Taste in wedding cakes changes
The history of the wedding cake goes back as far as the Roman Empire, but in those days it was a loaf of barley bread baked especially for the nuptials rather than an elaborately iced extravaganza we normally see at weddings these days.
Back in the days of the Roman Empire the groom would eat part of the loaf of barley bread and break the rest over his bride’s head, indicating the dominance of the groom over her.
In Medieval England there was also a custom involving the stacking of small sweet buns into a large pile in front of the newly-wed couple. The couple would attempt to kiss over the pile and their success in the process was an indication that there would be many children in their future.
By the late 19th century, wedding cakes in the form of a single-tiered plum cake were very popular. Sim’s Bakery in Ashburton usually makes three or four wedding cakes per month.
According to Sim’s Bakery owner, Manny Sim, wedding cakes always used to be fruit cakes, but chocolate mudcakes are now also extremely popular.
‘‘We still ice the chocolate cake the same way, with royal icing, and our cake decorator, Kim Waghorn, attends to all the beautiful decorating of the cake,’’ Mr Sim said.
According to Mr Sim, a three-tiered wedding cake can range from $250 to $400, with a two-tiered cake starting at about $200.