Grooms’ cakes can be a whole lot of fun…this one was no exception! Traditionally, the cake is a gift from the bride to the groom and in this case it was a gift from my family to the bride to give to the groom. (Did I mention that the groom was stationed in Germany and the bride was traveling 5 hours back and forth from her home to a graduate internship the whole time we were planning this wedding?)
We wanted to reflect the groom’s interests, of course, as that is the purpose. The bride and I sat and talked and came up with basically four themes: the Army, music, Jack Daniels and BACON!!! (Not necessarily in that order)
So, we started with that. We had all kinds of ideas….
- Army men surfing on bacon surfboards on Jack Daniels flowing out of a bottle holding music notes. Scratch.
- Glasses of Jack Daniels with Army men in them eating bacon all sitting atop sheet music. Scratch.
- Then we thought – Army men, guarding bacon roses (Pinterest!) around a giant Jack Daniels bottle with a custom label reflecting all of the groom’s musical and Army career highlights all sitting on atop envelopes from the letters they had written to one another when he was in basic training that ultimately led to his proposal during a visit at Ft. Benning. Bingo! Now, who to make it?!!?
It turns out, through my husband’s work in the restaurant business, he had someone in mind who does some pretty awesome cakes. Mill Steet Sweets is part of Charley’s Waterfront Cafe’ in Farmville, VA. Charley’s is a great place to have lunch when you are in town to shop at Greenfront Furniture or visiting Longwood College. Whoa! I should work for the Farmville Chamber of Commerce!
All we really needed was the bottle with the label, that was the hard part. We could take care of the rest.
Bacon Roses, you say? Easy. Take a mini-muffin pan and drill a pretty good sized hole in the center of each cup. This allows the copious amounts of bacon grease to drain out. Take a pound of bacon( or more) and begin by rolling one strip at a time from the end into a flower shape. Use your imagination…it will take some finessing but nothing too technical.
Place each “rose” into a cup in the pan and set the whole thing on top of a broiler pan with the base attached, again, to capture the copious amounts of bacon grease associated with this project. (It’s not that bad but really, you want to do it this way.)
Place in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 mins.then check them. I found that they were looking pretty good on top but the bottoms were still pretty raw. Not appealing.
I just flipped them over and placed them back in the oven for another 10 mins or so. Actually, I ended up flipping them again and making sure the tops were nice and browned for another 5 or 10 mins. If you make them, you will have to judge how long you want to belabor the point.
Although my camera flash made these appear to be almost neon and no means of editing could help, they really did come out perfectly.
Kent is a cavalry scout and this guy just seemed like he was calling in to tell someone he had spotted something GOOD!!
This guy was just standing there whistling trying to hide the fact that he had just had a teeny weeny little green finger full of fondant. Move along. The leaves are bamboo in remembrance of the groom’s great grandmother who had tons of it growing in her yard and every important event has to have some bamboo somewhere.
“Stand Down! Put the fork down and back away from the roses, ma’am.”
The baker nailed the label. (Please forgive the little bit of smushing of his last name. That was our fault trying to get it out of the ginormaous box it was in all taped and perfect. The baker did it perfectly.)Kent was the bass player in a band called Fools and Horses and that is their logo on the neck of the bottle. Both Kent and Amy lived in Maryland before Kent shipped off to the Army but the wedding was in Virginia, where his family is from. In fact, the venue was on the water in Maryland but you entered the front door from Virginia. They actually had to go outside after their ceremony to get married for real on the beach in Virginia because the officiant was not authorized to conduct a wedding in Maryland!
Speaking of ginourmous, did I mention that this cake is at least 2 feet long and probably 10 – 12 inches wide? Those army men are 4 inches tall! It weighed a good 20 pounds. It was massive. Of course, it had to feed 40 people, which it did beautifully..
How about the attention to detail on the bottom of the bottle, I mean cake?
I had the bride and groom each fill out an envelope using the addresses where they lived during their correspondence while Kent was in basic training. Then had photocopies made and we cut them out and had them all around the base of the cake.
Not only did it say it all…..
…it was DELICIOUS! Super moist yellow sponge cake smeared with raspberry preserves & filled with French vanilla butter cream. YUM! The groom’s favorite flavors. (Awful picture, sorry! Hard to eat, drink and be merry while holding a clipboard and a camera!)
It looks like someone is helping themselves with a spoon! And the Army men, well, they are just overcome. There was very little cake left at the end of the night. Hmmmm…..
A perfect tribute to the groom and a great ending to a fun rehearsal dinner.
Thanks for checking it out…..