PIECE OF CAKE
It’s unlikely you’ll ever invest this much on a sweet treat again, so it pays to get it right. Here, our fool-proof guide.
TIME IT RIGHT
Choosing your wedding cake is a fun and tasty process, says Tamsyn Gordon from Baker & Co (bakerandco.co.nz). “Just be sure you wait until you’ve confirmed some of the more significant details of your wedding such as your venue, theme, décor and flowers,” she advises. Knowing this will make it easier for your cake designer to create something that will tie together with your theme.
For summer weddings, it’s best to book six to nine months in advance, advises Emma Hogg from Strawberry Sky Cakes (strawberrysky. co.nz), while for a winter wedding, three to four months should suffice. If there’s a particular cake designer you know you would like to use, lock them in early to be sure they’re not booked up.
FIND MY FLAVOUR
A CAKE TASTING, ARRANGED WITH YOUR CAKE MAKER OF CHOICE, WILL ENSURE THE FLAVOUR AND STYLE SUITS WHAT YOU ENVISION FOR YOUR DAY. IF YOU’RE UNABLE TO MAKE IT TO THE STUDIO, EMMA SUGGESTS SEEING IF THEY OFFER A SAMPLE BOX THAT YOU CAN TRY AT HOME.
THE DAYS OF HEAVY FRUIT TIERS ARE OVER. NOW, YOU’RE ONLY LIMITED BY YOUR IMAGINATION: LIME COCONUT, DARK CHOCOLATE, SALTED CARAMEL – BREAKING TRADITION HAS NEVER BEEN SO TASTY.
CONSIDER YOUR DESSERT OPTIONS WHEN CHOOSING YOUR CAKE FLAVOUR. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON SERVING A CHOCOLATE DESSERT TO ACCOMPANY YOUR CAKE, IT’S BEST TO GO FOR A LIGHT FLAVOUR TO COVER ALL BASES.
Temperature considerations are incredibly important in informing how your cake may take shape. If your wedding is in the height of summer, PaulaJane Cakes (paulajanecakes.co.nz) suggests steering clear of buttercream, whipped cream and meringue, particularly if you’re holding your reception outside. “Our preference in the heat of the summer is to use either fondant, truffle or ganache rather than buttercream as the heat and humidity can affect its stability.”
YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEND HUNDREDS ON A CAKE ONLY TO HAVE IT FALL ON ITS SIDE WHILE EN ROUTE TO YOUR VENUE, SO COVER YOURSELF BY ARRANGING DELIVERY. LOTS OF CAKERIES PREFER TO BRING THEIR CAKES TO THE VENUE ANYWAY, WITH SOME EVEN CONDUCTING LAST-MINUTE ASSEMBLY ONSITE. BE SURE TO ALLOW TIME AND SPACE FOR THIS ON THE BIG DAY.
THE EASIEST WAY TO SAVE IS TO KEEP YOUR CAKE SIMPLE. OBVIOUSLY, THE LARGER THE CAKE THE MORE IT WILL COST, BUT THE SAME GOES FOR INTRICATE TIME-CONSUMING DECORATIONS SUCH AS SUGAR WORK. IF YOU’RE ON A BUDGET, BUT YOU’RE SET ON HAVING AN ELABORATE, TIERED CAKE WITH INTENSIVE FONDANT OR BUTTERCREAM DETAILING, TALK TO YOUR CAKE MAKER TO SEE IF THEY WOULD CONSIDER CREATING FALSE LAYERS, AND PROVIDING A SHEET CAKE FOR THE GUESTS TO ACTUALLY EAT. FOR A CHEAPER OPTION, CONSIDER DECORATING WITH FRESH FLOWERS OR COLOURFUL FRUIT.
Be sure to read up about the blooms you are decorating your cake with – some may leave a bitter-tasting or toxic residue, while others are ideal to be displayed on a cake.