Wonky cakes are designed to be exactly the opposite of traditional cakes, with their straight sides and flat tops. Instead Wonky cakes have both sloping sides and top. This type of cake is usually round, and preferably a fruit or Madeira mix – and ideally four inches deep. An electric carving knife comes in handy when cutting cakes. It makes a clean cut and is quick to use. Some types of cake start to crumble when cut, so freezing them for an hour or two will make them easier to handle.
There are two ways of making cakes look ‘wonky’ one design is more extreme than the other 蛋糕訂購, as not only are the cakes wider at the top than the bottom, but they also look as if they are about to topple over! To arrive at this shape place a thin cake board, 2″ smaller than the size of the cake – or use a saucer, of the same size – in the centre of the top surface of the cake.
Then, starting at the edge of the card carefully cut the cake so that it gently slopes from the top down to the base, which should be end up 2″ wider than the top. Next turn the cake upside down so now the wide surface is now at the top. Then cut the top edge of the cake into a small curve. Your cake should now resemble a traditional plant pot.
The method given above, is a relatively easy way of cutting cakes into a type of Wonky cake. A different style is to use the same design as above but with the cake cut at an angle – giving the it a topsy-turvy look. When cutting a cake to make it ‘wonky’ the angle of the cut must be quite acute, otherwise it will look as if the cake should to be level, but something has gone wrong! It is a good idea to make a paper pattern of the height and width of the cake and try out the angle on paper before you begin cutting. Using this method will leave a spare piece of cake – this can always be frozen and used for trifle or truffles in the future.
Another method entails cutting the cake at an angle, then removing and reverting the top section. For instance, on a four inch deep cake, make a small mark one inch from the base of the cake. On the opposite side of the cake – one inch from the top – make another mark. If necessary, make several more marks to use as a cutting guide. Next carefully cut from the base mark to the top mark. Remove the top layer and coat the surface of the bottom layer with either apricot jam or butter cream, depending on the type of cake. Now, instead of replacing the top section back in its original position, revert it, so that the narrowest edge of the top section now rests on the narrowest of the bottom layer of cake. The cake should now slope from two inches at one side to six inches at the other.
If Wonky cakes are being stacked on top of each other, place each cake, apart from the bottom cake, on a thin cake board he same size as the base of the cake. The cakes – apart from the top cake – will need plastic dowels in to support the weight of the cake, or cakes, above. Dowels are always cut level with the top surface of a cake – after it has been iced. And remember, the dowels on a Wonky cake should be cut at the same angle as the cake. Cakes have always been associated with weddings, and the sharing of wedding cake remains as important today as it was centuries ago. Ancient Greeks made a mixture of grain and honey, which was formed into a circle, and baked. Once on the wedding table, it would be encircled with a ring of ivy, symbolising the unity of marriage.
An old custom in the British Isles, involved breaking a cake over the bride’s head as she entered her new home. And up until the 19th century some country areas still maintained this tradition by crumbling cakes over the head of the bride. The tradition of eating small cakes at weddings existed for centuries, until it gradually changed into one large cake, known as the ‘Bride Cake’. For hundreds of years, wedding cakes have traditionally been round – a circle denotes eternity. Round cakes are easier to bake and decorate, and in the past only round tins were available. And so, for many years it was the tradition to have one cake at the wedding. Even Queen Victoria, when she married in 1840, had a single cake – although it did measure nearly three metres (nine feet) in circumference. White icing, made from icing sugar and egg white, decorated the cake, and this has since become known as ‘royal icing’.
But by the time the Queen’s eldest daughter married in 1858, royal wedding cakes had grown considerably. Many of the designs were based on Victorian architecture. Doors, pillars and arches (made from icing) formed part of design. Royal cakes are enormous, in keeping with the size of the rooms. When Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother married in 1923 her cake was nine feet high. However, the majority of brides at the beginning of the last century only had a round fruit cake on their wedding day. But gradually royal icing was introduced, and bakery exhibitions sprang up, giving confectioners scope for their creative ideas. Eventually these ideas filtered down into the humble bakery and brides were able to order a professionally made wedding cake. Alternatively, the bride’s mother would make the cake and, because many of the kitchen ranges were unreliable, the baker would, for a small fee, bake it.
Wooden moulds were often used to make various designs such as bells, cherubs, scrolls and doves, By pressing gum paste – similar to flower paste – into the moulds, cakes could be quickly decorated With the introduction of pillars, wedding cakes achieved height. No records exist of when pillars were first used, but a London church is said to have provided the inspiration for a tiered wedding cake. For around 40 years, square wedding cakes were particularly popular as they were easy to cut into equal portions. To save labour costs, most commercial wedding cakes in the 20th century were decorated with standard designs of shells, scrolls, loops and dots, then leaves made from stiff paper, and sprays of wax flowers would be attached.