Saturday, September 7, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake...

  (Photo Courtesy of Maggie Austin Cake)

Not surprisingly cake continues to be a integral part in pretty much every wedding.   Even with all the interest, and competition, last year in alternative desserts, the cake still survives, and transforms.  But where did this tradition come from you ask....well, let's take a look.

Way back when all these traditions were set in place, usually around the time of Ancient Greece, after the wedding ceremony a loaf of bread was used to celebrate the union.  The Groom would gnaw off a bit of the bread for good luck and prosperity, and then the remainder of the loaf was then broken over the Brides head.  As the crumbs fell to the ground, guests and well-wishers would scramble to scoop up the priceless morsels in hopes of gaining a wee bit of their own prosperity.  Ewwww!

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Later the tradition moved from bread to cake (thank goodness) and instead of having it broken over the lovely Bride's head, the cake was cut into teeny tiny slices so the Bride could slip each slice through her wedding ring, thus blessing them, before handing to each waiting guest.  Needless to say, this very time consuming tradition has evolved into cake being cut and handed out to guests on plates...oh happy day!

So now you know!  

Each year the trends affect cakes as well.  According to an article by Maggie Austin for HuffPost Weddings, these are the hottest trends you'll see in Wedding Cakes.  By the way, you can read her entire article by clicking on the link above.  I'm just going to paraphrase....and add my 'two cents worth', of course...
The 'Yum' Factor...
No more stale boring, white cakes...'no siree Bob'.  According to Austin, "Moist cake with decadent fillings and feather-light buttercream is the new standard."  And we couldn't be happier.  Look for cake designers to bring forth new complex combinations to 'wow' your guests.  No cake left behind...that is the new motto!

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Sugar Rush...
This year you will not see as many florist adding their special touches to the Wedding Cakes, instead Sugar Flowers will be the guest of honor on these lovely creations.  Why?  Well according to Austin, "These beautiful blooms will not fade or wilt, they're not sprayed with poisonous pesticides, and they can be completely customized. Whether it's a pop-art magnolia or a feathery peony edged in silver, couples are looking to cake designers to give them the flowers that Mother Nature can't."  Can't argue with that!

No More Freezer Burn!...
Personally I cannot think of anything less appealing than to defrost your wedding cake on your one year anniversary, so I am happy to see this tradition come to an end.  Today, many cake designers are offering couples an Anniversary Cake in place of the once obligatory frozen top layer for them to celebrate.  And doesn't that sound much more appealing than dragging out a year old frozen cake...absolutely!

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Frills....Frills...and More Frills...
Austin tells us, "The wedding dress has long been a source of inspiration for cake design, so it makes sense that the trends follow each other closely. Frills that are so thin they're translucent, intricate lace overlays across a smooth canvas, and layered appliques with subtle texture all reflect the hottest haute couture gowns."  So Brides, take note...gone is the heavy fondant draping, or swags, on cakes.  This year it's being replaced by softer, more delicate designs to mimic ones gown.

Fondant is King...
I will admit, I am not a big fan of fondant.  I tend to lean on the side of the most rustic look to cakes, even going so far as being a fan of the unfrosted designs.  However, having be given the daunting task of cutting a wedding cake, no easy feat I might add, I have changed my opinion of this confection.  This year, Austin says, "Whether you're in love with the austere lines of an English country manor awash in climbing blossoms or the humble and minimalist charm of wildflowers, fondant (with the buttercream tucked safely inside) is the perfect canvas for a design that's uniquely yours."  With a word of caution thrown in...."But whatever you choose, keep that cake out of the sun!"  Wise words.  I cannot begin to tell you the number of cakes we have had to reconstruct at the last minute because someone placed the cake in the sun...

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No More Whimsy...Thank You Very Much!
We've all seen them and marveled at their ability to stand upright.  Those crazy cakes that defy gravity and look as though at any moment could topple over onto themselves.  Well rest assured my lovelies, these cakes are a thing of the past...well, at least for weddings that is.  Austin reports, "Today's skilled cake designers are flexing their artistic muscles in a much more restrained way, focusing their energy on beautifully-executed details rather than structural engineering."  And that my friend is music to my ears! 

Loosen Up...
No longer will you see the rigid floral displays on cakes.  Things are loosening up quite a bit.  According to Maggie Austin, cake designer extraordinaire, "These days, things are getting a bit more... natural. Cake designers are opting for an organic feel for the arrangements and creating sugar flowers that pile or tumble or cascade in a way that is both realistic and fanciful."  

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Pedestal Cake Stands Please...
Even though they have become a staple in the industry, look for the ornate, and sometimes gaudy, cake stands, or cake drums as they are also called, to disappear from Cake Tables across the nation.  According to Austin, these heavy duty holders of wedding cakes are taking a back seat to the more delicate and lovely pedestal cake stand..."A pedestal cake stand. A slender pedestal elevates the cake off the table and gives the design height and presence."  

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So, there you have it...what's trending in cake design for this year.  As I mentioned earlier, for the complete article by Maggie Austin, click this link: Maggie Austin.  She can also be found offering classes and advise on!  Pretty awesome.

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