Expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your West Midlands Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourwestmidlands.wedding

 

It's all about the cake

It's all about the cake

Q. Our summer nuptials have turned in to a winter wedding due to the pandemic, and we feel this has changed our wedding cake design and flavours; what could we opt for that's more fitting to the wintry season?

A. Susan Angel says: Susan says: I know things have changed, and an autumn and winter wedding wasn't your first choice however, it's truly a magical time of year with many possibilities for both design and flavour profiles.

By choosing something new and unexpected with your flavour combinations, you can bring a playfulness to your wedding cake you may not have considered in the traditional wedding season.

If you're looking for a trio of flavours that are unapologetically indulgent, fun, and unexpected look no further than gingerbread and whisky caramel, chocolate orange and cardamon, and deliciously sinful blueberry and cinnamon compote. Your wedding cake should offer a multisensory 'wow', so choosing the unexpected for your guests is a sure way to have them talking about your wedding cake long after the final crumbs have been eaten.

Susan Angel,Christina May Cake Design
www.christinamaycakedesign.co.uk

 

More cake please

More cake please

Q. For our summer wedding, is there anything we need to consider when it comes to our cake design such as the weather effecting certain icing, or lighter flavours that work better at a summer do?

A. Laura Nolan says: Laura says: During the initial consultation process, we always ask our couples the venue/ location of their cake. A key consideration is that during summer, hummidity and temperature can be an issue, especially in outdoor venues that tend to be more popular during that time of the year and may lack air-conditioning. This is important because the wedding cake may have to stay in place for several hours before, during, and after the wedding ceremony, and needs to be durable enough to cope with these higher temperatures and hummidity levels.

An experienced cake maker should be able to provide almost any style of cake that is stable and durable enough to be placed at a venue during summer. We adapt our receipes and use specialised products to cope with summer heat and humidity, for example by changing the composition of buttercream to ensure that it can withstand higher temperatures. This type of knowledge is why dealing with an experienced cake maker is crucial.

Summer wedding cakes should be light and moist in texture and taste, my favourites are strawberry champagne, lemon drop with lemoncello, and rasberry and white chocolate, all of which are fruit infused.

Laura Nolan,The Nuthouse Bakery
www.nuthousebakery.co.uk

 

Cake

Cake

Q. Were struggling choosing a cake design for the big day, what 2020 wedding cake trends can we be inspired by?

A. Caroline Bailey says: Caroline says: There are so many exciting colours and designs being asked for by couples this year and a mixture of shaped tiers works beautifully. I always advise couples to consider what would complement their special day and this could even be by starting with their colour scheme.

The trends this year are lots of flowers be it big and bold colours or tiers of flowers, adding extra height and a new dimension to the cake. Another popular request for many of my couples is cascading sugarpaste petals, these are utterly beautiful and can be the classic white or a colour combination to match the wedding theme.

The final element I'd recommend is taking time to consider how you want your cake displayed. Decorating your cake table can take your wedding cake to a whole new level and ensure it is showcased perfectly. Caroline Bailey | Hunkington House Kitchen | hunkingtonhousekitchen.co.uk

Caroline Bailey
www.hunkingtonhousekitchen.co.uk

 

Cake Design

Cake Design

Q. What types of cake flavours and designs would you suggest to reflect a winter wedding?

A. Emma Marston says: Winter is the time of year to feel cosy and warm, it conjures up images of traditional log fires and snow days.

We indulge in lovely warm colours which washes away the greyness of outside such as deep reds and oranges with dark green foliage – a perfect contrast against a crisp white wedding cake. Add a little edible sparkle to bring snow to your wedding day as well as swathes of beautiful handcrafted sugar flowers in pure white and crimson cascade down your cake for a magical feel.

Alternatively, white-on-white cakes look so elegant for a winter wedding, or perhaps touches of pale sky blue with spiralling sparkly snowflakes and accents of deep midnight blue and edible silver leaves.

Don't forget about the inside of your cake as it's just as important! In winter we tend to have more luxurious tastes like spiced ginger and orange buttercream or rich chocolate cake with a cherry brandy ganache and cherry preserve. Other flavours include spiced apple and cinnamon cake with caramel that will smell and taste delicious. Traditionalists will love a brandy-soaked rich fruit cake.

All in all, it will make you want winter and your wedding day to never end!

Emma Marston
www.emmascakedesign.com

 

Sweet and tasty

Sweet and tasty

Q. Christmas is my favourite time of year and I would like my wedding cake to look and taste really festive, do you have any tips on how to achieve this?

A. Heather Tilstone says: I love winter weddings! We offer autumn and winter flavours for my wedding cakes, I feel it's a really special time of year for eating foods that remind us of our childhood. Flavours like chocolate orange fudge cake and our delicious sticky toffee pudding cake are popular for this time of year. You absolutely can't beat our cinnamon swirl and pecan praline cake, anyone who walks into our kitchen on a baking day when this one is in the oven can't resist it! The design of the cake is really important; Christmas always lends itself well to reds and rich greens, but with a current trend around gold and metallics, it's the perfect time of year to add a little sparkle. Of course, a traditional white on white, maybe with a little glitter will always look good, especially if it snows. I think Christmas is a great time for a cosy wedding and trends such as dessert tables are a great way to create a feeling of togetherness and warmth. Our mini toasted s'mores or doughnut wall make people have fun, join in and feel festive.

