"I'm a diabetic and I've had 4 slices already!"
That was the first feedback we had on Great Northern Larder's first wedding cake. The venue was the beautiful Orange Tree House in Greyabbey, on the Ards Peninsula in Co. Down. The bride was Dawn, a pharmacist who Laura worked with on the Isle of Man a few years ago. The groom was Nick, and the best man and chief bridesmaid were his kids Dylan and Cate.
The order for this wedding cake came in April last year when the first whispers of Great Northern Larder were made online. Dawn was invited to like our Facebook page and within minutes we had a message from her…
"Might be cheeky but can I put in a commission order? For next March 11th....a wedding cake :-)"
We accepted straight away of course. In November we had a tasting for Dawn and Nick and the kids. Laura made Orange and Poppyseed Sponge, Lemon Drizzle Sponge, Chocolate Biscuit Cake, Chocolate Cupcakes, Red Velvet, and Oxford Lunch. The tasting was a great success with Dylan even licking his plate clean. After a bit of debating the chosen layers for the cake were Lemon Drizzle on the base, Blueberry Sponge in the centre, and a light whiskey soaked Oxford Lunch for the top tier.
Over the next five months Laura practiced baking and stacking. We read up on buttercream icing and how to make the perfect semi-naked cake. Baking tins were acquired and many cows were drafted in to supply all the butter we used. Eventually Laura was happy with her recipes and with just two days to go before the big day she started on the cake itself.
Three layers of 12” lemon drizzle sponge with lemon curd and buttercream filling. This layer is moist and tangy and the lemon contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the buttercream.
Three layers of 10” blueberry sponge with blueberry syrup and buttercream filling. The blueberries melted into the sponge giving an explosion of purple colour that tasted as good as it looked.
Three layers of a light and spongey Oxford Lunch. The fruit was soaked in Jack Daniels overnight to give it a sharpness that matched the lemon and blueberry in the other tiers. Using Jack Daniels instead of Irish whiskey gives a little sweet edge to whiskey bite and it works well with the fruit.
On the morning of the wedding the cake was assembled and decorated at the venue. The decoration is a simple semi-naked effect with buttercream icing. The buttercream was whitened as Irish grass-fed butter is very yellow and tastes amazing, but it looks even better when it is lightened. Fondant icing pearls were added around the base of each tier, and the whole cake was given a pearlescent shimmer. Marie Cafolla Flowers in Newtownards provided the flowers and et voila – a cake fit for a princess.
It was a long day from setting up the cake to waiting to taste it at 9pm, but it was well worth it. I have never seen so many people go for seconds at a wedding. The cake was simply delicious.