Banners that top individual wedding cakes bear a reminder of an enduring tradition without which no union would be complete: vows. Make extra banners -- they are quite fragile.
- Yield: Makes 16
Photography: Dana Gallagher
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 1999
- 7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- Nonstick cooking spray
Draw a banner onto 12-by-18 inch piece of foam board; cut out with a pair of sharp scissors. Set template aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat. Coat with cooking spray. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 4 egg whites and 1 cup superfine sugar; beat on medium 30 seconds. Add 1 cup flour and the salt; mix well. Add melted butter, 3 tablespoons cream, and the almond extract; beat until combined, 1 minute.
Transfer batter to an airtight container; refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make chocolate batter.
For the chocolate batter, in a saucepan over low heat, melt the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine remaining 2 egg whites and 1/2 cup superfine sugar. Beat on medium until combined, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour and the cocoa powder; beat well. Pour in melted butter and remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat on medium until combined, 1 minute. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a number 1 plain round tip; set aside.
Lay two rolling pins parallel to one another on work surface. Place the foam-board template onto the Silpat. Using an offset spatula, spread the chilled batter onto the template. Lift template, and repeat several more times on the Silpat, wiping the template after each use. With the chocolate batter, pipe out desired words directly onto banners.
Bake four banners at a time, until edges begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Carefully remove from baking sheet; drape over two rolling pins to form undulating shapes. Remove when cooled, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batters. Store in a single layer, in an airtight container, until ready to use.