Wedding Cakes

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Have you cake .....

It’s beautiful, elegant and often adorned with white trimmings and flowers. No, it’s not  the bride it's the wedding cake.

Aside from the ceremony, dress, flowers and food, picking your wedding cake is one of the most important and fun jobs you'll have to do in the lead up to your big day.

A good way to select a cake maker is to check out wedding fairs.

Several fairs take place throughout the year in Suffolk, and here you will have a chance to talk to the bakers, look at pictures of their cakes and previous client testimonials, see a few real cakes on display and even try samples.

When you have whittled your way down your list of prospective cake makers and selected a couple, then you should hold a meeting with them (normally at their premises) to discuss a few details before the deal is sealed.

Tips for this meeting include to:

nTake snippets of fabric, favours, and anything connected to you and your wedding to this meeting so you can inspire them and give them ideas for your own personal cake.

  •  Find out if you can have a cake made to your own design or picture, or whether you have to stick to their designs.
  • Look through their portfolio of cakes — you may be able to combine features of a few different cakes to create something that meets your own tastes.
  • Ask about the types of cake you could afford on your budget and how they can work within your budget.
  • Check when they would bake and ice your cake. It shouldn't be baked more than I 0 days in advance of your wedding, or iced more than two days in advance.
  • Have a tasting.The baker should let you sample the cake and toppings, and may even make a small version for you to try.
  • Ask if they will charge for a deposit for cake tops, pillars or columns, and what the costs incurred will be if you fail to return these items.

 

Decisions, decisions

 

Traditionally wedding cakes have been two or three tiered fruit cake affairs, enveloped in royal icing and crowned with miniature statues of the bride and groom.

Times have changed however, and now there is a demand for more interesting shapes and sizes, rainbows of colour and different flavours and icings when it comes to wedding cakes. Individual cupcakes and lavish chocolate cakes in particular are growing in popularity.

A first consideration when having discussions with your chosen baker is the size of the cake.

Factor in how many guests will be attending in total including evening guests, and think about whether you want to save the top tier for the birth of your first child or your first wedding anniversary. Your baker should be able to advise on portion sizes, and will help you to decide how large your cake needs to be to feed everyone.

Next, think about flavour. Taste is important and your cake should impress the tastebuds as well as the eye.

Fruit cakes will normally be rich and dense and packed with moist, plump dried fruits with a hint of booze. Fruit cakes are usually covered traditionally with royal icing and marzipan, although you can change the colour of the icing to suit your design.

A vanilla sponge should be light and, dare I say it, spongy. It shouldn't be dry and flavourless at all. Sponge cakes can be flavoured with chocolate, strawberry, lemon — in fact, any flavour available  to your baker. The same goes for the icing.  If you go for a fudgy chocolate cake, it should be dark, damp and full of the flavour of good quality chocolate. Typically, chocolate cakes will be topped and filled with chocolate ganache or icing, although you can choose alternatives.

Something really different is to choose a cheesecake filling for your cake, but this will decrease the longevity of the confection. An option that will suit most couples and their guests is to go for a few tiers of different flavour cakes. Your baker will have to advise you on this as the weight of different cakes determines where they can be placed. You can't put a heavy fruit cake on top of a sponge as it would sink.

Lots of couples choose to have two tiers of fruit cake topped with one of sponge, or one large fruit cake at the bottom topped with two tiers of sponge.

In the summer think about having fresh flowers or seasonal fruits arranged over the top.

Have a little snowman and snow woman created for the top of your winter wedding cake.

 

Or you could go the traditional route and top your cake with white doves, bells or a bridal couple, it's up to you.

Whatever you decide, ensure that you get a detailed quote from your baker including price, size, colours and design in case there are any quibbles later on.

 

Cutting costs

 

A lot of couples don't put enough money into the budget for a cake, naively thinking it won't be a major expense.

But good wedding cakes start at £3 per head, and when you think about the amount of guests attending your big day this can work out to be a small fortune.

To cut costs you could try any of the following:

I Buy the cake from a local bakery or from your caterer instead of going to a specialist wedding cake maker.

2 Order your cake from a home-run business as these people often have less overheads to pay, which works out cheaper for you.

3 Serve small individual cakes made by your caterer as a dessert at your wedding breakfast and forgo a separate cake.

4 Order a small, elaborate cake, and then buy a similar, cheaper brought cake and cut the nice one on film, getting the caterers to cut both cakes afterwards and serve them with coffee.

5 Get a friend or member of your family to bake the cake.

 

The slice is right

 

There is an art to cutting your wedding cake and it is a fabulous chance for pictures to be taken.

But if you are not having a caterer cut the cake for guests after your initial slice, then it can be complex to know where to start and how much to cut for each person.

You have to account for the size and shape of the cake, and don't want to just hack into it willy nilly.

 

To cut a square-shaped cake start 2ins from the outer edge of the cake and cut across. Cut this strip into I in pieces so they are 2ins by I in and continue this until the whole thing is cut.

For a round cake start 2ins from the outer edger and cut I in pieces across the circle, working your way round to the centre core.

If your cake is heart-shaped then cut it in

half lengthways and cut each of the halves

in half before cutting these into I in pieces.

 

Wedding Cake etiquette

 

nThe cake should be displayed close to the

main or top table and shouldn't block anyone's view of the bridal party.

nThe cake is usually cut during the reception after the guests have been received and the speeches made.

  • Your photographer may take dummy pictures of you pretending to cut the cake if they are not to be at your wedding for the whole day.
  • Cake cutting should be announced so that guests can take pictures.
  • When cutting the cake the right hand of the groom should overlap the right hand of the bride and they cut it together.
  • Cake should be served with coffee after the wedding breakfast or boxed and used as a favour.

 

Storing the cake

Some couples decide to keep the top tier of their cake to eat on their anniversary or for the christening of their first child. This can only be done if the cake is stored correctly, after all, who wants to eat mouldy cake?

To store part of your cake remove the topper and any other fresh or large decorations, then transfer it to a foil covered plate.

Freeze the cake on the plate for an hour to harden the icing.

After the hour is up remove the cake from the freezer and plate, and use cling film to thoroughly cover it before double wrapping it foil.

Place the entire cake into a freezer container and freeze it for up to a year

In summer, think about having fresh flowers or seasonal fruits on your cake.

 

The article provided by the B&G magazine Summer/Autumn 2007. For more information on local wedding service providers and fantastic tips buy the new issues in a Suffolk local supermarket or newsagent or visit www.eadt.co.uk website

 

We recommend the following wedding cake suppliers:

Naomi's cup cakes

 

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