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mailife - - Contents - Words and pho­tos by LANCE SEETO

Wed­ding Cakes with Per­son­al­ity

For­get dresses, venues, vows and cater­ing — when it comes to wed­dings, it’s re­ally all about the cake says chef Lance Seeto. Wed­dings are an ex­pen­sive cel­e­bra­tion of mat­ri­mony and pleas­ing both sides of the fam­ily is no easy task. Un­like other cel­e­bra­tory events, wed­dings are all about crit­i­cal de­ci­sions and com­pro­mises that mim­imise cost, po­ten­tial em­bar­rass­ment and en­sure that friends and fam­ily leave with at least a few good things to say about your wed­ding. Many of us have en­coun­tered the wicked aunty who lashes her sharp tongue from ev­ery­thing to the venue, the qual­ity of the food and even the suit­abil­ity of the cou­ple. And what wed­ding doesn’t ex­pect the drunken out­bursts of a male rel­a­tive who de­cides to air the fam­ily’s griev­ances in front of ev­ery­one. And then there are the lo­gis­ti­cal ques­tions around the event it­self. Will it be a fam­ily wed­ding at home or at a fancy ho­tel? DJ, band or wed­ding karaoke? A photo booth, pho­tog­ra­pher or photo-tak­ing drones? Do you need to in­vite that rel­a­tive you haven’t seen since you were a kid? Or would it be eas­ier to stop wor­ry­ing about it all, pick your dream des­ti­na­tion, run off on hol­i­days and elope? They’re all im­por­tant things to con­sider. How­ever there is one com­po­nent of any wed­ding that you just can­not avoid and will have most of your guests talk­ing about in days and weeks af­ter the event - the cake. The wed­ding cake is the piece de re­sis­tance of the event. It is the main fo­cal point, and one of the big­gest ex­pen­di­tures you will re­luc­tantly have to de­cide upon. Whilst the catered food might be the same old fare of pi­lau rice, a lovo feast or a grand din­ner at a Chi­nese restau­rant, the mod­ern wed­ding cake is a re­flec­tion of the cou­ple’s per­son­al­ity and union. The shape, colour and flavour of the cake will help de­fine the theme of the wed­ding. It is a tiered, white fon­dant cake to re­flect the tra­di­tional val­ues of the cou­ple, or is it bright, wacky and loud cake that screams a more mod­ern lifestyle. The cut­ting of the cake is also a task full of sym­bol­ism, as the bride and groom share a piece of cake be­fore dis­tribut­ing it to the guests to sym­bol­ize their union and their prom­ise to for­ever pro­vide for each other. Giv­ing your guests a dried, ar­ti­fi­cially sweet cake might just say more about your

bur­geon­ing re­la­tion­ship than you think. There was a time when wed­ding cakes were booze-in­fused fruit cakes cov­ered with marzi­pan, a mix of ground al­monds, sugar and egg whites. Over the cen­turies the wed­ding cake has evolved into an elab­o­rate, multi-tiered dessert that in many cases is the main fo­cal point of the wed­ding re­cep­tion. Royal wed­ding cakes are a sight to be­hold as the elab­o­rate le­mon and el­der­berry cre­ation for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle re­cently showed. Nowa­days, cakes are made with many types of cake cen­tre, from choco­late mud, vanilla, red vel­vet and flo­ral scented cit­rus. The tra­di­tional al­mond marzi­pan has made way for fancy cov­er­ings like ic­ing, but­ter cream, fon­dant, choco­late ganache and in some cases, none at all.

OMBRÉ SPLASH OF COLOUR

Ombré wed­ding cakes are one of the most pop­u­lar type of cakes in mod­ern wed­dings, with flow­ers, ruf­fles and wa­ter­colours to im­press your guests. Named af­ter the French term mean­ing to have colours or tones that shade into each other, ombré wed­ding cakes have made a big splash over the last cou­ple of years and it is cer­tainly a trend that’s here to stay. It’s easy to see why – the ombré trend al­lows you to add colour to your wed­ding cake, with­out it be­ing too bright, you can use any colour and it will still look classy. Whether you opt for ombré but­ter­cream ic­ing with ruf­fles or choose to in­ter­pret the style on the in­te­rior, there are so many ways to work this the trend into your wed­ding dessert. Plus, the ombré ef­fect works on ev­ery color, shade, and hue imag­in­able.

