When you write about food for a living and the man you're marrying owns a restaurant, there is quite a bit of pressure to serve everyone at your wedding a Very Good Meal. This feeling is mostly imagined, but a little bit real, and it can make planning the menu a task that takes many, many months.
We certainly haven't gotten very far, though we have managed to amass an absolutely enormous amount of recipe clippings.
It doesn't help that I am very stubborn, and that even though I have relinquished the idea that we will cook our entire rehearsal dinner together (doesn't anyone but me think that would be fun?), I will not give up the right to make my own cake. This adds a lot of To-Dos to the list, like check out wedding cake books from the library, and try every recipe in them, and purchase a cake piping kit, and look for cake stands at the flea market each Sunday, and throw lots of dinner parties so that you're not eating every triple decker by yourself.
Luckily, I don't really mind the list. In fact, it's kind of the best part.
Technically, I'm not going to make the cake alone, either; my bridesmaids are going to help. And there are going to be a few cakes, not just one, in different sizes and flavors. And my best friend's mother owns a bakery, so we'll have the equipment going for us, and plenty of space, and hopefully a few bottles of champagne.
Doing it that way will make things a whole lot easier when it comes to baking the real cakes, but it means lots more work testing recipes now. The other day, I tried an applesauce cake, and though the fishmonger wasn't sure it was wedding material, it was certainly good. At least, it was gone within twenty-four hours, for whatever that's worth—so quickly, I didn't even get to snap its portrait.
I might be kind of biased, if you recall, because I have a pretty serious thing for just about any applesauce cake. But we are getting married in the fall, in the height of applesauce season, and so having at least one apple-themed cake kind of goes without saying, I think.
I found the recipe for this one online after lots and lots of searching, but originally it came from the May 1980 issue of something called "Mailbox News" by a Mrs. Henry Blasi of Michigan. I have no idea what sort of a publication that is, but I'm very thankful for the cake. I made just a single batch, which filled two cake pans. This left room for a layer of icing in between the cakes, and then a good spread on top, but I didn't put any on the sides. That seemed like a bit much. In fact, if you wanted, you could even make this in a loaf tin and eat it for breakfast or snacks—it's kind of like banana bread that way. Either way, I think you'll be glad you gave it a go. Who knows, it just might sneak onto one of those cake platters for the Big Day. We'll have to wait and see.
APPLESAUCE WEDDING CAKE
adapted from Mailbox News, by Mrs. Henry Blasi, May 1980
This cake can be easily frozen once cooled. Just wrap each cake in plastic wrap, then tinfoil, then stick it in the freezer. This makes frosting easier later—not to mention baking ahead of time.
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 and 1/2 cups applesauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. In another medium-size bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add applesauce and dry ingredients alternatively to creamed butter, mixing well after each addition. Spoon batter into 2 greased cake pans, and bake until a cake tester comes out clean (about 30 minutes).
I topped the cake with this icing, but a lemony glaze would work well, too, I think.