In Search of the Perfect Flavor

There are so many different styles and types and flavors of wedding cakes being used today….where do you start?

Traditionally a lot of couples still use the traditional almond flavoring, but trending today….anything goes. Just like the styles of cakes. It’s hard to say what you’ll find at any wedding you attend!

One of the most favorite parts of wedding planning for most couples, and for wedding planners, is making sure the food is perfect for the bridal couple as well as the guests.

And the most important part in that is making sure the wedding cake is exactly what the bride and groom envision…both in style and design AND flavor! Most of the couples we’ve worked with, including my daughter and future son-in-law were adamant about the flavor!

And how to be sure you’re going to like it can’t be assured unless you go cake tasting! It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, as the saying goes!

Not only do the style and design and colors on the cake have to be perfect, but it has to taste good as well! We’ve all attended those wedding in which the cake itself was beautiful, and placed on a perfect cake stand, but it was dry, too dense, the icing wasn’t good, or similar problems. It made for great pictures, but half eaten plates left at the reception tables aren’t what you want.

When Ben and I got married we asked our bake shop to make our cake chocolate, with white icing, of course. But as we cut into in, I found myself whispering “It’s not chocolate!” But that was a number of years ago!

Now wedding cakes are available in a range of different flavors, from the always popular almond to vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, key lime, hazelnut, mocha, and everything in between!

You can also add your choice of flavored fillings in between the layers, and can even use different flavors in between each layer.

So cake tasting is very important. And in most cases, even the groom comes along. After all, who can resist sampling all those goodies? And sometimes you’re actually “forced” to try out three or four different cake designers, just to be sure you have the right one! Cake tastings are not exactly what you’d think, because the bakeries usually use cupcakes in different flavors for the bride and other attendees to sample. One bakery we visited had an array of “fake” cakes to show us different styles they’d done over the years.You can also add your choice of flavored fillings in between the layers, and can even use different flavors in between each layer.

You can also add your choice of flavored fillings in between the layers, and can even use different flavors in between each layer.

One of our brides wanted cake pops rather than the traditional wedding cake. Sure, they planned to have a small one layer cake on display to cut and serve each other, but the main dessert was to be cake pops!

And not just any cake pops. She wanted cheesecake cake pops! Raspberry flavored cheesecake cake pops. Which most bakers didn’t do because of the difficulty of storage as well as getting the proper consistency.  But we found someone who said she could do it. And proceeded to set up a tasting.

And she did a great job! She suggested we not do all raspberry since there are people (our daughter who was a bridesmaid being one of them!) who actually didn’t like raspberry. Personally it’s one of my favorites!

And the cake pops were delicious, and we decided on were a combo of vanilla and raspberry. They were quite popular at the wedding, and the display was beautiful! They even added a small one layer cake that they could cut and feed each other, to keep within the age-old tradition!

Funny thing…I brought several of the pops home from the tasting and left them in the fridge for my husband and daughter to try. I hadn’t had a chance to tell her the purple ones were raspberry, and later she called me and told me how delicious those purple ones were! Go figure!

The cake tastings for Ashley and Chris were fun as well, even though the groom was out of town so her matron of honor had to fill in for him. All Chris cared about was that it was almond flavored!

Brides and grooms are also changing what they have for their cake, like our bridal couple did with the cake pops. Couples are now electing to serve cupcakes, usually in a tiered display: cookie cakes; or donuts as one couple recently did; from their favorite doughnut shop of course.

One couple even decided to have a selection of various pies, since neither of them liked cake. Another made the pies into a “cake”.

Then there’s the couple who opted for a wedding cake made from rounds of cheese accented with fresh figs and grapes, since their wedding was held at a winery!

Or there’s also ice cream cakes….

Then there’s also the “naked” wedding cake, for the couple who doesn’t like frosting. Personally I don’t understand that, but that’s not my decision

Actually it’s what the bride and groom want, because after all, it’s your wedding! You deserve to have all aspects of it perfect! And delicious….

And as an update to this blog, here’s the cake Ashley and her new husband had at their wedding. And it was delicious as well as beautiful!

P.S. Note the little fish tail at the back of the cake…just for Chris!

Just A Frustrated Baker

Anyone who knows me well know that I really don’t enjoy cooking – I have to be in the mood.

I do enjoy baking though, but usually only Christmas cookies. The whole month of December our house has the best smells – and containers of all kinds of tasty cookies piled all over the kitchen, waiting to be devoured by family and friends or packed up and given as gifts!

But secretly I’ve always wanted to learn the art of cake decorating. I’m always just so amazed at the beautiful cakes so many bakers turn out, seemingly on a daily basis. Pinterest can sometimes drive me crazy because I see all these fantastic sugar creations that other people have made. If only…..

Pinterest Wedding cakes
pinterest2

Here’s a treasure chest a friend of mine made for a birthday party, and she’s not even a professional baker!
birthday treasure
Aren’t they incredible? So why not me….?

Well, probably one main reason. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I just cannot frost a cake. No matter what I do there are always cake crumbs stuck in the icing. Really attractive! I’ve tried many times to make frosting flowers, and we won’t even discuss those fiascoes! And certainly I have no pictures!

I have friends who turn out masterpieces from flour and sugar – and they’re just amateur bakers who should really open their own businesses. I have other friends who are professional bakers and create beautiful wedding cakes and birthday cakes. Like this magnificent creation from a collaboration between Jessica from Cake Delights and Catherine from Catherine’s Distinctive Floral Designs…layer after layer of gorgeous wedding cake with fresh roses in between each layer!

Chincoteague

So this frustrated baker gave up! Try as I might, there was never any question that whatever cake I made and decorated certainly involved no help from ANYONE else!

But then…problem solved! With no oven or other cooking skills involved. It was perfect. All I needed was a set of towels or a package of diapers, and a couple of trips to the craft store. No ingredients to spoil. No pans or bowls to wash. No recipe to follow. Nothing to refrigerate!
P1100084

And I can even use actual cake pans to put the diaper cakes together!

Best of all, I can do the decorating at my leisure; and if I don’t like the way it looks, all I have to do is unpin a few things and re-arrange them. If I find items in the craft store I like, I can buy them and keep them on hand for future creations without worrying about them spoiling or going stale!

So who wants a cake? Guaranteed it won’t be underbaked, burned on the bottom, and it can be kept around for a long time without it going bad!
Cakes and Cakes
P1070986

Want to hear something really funny? We received a postcard a few weeks ago from a local culinary school addressed to “Pastry Chef” at Cake-A-Bye Baby! I have it sitting on my desk! I think I’ll frame it! Or change my title on my business cards!

So be sure to visit us at Cake-A-Bye Baby to shop for your next calorie-free confection! You can order early! It won’t go bad!

Photo Sources: Top Row: Photo 1-2: Source Unknown; Photo 3 – Foodista.com Second Row: Photo 1-2: Sweetcakebox.com; Photo 3: Likeitshort.com – Treasure Cake: Personal Files – Rose Tiered Cake: Cake Delights – Remaining Photos: Personal Files