This is a bit of delayed post, as in November I had the pleasure of experiencing a cake-tasting for myself courtesy of Cynthia of Delights by Cynthia. My mother-in-law made my wedding cake so I didn't do the whole searching for a cake-maker and getting to taste lots of yummy cakes. So when Cynthia invited me to attend a cake-tasting me and my cake loving self was more than happy to oblige.
One of my very dear friends Davina is getting married later this year, so as a bride-to-be I brought her along with me.
Cynthia gave us the full-on bride-to-be experience and despite my heady sugar rush from all the cake eating I was able to take notes and photos so that I would be able to share it all with you.
The cake consultation starts with a discussion of the theme of your wedding as Cynthia is always keen to get an idea of how you might want the cake to fit in with your day. She'll start with going through your plans and ideas, her lookbook of previous cakes and also magazines to help inspire you. Although Cynthia is quite clear about not copying other people's designs so you're guaranteed to get something original.
You'll then have a discussion about what the cake needs to do in terms of your number of guests, whether or not it is going to be your dessert and also what kind of shape you like and number of tiers. The consultation will of course include my favourite bit - the tasting! This is where you will be presented with a variety of flavours to choose from.
We tried the flavours:
- Orange sponge with orange cream - Vanilla sponge with vanilla frosting and jam filling - good old victoria sponge which Cynthia told us is the most popular. - Irish cream icing with chocolate sponge - Vanilla and cinnamon - Oreo cookie and chocolate
Many of these were combinations I had never heard of let alone tried and I was very pleasantly surprised.
I was keen to talk to Cynthia about trends for 2013 and here they are:
1. Cupcakes will continue to be popular but macaroons will also be making more of a feature, especially for summer weddings. 2.Grooms cakes - Cynthia has seen more requests for cakes for the Groom. This is the fun cake so one shaped like a football or you man's hobby, apparently it was in the film Steel Magnolias. 3. Candy buffets will be big for 2013 and of course the cake always takes centre stage. 4. Square shaped cakes instead of the more traditional round ones.
Cynthia also had some words of advice - Involve the groom. As the bride it is easy to let the wedding become your show but if your groom isn't too enthralled with the rest of the wedding details invite him to get involved in the cake, he might just surprise you.
- If you are on a budget, keep it simple! The increased cost comes in when you are choosing a cake which requires lots of time to be spent on decoration, structure and embellishment, so keep this in mind. Cynthia suggests £300 is the average cost for a cake.
- If your cake-maker is not setting up your cake for you, make sure you give that job to someone you trust as it is a big responsibility. Give them clear instructions so they know exactly what they are doing and there are no mistakes on the day.
- If you are going to have your cake as your dessert then remember you will be serving bigger portions than if the cake was a late night snack or a take home gift so bear this in mind.
- Think about what you are going to do with your cake and plan it into your day. There is nothing worse than waste at the end of the night or everyone forgetting to serve the cake until all the guests have left.
One thing I really wanted to know was how long cakes will keep for. My mother-in-law is quite traditional and was adamant that we should keep the top-tier of the cake either for our 1st anniversary or the birth of our first child, whichever came first. It was kept it in the freezer and we dutifully defrosted it and ate it when the time came. Ours was a traditional West Indian fruit cake which can be kept for ages, but sponge cakes don't tend to keep in the freezer so if you have any ultra traditional family members or you are yourself then this might be something to consider.
Something different - Different colours for each layer of your cake. - Mini meringues, is something I'd like to see and according to Cynthia are another great choice to add that extra something.
Check out Cynthia's website as there is lots of helpful information and you can get in touch with her if you would like to have a cake consultation, visit www.delightsbycynthia.com or call 0207 2786872.