I was delighted when Ming (whose hands are so elegantly displayed in my Bollywood cupcake post) invited me to her small destination wedding in the US Virgin Islands. I was inexpressibly touched and honored when she asked if I would make the cupcakes for her wedding.
Ahhhhhh.... St. John
Numerous e-mail exchanges, Google Documents, and cupcake tastings later, we had all of the details worked out. Chocolate cupcakes with Nutella filling and rosewater pistachio cupcakes. Eight inch lemon cutting cake with raspberry filling. Coral and teal frosting. That all seemed easy enough. The true challenge was getting everything to the USVI. Luckily, Ming and Travis were generous enough to rent a villa for their friends so I would have access to a kitchen. I didn't want to take any chances with not having the proper baking equipment there, so I checked two very heavy suitcases full of cupcake and cake tins, cooling racks, measuring cups, hand mixer (sadly, I could not take my standing mixer!), frosting tips, and plasticware to transport the baked goods. Oh, and did I mention that food is very costly on a resort island? I also took many pounds worth of sugar, flour, extracts, powdered sugar, spices, and more with me. I basically was traveling with a makeshift kitchen. I should have taken a picture of all the stuff that I dragged onto the airplane, but sadly I did not. Just imagine me and my roommate with the largest suitcases your have ever seen on a ferry.
I used a special recipe from Wilton that is supposed to be for high humidity (found here). What was great about the heat in the USVI was that it took a matter of minutes for butter to go from solid and cold to room temperature and soft. I did work up quite a sweat in the kitchen trying to even out the icing on the cake. In the end, it wasn't so bad not having my stand mixer, but not knowing where everything was and having a dozen people also trying to cook in the kitchen was a little stressful.
Ming made this sign for me!
The wedding was beautiful (not even torrential rain downpour could have ruined the happy moment) and once the ceremony was over it was my job to set up the cupcakes. Ming is quite crafty and made several of the cupcake stands. Travis is also crafty - he made these adorable penguin cake toppers himself!
I liked the simplicity of the layout that Ming used for her cupcakes. It fit really well with the intimacy of the entire event.
And of course, I have to include a picture of the newlyweds:
So, all in all, making cupcakes for a wedding away from home wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Congratulations, Ming and Travis!