GET NAKED

In days gone by, many guests would peel off the tra­di­tional marzi­pan or fon­dant ic­ing just to eat the cake in­side, and hence the naked cake was born. This trend is fairly new but it’s gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity quickly for its rustic yet el­e­gant feel. The naked wed­ding cake is a lovely way to show­case your cake and make it stand-out – it will truly be a en­ter­piece and have your guests ea­gerly an­tic­i­pat­ing get­ting a slice. The ad­van­tage of the naked wed­ding cake is that you can fo­cus just on flavours and make sure that it tastes as good as it looks – the sim­plic­ity al­lows the baker to fo­cus on qual­ity cake and fill­ing.

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Noth­ing de­notes af­flu­ence and bling like a splash of gold and shiny me­tal in wed­ding dresses, dé­cor and of course on wed­ding cakes. Ed­i­ble gold and sil­ver sheets and dec­o­ra­tions are af­ford­able if your cake bud­get is big enough. Beau­ti­ful bronze, glit­ter­ing golds, charm­ing cop­per and shim­mer­ing sil­ver are all colours that could look amaz­ing when in­cor­po­rated on your wed­ding cake. Imag­ine old world glam – this is what you’ll get with a metal­lic wed­ding cake.

A FRENCH FLAIR

The colour­ful mac­arons bis­cuit is one of the most pop­u­lar sweet treats in fine bak­eries – their sweet and airy tex­ture with just the slight­est bit of crunch trans­ports us to the streets of Paris with a cof­fee in hand. You can now add that so­phis­ti­ca­tion to your wed­ding cake by in­cor­po­rat­ing French mac­arons – ei­ther as dec­o­ra­tion, or you can have the whole cake made of mac­arons. The ad­van­tage is they can be made in al­most any colour you can think of – so they will match your theme perfectly.

FLAUNT IT

Many cou­ples use their wed­ding cake to show­case their per­son­al­i­ties or a mu­tual in­ter­est. If you share a pas­sion for fa­vorite hob­bies, sports or ca­reer, it is a quirky and fun way to add some per­son­al­ity to your cake, and it’s sure to be a con­ver­sa­tion starter among your guests. Hand­painted quotes are also pop­u­lar in mod­ern cakes, with fa­vorite po­ems or phi­los­o­phy shout­ing out what the cou­ple be­lieve in.

BUILD YOUR CAKE

Not ev­ery­one eats wed­ding cake, and cut­ting up the tra­di­tional cake can be messy, so an­other great idea is to use smaller cakes to build up a wed­ding cake. Cup­cake wed­ding cakes have be­come pop­u­lar as each cup­cake can be in­di­vid­u­ally de­signed for flavour and looks, whilst still look­ing mod­ern and cool. The pop­u­lar­ity of dough­nuts has also seen this sweet pas­try in­cor­po­rated into wed­ding cake stands and are sure to be a huge talk­ing point. Just pro­vide take away boxes for your guests so they can en­joy a sweet treat later. This is also less waste­ful, as a moun­tain stack of cup­cakes or dough­nuts is un­likely to last very long. The wed­ding cake is an im­por­tant part of the whole day so make sure you choose a rep­utable baker or pas­try chef who can de­liver ex­actly what you want. Re­spect the time and ef­fort a pas­try chef must also ded­i­cate to buy qual­ity in­gre­di­ents, bake the cakes and spend an ex­tra­or­di­nary num­ber of late night hours to dec­o­rate it. You get what you pay for, but in the case of your wed­ding cake, pay as much as you can af­ford as it is also a sym­bol of your per­son­al­ity for ev­ery­one to see and taste.

Water­colour frost­ings has be­come a pop­u­lar wed­ding trends

Prince Harry’s Royal Wed­ding cake was an el­e­gant le­mon and flo­ral el­der­berry flavoured

Cake top­pers can some­times say it all

LANCE SEETO is a multi award-win­ning chef, me­dia per­son­al­ity & food writer. He is cur­rently the head chef at Mala­mala Beach Club, Fiji

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