A Chalkboard Wedding Cake, done well, is pretty special. Something a little different and perfect for a wedding with a boho/vintage feel to it. Now look at it from a cake maker’s perspective. All that black icing (yes, the worst icing colour to work with, ever). And more to the point, all that painted white writing, free style, with zero space for any mistakes. Perfect, consistent lettering. Gulp. So when a lovely bride asked me if I could do a Chalkboard cake, I politely declined, saying “No, sorry, I can’t do those cakes but I hope you can find someone who does”. I am left handed and consequently hopeless at writing on blackboards or anything vertical for that matter. But my lovely bride was persistent and on the third time of asking, with my husband also telling me in no uncertain terms to say yes, I did just that and the booking was made.
So I practised and I planned. The wedding date loomed. I bought new paintbrushes. The best black icing money buys in the cake world (Massa Ticino for those interested, expensive but you get what you pay for). I drew out the design to scale and then ever so gently traced over the lettering onto the cake to make the faintest indentation as to where the letters would be. When I came to actually painting it, all I had to do was follow the indentations and then embellish with all the details. Once my hand relaxed into it, I actually really enjoyed doing it!
Set up in the surroundings of The Night Yard with fresh flowers from Gwenda at Bohotanical, it was the perfect cake for the wedding there that day. I was utterly relieved to see it all set up. But also glad I chose to say yes. This cake was so far from my comfort zone when I started it, and without some gentle persuasion, I never would have attempted a cake like this. As a cake maker, you know what you’re good at, and what you’re not so good at. It’s good to play to your strengths. But I’ve also learnt in this cake making journey of mine to change my natural ‘can’t do’ mentality to a ‘can do’ one. I love the creativity of my job. And if you always stay in your safe zone, then you’ll never learn anything new and never push the boundaries to new and exciting things. And that is always a good thing.