wedding cakes and favors
Oh, how sweet it is! Wedding cakes have always been a delicious and symbolic piece of weddings. It is also a growing trend to serve other options. Dessert bars, cupcakes, and mini pies are giving a fresh new perspective to this age-old custom. Figuring out a fun way to finish off the dinner segment of your night can be overwhelming with so many sweet and delicious options.
There is no such thing as your “average wedding cake” any more. Cakes can have an array of fillings, flavors, designs, and toppers. From ribbons to fresh flowers, the appearance of your wedding cake can go in several fun directions.
If the traditional wedding cake isn’t the route that you are wanting to go, thinking of some trendy buffet ideas might be more your style. Buffets can be a bit more cost effective, but only if you’re willing to do the research. Some items that make for great buffets are: macaroons, cake pops, mini pies, candy, popcorn, cupcakes, French pastries, or chocolate dipped treats. The sky is truly the limit! Having a mix of these items can be an inviting and eye-catching display, but be careful, if you do it right it will be extremely tempting – especially if there are any little ones that will be a part of your day
Amazing designs delight the eyes while sophisticated fillings such as hazelnut and fresh raspberries please the palate. From dainty, hand-painted sugar orchids, roses and pansies; to Asian structures reflecting ones heritage; to replication of the delicate Alencon Lace in your bridal gown, or that accenting colored sash; you will see cakes so beautiful it almost seems a shame to cut them.?But, go ahead and indulge!
Your first step in creating your grand finale to your wedding is to find an excellent pastry chef, cake designer or bakery at least eight to ten months beforehand. The cost is quoted at a per person/per-serving rate. And for some elaborate cakes, pricing is based on the complexity. Prices will generally range from $2.50 to $15.00 per slice, depending on your choice of ingredients and intricacy of the design. Your cake may be the most expensive dessert you’ve ever ordered, but it’s also the centerpiece of the meal and reception and second only to the wedding dress in visual impact.
An endless choice of flavors and fillings are available; choosing the flavor first will give you a good base. Consider the season, time, and how warm or cool it will be on your wedding day. Some ingredients such as ganache don’t hold up well in warmer weather. Particularly suited to an outdoor wedding would be a garden cake using an almond cake base with fresh orange Grand Marnier filling.
And, why stick with only one flavor? Each layer of the cake could be a different flavor, ranging from mocha with Kahlua to hazelnut praline crunch! Cakes usually consist of three or four tiers; that means each tier requires three or four layers of luscious fillings of your choice to hold them together. Adding different fillings, such as chocolate buttercream, hazelnut and dark chocolate truffle, will give your guests plenty to talk about after the meal! If you want to stick with something familiar and comforting, there’s the always popular carrot cake with cream cheese icing, or even cheesecake, stacked and layered and topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream or finished off to resemble a regular wedding cake.
Be prepared to be astonished by the level of artistry pastry chefs can achieve in the decoration of your cake. Cakes can be made to resemble charming hat boxes or wrapped gifts; or utilizing stripes on a six foot cake with roses between tiers; or a basket weave texture created with a silky French buttercream and incorporating a variety of edible flowers such as pansies and violets. Details from the wedding gown or bridal jewelry can also be re-created by the best of pastry chefs; picture the bride’s Cameo jewelry echoed in lovely fondant charms surrounding each layer of the cake.
Wedding favors will be the last item your guests take away from your wedding. You will want to leave them with something that will remind them of your day but also show your style as a couple. If you have a theme with your wedding this is a great place to embellish on it and go all out. Favors that will get your guests talking will be the ones that they can take home with them and use in their daily life. Some examples of this might be: a personalized candle, spices for their kitchen, a wine glass, custom-made soap, or even a matchbox with your wedding date.
Flowers may not be the only way to create a table centerpiece for each of your guest tables at the reception. Try a ‘flour’ of a different kind with table cake centerpieces served by the wait staff; whether it’s a variety of cheesecakes or a three tiered table cake with different flavors and sculptured with fondant. It’s your style and individual taste that will thrill your guests even with individual cakes to be served to each guest. Although these tiny-tiered works of art are more expensive per person than a slice of a larger cake, the effect is purely sensational.
Once you have made your selections, the pastry chef will set up a tasting and the details of your cake will be finalized in writing. Your contract should describe the specifics of the cake; filling and icing flavors, colors, decorations, cake top, number of servings, delivery date, time, location and setup. Usually a deposit of fifty percent is required and the final count date should be discussed with your pastry chef. Be sure they are given the name and number of a contact person at the reception site. They’ll need to find out exactly when the facility will be available for the cake delivery and general logistics of setting up the cake. Also, make sure a separate table is set aside and decorated at the reception so that your gorgeous cake has an equally gorgeous display.
Dessert and candy tables are a recycling trend; they were also popular in the 1990’s. The fun thing about these scrumptious tables is the fun way in which they are displayed and watching the adults hover over the table as if they were kids. So just what do you have on the dessert or candy table? The sky is the limit! Just think back to what you loved eating as a kid and create a themed table around it.
A movie inspired table might include: Popcorn in theater bags, Dots, Licorice, Bottle Caps, Gummy Bears, Sour Balls, Jaw Breakers, Cotton Candy, Good & Plenty, Goobers, Jujyfruits, Mike & Ike, M&M's, Milk Duds, Charm Pops and Blow Pops!
A Chocolate table could feature: Warm Liquid Fudge Shots, a hot chocolate bar with mini marshmallows, turtle brownies, chocolate truffles in an assortment of flavors, ice cream sundaes with multiple toppings and jumbo candy bars.
An Espresso Buffet could include: Coffee and Espresso, a variety of cheese cakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate torte cakes.