On May 23rd Diane and Hay got married.
Diane has known my husband since high school, and he has been her girls’ honorary uncle for many years. When I moved to this country, together with my husband’s great family, I was lucky enough to join his circle of friends. These people are the most amazing group of friends. They embraced me from the start and made me feel less alone away from home. They have helped, supported, hosted, encouraged, and, in Diane’s case, baked for me and with me, when I needed it most. When I moved my bakery to Haydenville, Diane and her younger daughter Alyson came to help through the Thanksgiving rush. And Diane was able to lend a hand in the months after that so that I could get my bearing.
Diane and Hai have been together for more than ten years. They navigated difficult times together, and raised their combined family of six with tenacity and love.
On May 23rd, with their families and close friends at their side, they exchanged beautiful vows, and started a path to a future together, so well deserved. It was a night full of love, joy, and laughs.
Being invited to a wedding, is a happy occasion. Being invited to a wedding of dear friends, is a very special occasion, and a blessing. And when your friends ask you to bake their cakes, well, that is an honor.
The day of the wedding I delivered 10 cakes, placed them on different cake stands and plates, and put the final touches. It was a beautiful sight, and I felt elated.
I had spent the previous three weeks planning, purchasing, baking, cooking, and assembling. It all started with the choice of cakes: a small two tier white cake, with raspberry jelly filling, and vanilla buttercream; an apricot tart; a fresh fruit tart; a mocha chocolate cake; a limoncello cake with limoncello curd filling and white chocolate buttercream; a truffle chocolate cake; a vanilla chiffon cake with lemon curd filling and coconut buttercream; a cheesecake; a carrot cake; and, finally, a cherry cake.
I set at home with my recipes, in front of an Excel spreadsheet. List of ingredients, and time of execution were my important variables. My husband travels quite often, and juggling three children, two jobs, and a dog can be a challenge at times. Add to the equation 10 cakes within three weeks, and planning becomes the key.
I wanted to make everything from scratch. I baked the “graham crackers” for the cheesecake crust; I candied the lemons that I would use for decorations; I dipped the cherries in chocolate. I baked layer cakes, and I prepared Italian Buttercream, I cooked pastry cream and lemon curds…it was a labor of love, with a very efficient system behind it. I felt as if every cake had its own character, and while I was assembling them I would shape each one of them according to their personality.
Our friends wanted to give their guests the choice of a dessert: they ended up tasting each and every one of them. It was a success. One of the guests stopped at my table, and asked me if I was the baker. He has celiac disease and was told that the cakes were all gluten-free. Rightly so, he wanted to be sure and came to ask me for a confirmation. His gratitude touched me deeply: he could taste every single one, like or dislike them all, knowing that it would be safe.
I wanted to post some of the recipes, but there will be time. For now, I just wanted to give you a quick update, and acknowledge all the people who were behind the scene. I will be forever grateful for my mother and father in-laws, for coming to our rescue any time we need it. And I cannot thank enough all the parents that have stepped in when my kids needed to get to soccer practice, to a game, or simply needed a ride. I don’t want to forget our wonderful dog walker, Melanie Baxter, who, over the years, has become a dear friend.
Congratulations Diane and Hai!