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.

New Zealand Weddings - - PLANNING - By ANYA TRUONG- GE­ORGE

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.

WEATHER WISE

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.”

ALL AS­SEM­BLED

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.

CUT COSTS

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.

Go­ing flo­ral?

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.

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