My brother is getting married in October, so on Sunday the bridesmaids hosted a bridal shower for his fiancee, Marie. The atmosphere was designed to be pretty elegant, and we loosely planned the event around a theme of “wine and cheese.”
Because the attendance was going to be quite large, I knew early on that I wanted to make my first two-tier cake. I considered a few different designs, but all incorporated grapes. Some involved piping grape shapes out of buttercream, but the ones I loved the most used real grapes to garnish the cake.
You’re not seeing things–the grapes have a little bit of a sparkle to them. I made “frosted” grapes to give them a little extra something. It was my first time using such a method, so it required a little trial and error. Most of the directions I found for frosted grapes involved dipping the grapes in egg whites and then dipping them in sanding sugar. I didn’t want to feed raw egg whites to strangers, so I found an alternative–I was able to make an “egg white solution” using meringue powder and water. And it’s salmonella-free! :)
Anyway, the trial and error part came into play when it came time to figure out how much solution to leave on the grapes to dip them. At first, I was leaving too much, so the sugar was clumping up. I eventually figured out that dipping the grapes, then dabbing them with paper towels worked to get a lot of excess moisture off, then I’d dip them. If you’re interested in frosted grapes, just Google–there are tons of recipes/directions out there.
The night before the shower, I frosted the cakes, assembled them (again, if you want to know how to securely assemble two tiers, Google is a great resource), then added the shell borders. I also piped frosting onto the cupcakes, and, of course, prepared the sugared grapes.
The morning of the shower, I transported the cake, cupcakes, and grapes to the shower location separately. Once there, I got to work on garnishing everything. I topped each cupcake with a single frosted grape. For the cake, I used a large bunch of grapes for the top, then used smaller bunches on other areas of the cake. To help secure the grapes to the cake, I piped dollops of frosting in the spots where I wanted to stick them, using the frosting as “glue.” As a finishing touch, I added little beads of frosting all over the sides of the layers.
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 33 and have been married to Michael for seven years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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