even thought…!
But it all made sense when I saw the setup of the wedding breakfast – of course pink did feature, but the tables were also named after champagne brands, how fantastic! And wedding favours as pink fondant fancies, such a lovely idea.
I was a little apprehensive when I heard how the cake had fared – but actually a great job had been made of adding Ian’s name:
Look closely, yes that is actually a post-it note! But I think it looks better and more in keeping than adding on writing icing any other way.
And next to (half of) the main wedding cake – a match made in heaven 🙂
Lovely cakes for such a lovely couple – congratulations again Ian and Lauren! Long may you enjoy the finer things in life together – cake and champagne being a great start 🙂