The mince pie and the ewok

What does a two year old mince pie and an ewok have in common? The answer, it turns out, is “wedding cake.”


Let me explain.

Wedding cakes have a bit of a history for us. Americans tend not to be very keen on the traditional British fruit cake, which was a bit of a problem since I got married to a Californian in New York! Even the hotel concierge could only track down a fruit flan which is not what I’d call traditional. In the end we had to make do with less conventional but still delicious “normal” deserts.

We didn’t think much more about it until a month later when we were in California for B’s best friends wedding. She had a big wedding, including nearly two hundred guests. I’m not sure if this is normal, but they had two cakes. One, from the groomsmen I think, was shaped like a burger. The other was more like what most people would imagine at the suggestion of a wedding cake. Except for one small detail. Hiding underneath the top layer, behind some marzipan foliage, was a tiny ewok. The groom is a serious Star Wars fan, and the theme music at the end of the ceremony was not enough to keep him happy!

But back to the fruit cake saga. For our party, my sister-in-law wanted to make one for us but, unfortunately, started getting together the ingredients a bit too late. If you’ve every tried to make one you’ll realise that it takes at least a few days. Kudos for the attempt, though!

My father-in-law wasn’t going to allow the short time-frame to thwart his attempt. The cunning use of long forgotten boxes in dark cupboards was to (nearly) save the day.

[photopress:thumb_IMG_1506.jpg,thumb,alignleft]A couple of years ago B brought a Harrods Mince Pie back home for Christmas. It had been placed in a cupboard, then in storage while the kitchen was remodelled and then back in a dusty corner. Now was its time. He unboxed it and, using tinned frosting (icing), transformed it into… well — let’s be honest here — an iced mince pie. Most people refused even to try it, but the few brave souls who did said that it wasn’t as bad as it looked. A valient effort.

Fast-forward a couple more months. It’s now two weeks before our UK wedding reception, a cruise down the Thames, and we’ve just started thinking about cakes. I wonder if my mum would make one for us. I don’t like to ask. It’s quite hard work to make one and then she’d have to carry it two hundred miles south on the day.

Eventually I decide to call and ask.

After some small talk I edge up to the subject. “Would you mind… um… you know…” Well, it was something like that. In fact, she wasn’t going to say anything, wanted it to be a surprise, but she had put one in the oven only thirty minutes previously!

So on the day we finally got a proper, British wedding cake. Everyone was very appreciative. A few people asked if my mum had really made it as it looked so professional!

Thanks mum!