Heather Tilstone
www.tspcake.com

 

...The cake

...The cake

Q. What advice would you give me on choosing my wedding cake?

A. Angela, Isabel & Lisa says: Your wedding cake is an important part of your special day; not only does it add the wow factor to your celebration it can also serve as additional dessert or sweet treat for your evening guests.

When looking for a reputable wedding cake supplier it's important to choose one who is insured and has a high food safety rating. Additionally, most companies will offer a delivery and setup service. Ask your cake supplier if they have worked with your venue previously, which ensures everything goes smoothly on the day.

A good wedding cake supplier will use high quality ingredients, as a delicious tasting cake is as important as the design. They may also offer a cake tasting or consultation so you can meet the designers, taste their cakes and discuss your design in detail.

Angela, Isabel & Lisa
www.qualitycakecompany.com

 

Cake expectations

Cake expectations

Q. Which style of cake finishing would withstand the heat at our summer wedding?

A. Caroline Bailey says: So a great question especially if this summer is as hot as last year's! Fondant icing (also referred to as sugar paste) is by far the best covering to consider during the summer months and even though it's soft when the cake is first decorated, the fondant icing creates a firm covering before the other decorations are added.

I always ensure that the cake is not displayed in full sunlight as this could potentially affect even fondant-covered cakes and sugar paste decorations. I'd always advise couples to talk to their cake creator about set up times, if they're getting married mid-afternoon it may be possible to arrange a later cake set up which would work better.

If you're unsure always ask your supplier to liaise with your wedding venue regarding the set up arrangements, room layout and where the cake will be displayed; getting answers to these few questions will reduce any cake worries in hotter weather.

Caroline Bailey
www.hunkingtonhousekitchen.co.uk

 

Cake-ology

Cake-ology

Q. We've started looking at wedding cakes but we're totally baffled by some of the terminology involved. Help!

A. Angela, Isabel & Lisa says: We work with couples to create their dream wedding cake. Here's a guide to some of the terminology used by cake designers.

Tiers – These are individual cakes that are stacked on top of each other. Tiers can be different heights, with two, three or more layers of sponge inside.

Buttercream – A smooth, creamy cake filling and covering, sometimes referred to as frosting and most often seen on cupcakes. It can come in a variety of flavours and colours – we get regular compliments on ours.

Fondant – A soft icing that has a sweet flavour, used to cover cakes for a smooth flawless finish. It is also used to create cake decorations.

Ganaché – A rich mixture of chocolate and cream, used to cover a cake before applying fondant to improve the structure and create a smooth finish. Ganache is also used as a decoration on drip cakes.

Sugar flowers – Often used in place of fresh flowers, they are usually hand crafted from a type of fondant that hardens.

Piping – A decoration technique achieved by using a piping bag and metal tip. Patterns, swirls, lettering and other decorations can be piped onto cakes.

Angela, Isabel & Lisa
www.qualitycakecompany.com

 

A slice as nice

A slice as nice

Q. I'm tying the knot this spring and would love to have my cake decorated with blooms. My friend tells me this isn't a good idea as some flowers are poisonous – is this true?

A. Angela Veronica says: While some flowers are indeed poisonous, professional florists and trained wedding cake designers will alleviate any concerns you may have. If in doubt, opt for fresh fruit and herbs to decorate your masterpiece.

Angela Veronica,The Little Pink Wedding Shop

 

Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake

Q. We're having a spring wedding and want to incorporate the season's colours into our cake. Do you have any suggestions on how we can achieve this?

A. Isabel Wass says: Spring signals the start of a fresh new season, a beautiful time of year for couples to tie the knot. It introduces softer, romantic hues, such as blues, pinks, greens and corals, which can be paired with traditional white to create a clean and sophisticated look. This year will also see the trend of ombre-gradient hues, a great way to add a touch of colour to match your style and theme. Plus, metallic tones such as rose gold will still be a top trend and will add a modern and glamorous feel.

The spring palette can also be used on cupcakes, combined with luxurious textured detailing, such as lace to create the perfect vintage theme.

Flavours are also a great way to reflect the changing season, with the use of lighter ingredients such as strawberry and lemon which are perfect for semi-naked cakes adorned with fresh flowers or seasonal fruits.

We strive to work with couples to design and create their perfect wedding bake, incorporating the latest trends and reflecting each couples' style and personality.

Isabel Wass
www.qualitycakecompany.com

 

A slice as nice

A slice as nice

Q. My wife-to-be and I are set to tie the knot in 2019 and we'd love to wow our guests with a gorgeous cake. What trends are set to be hot next year?

A. Isabel Wass says: In 2019, we'll see cakes becoming more colourful with the use of bold hues and ombre effects, plus there will also be a greater focus on the flavour of the bake itself.

At Quality Cake Company, we shy away from ordinary and enjoy working with couples to create their ideal cake design. Drip cakes are going to be a key trend for the year ahead, with the use of bold colour and contrasting drip effects; finished with matching flowers, macarons or the nearlyweds' favourite sweets. We're also seeing a trend for grey and silver tones, especially for weddings during the winter months, block uses of grey give a contemporary look to simple designs.

Groom's cakes are also set to be hot next year. These are a step away from traditional, elegant cakes with rich, creative flavours like mocha chocolate and themed with the groom's favourite hobby in mind. Designs featuring circles or hoops are also hot for 2019. The use of a hoop brings the eye to a central focal point, adding a real wowfactor. It also reflects the symbol of the wedding ring – never-ending love.

Isabel Wass
www.qualitycakecompany.com