Have your Cake and Eat It too!
And so it’s time for THE most important decision to be made of the whole wedding – THE CAKE (possible exaggeration but I can’t be sure)!! Unfortunately for most brides and grooms who are not too keen on the traditional fruit cake there is a pressure (from certain family and friends – you know who you are) to keep the custom going. And if, like me the traditional fruit cake does not float your boat then read on for some inspiration, shut the voices of the moms, aunts and everyone who is sticking steadfast to the traditional wedding.
‘Sure the older crowd love it’
‘You have to have it’
‘But what will keep it all up’
On top of the ‘traditional’ pressures we also feel we have to look our best and it is often the push needed (and as often not needed) to loose weight for the big day. So as we starve ourselves on the run up to the wedding day our minds often wonder over to the food side of the day, and most importantly THE CAKE.
So after our gruelling months of dieting and denial of all the nice things its time to celebrate the big day and to thoroughly enjoy ourselves (in my humble opinion) we must look to the dessert. Be warned further scrolling will make you a) drool, b) hungry… or hangry (hungry and angry) or c) very excited for cake…. Go on, a small bit won’t hurt and sure how will you know if it is worth it on the day if you don’t try just a little.
The ‘go to’ alternative if the thought of that heavy rolled icing and fruit cake does not appeal – this option allows you variety to have a large selection of individual bites or keep it simple and stick one or two favourites of you and your intended.
Keep it simple and classic with everyone’s favourite a vanilla bean sponge cake, decorated with a vanilla butter cream, and complimented by cupcakes of the same flavour – match the number to the number of guests to save you on waste. Fill in the bottom tiers and any extras can be displayed on the table surrounding the stand.
When planning a wedding which may not stick to the more traditional guidelines it’s a great opportunity to have fun whether you are a comic, game loving couple or having a wedding that caters towards the younger guests keep it light and fun – cake is the one place to get silly.
While keeping peace among all those opinions outside of that of the bride and groom – keeping the central cake true to what you both want and love and then indulging all the others with a series of signature cupcakes:
Strawberry & Champagne
Triple White Chocolate
Mini Fruit Cake
Rocky Road Cupcakes
Pick your favourite….
The cupcakes keep everyone happy so how about something a little braver but sure to satisfy. Read on…
The Doughnut Tower – just perfection! Granted a tower of doughnuts might bring an image of Homer Simpson to mind rather than an elegant affair but these interpretations below have totally swayed me. They are fun, quirky, and tasty and dare I say it… Pretty, yes I said it they look pretty. And who doesn’t love a doughnut. It’s low cost and easy to do with out loosing any of the taste.
Brownies are one of the easiest and comforting desserts there is and for a chocolate lover it doesn’t get much better. The images below demonstrate how simple it is to display, and if you or a close loved one is an avid baker, this is a budget friendly, wedding cake option. Simply bake brownies (see my favourite recipe below) cut into squares when cooled (keep the best looking ones for the outside – to be on the safe side) and stack in a tower, if a little wary about collapsing use a little chocolate spread to stick the brownies together. Decorate with flowers, fruit – chocolate covered strawberries perhaps, bunting, and don’t forget your cake toppers.
Here’s a Quick and Easy Brownie Recipe (allrecipes.co.uk)
400g caster sugar
225g butter, (melted)
60g cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
60g chocolate chips
60g crushed hazelnuts (optional)
Mix all ingredients in the above order
Bake at 180°C/ Gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes in a 23x33cm greased baking tray.
Leave to cool and then slice in equal squares.
Biscuits are a fun unconventional replacement for a wedding cake, great for the budget conscious wedding or you know because you LOVE biscuits either way go for it, if it sounds good.
Or how about a little international twist check out the Norwegian Kransekake — A popular tradition for the Norwegian or Danish couple is to serve a Kransekake which translates to “wreath cake.” The delectable delight originated circa 1700 and is made up of concentric rings of marzipan biscuit topped with party crackers or flags. In a customary Scandinavian ring-breaking ritual, the bride and groom pull off the top rings with their hands; the number of levels still remaining predicts how many children they will have.
Another personal favourite of mine (who am I kidding I love them all) Éclairs or a Profiterole tower. Cream, pastry and topped with chocolate how can that be wrong?
The Spun Sugar Croquembouche, other wise known as a pièce montée, is an elegant and complex dish that takes years of training to perfect. It looks beautiful and tastes even better. The Croquembouche is a traditional French wedding cake. It consists of a profiterole tower draped in a spun sugar weave.
And for the Italian wedding what about a Cannoli tower, whether it be an ode to a love you both share of delicious Italian desserts, food, culture or memories. The cannoli tower is a fun, tasty option and just something a little bit different.
Trés Chic, the crepe is not only the worlds best breakfast food (according to me) it is the best everything and I could happily have them for every meal – hence the necessary diet. How amazing is it to have a crepe tower for your wedding cake, there are no words to show how happy this makes me.
Or alternatively try the American breakfast classic Waffles topped with maple syrup. Not just for pancake Tuesday.
The Dessert Tower
A dessert tower solves almost any upset over what cake to choose – just choose your favourite dessert, whether it be cake pops, pavlova, crème brulee, parfait, chocolate mousse, the options are endless, if you can miniaturise it you can do it, just open your imagination
I think it is safe to say no matter what your favourite dessert, cake, biscuit, or sweet you can have the cake to suit, just make it a tower.
Moving away from the wedding cake towers does not mean we have come to the end of options, just yet.
Who doesn’t love a tart (or pie if you prefer) almost all of us have that one person who we associate with a tart (keep it clean) whether it’s a parent, a grandparent and aunt a close family friend, but growing up in Ireland you were bound to having apple, rhubarb, blackberry tart for Sunday dessert, until Winter when it was replaced with rice pudding (well in our house anyway). A tart no matter what the filling does have the power to bring us back in time, so why not have the little ode to days gone by at your wedding, using a family recipe, and who’s denying their love of a tart, whether its served with cream, ice cream or custard its all good.
Cheesecake will never be my personal favourite but I think I may be alone on this so it goes in the list, as a light dessert, it does not bode well to stack it, so why not have a giant one made that will serve all your guests and become a great talking point.
And Finally for the non sweet-tooth fans ( I don’t know if you’ve managed to hold on this long) The Cheese Tower.