When we last left off, I was pondering the potential difficulties of baking nine dozen wedding cupcakes in a borrowed home kitchen in August.
It got more complicated before the job was done. Instead of a kitchen 10 minutes’ walk from my hotel, I was booked in a different home kitchen, 15 minutes’ drive across town. So I had to rely on family and friends of the happy couple to get me to and from my workspace.
And then the caterer wanted the cupcakes early, to have them set up at the beginning of the reception. This caused a small amount of stress when I didn’t know the weather forecast, but Mother Nature smiled on us and gave us a lovely day in the mid-70s – cool enough that I didn’t have to worry about the buttercream melting in the sun.
While I did remember to pack my silicone molds for the fillings, and to bring over French cocoa powder and Turkish hazelnuts, somehow I forgot to bring along a piping bag and my trusty star tip. Fortunately, one of the guests was able to bring in a set of tips from Boston; unfortunately, they were a bit too small for what I had in mind. I am blessed with a very resourceful husband who managed to doctor one of the tips to make it closer to the one I had left behind. Another crisis averted!
There was one final freak-out, when the Delice de Bourgogne-laced cream cheese icing still didn’t want to set up. I admitted that it was hubristic (or maybe just plain stupid) of me to attempt a newly reformulated recipe the day before a wedding, and noted the trust and bravery on the part of Hope and D. in choosing a cupcake that had failed miserably in the tasting round. Pride and gluttony aside, I made it work by sheer force: I whipped in some leftover gelatin, and kept those puppies as cold as possible until it was time to deliver them. (Many thanks go to Brian, who graciously carted me, Nick, the cupcakes, and a box of equipment around town, and who understood the game of start-the-car-20-minutes-before-I’m-ready-to-go-so-the-pastry-can-stay-cold immediately.)
Naturally, I was running a bit late on the day of the wedding, but at least the meringue for the lemon cupcakes was cooperating, and the caterers didn’t seem too stressed out when I brought them seven Tupperwares of cupcakes, each with different instructions (e.g. “Don’t close the lids on these all the way or the frosting will get smooshed,” “Keep these ones cold, or the icing might run,” or “You’d better hold these ones in your lap, just to be safe”).
All the same, when I got to the reception site, the instructions had gotten mixed up, and the strawberry-champagne cupcakes were already on the display, while the lemon meringues were nowhere to be seen. The situation was quickly remedied, and I could finally sit back and enjoy myself.
They looked beautiful on their wire stands, in the shadow of a castle overlooking the ocean.
Most importantly, though, everyone loved them. There were enough that those guests who wanted to try more than one flavor (or even have two of one kind) were able to, and they made a perfect sweet ending to a very sweet wedding.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.