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Your wedding cake is almost as much a feature of your big day as your dress is. Everyone wants to have a look at it, ooh and aah over it, take a picture of it, and even compare it to their own. So it is essential that you are completely satisfied with it, that it reflects what you want, and that it stands up to comparison!
When it comes to deciding precisely what you want you will need to know the answer to the following question: is it more important to you that your wedding cake looks good or that it tastes good? The reason for the question is to help give you some direction when you decide on what your cake should look and taste like.
Essentially you have two options for your cake: buttercream or fondant. Here is a brief explanation of each:
Buttercream is a blend of sugar, eggs and butter, which results in a soft, creamy texture that can be mixed with various flavourings. It is light, not too sweet, and universally acclaimed as the tastier of the two. It does however not do very well in warmer weather nor outdoors.
Fondant is made from sugar, corn syrup and gelatine. It is then rolled out into sheets, and moulded over the cake. The result is a smooth and shiny finish. It fairs much better outdoors and in just about any temperature.
Personally, I am not a fan of fondant. Whenever I get my hands on fondant-covered wedding cake (yes, I love the stuff) I eagerly peel away the hard fondant outer-layer and quite savagely attack the wonderful, hopefully-moist cake underneath. Then there are those who love it, who prefer it to the cake itself. Me, I am a buttercream girl. Though, as the saying goes: ‘to each their own’.
You might well be wondering then, if so many people (not just me, of course – there are plenty who will concur) have a distaste for fondant, why is it so popular? Because, simply put, it is gorgeous. Because of the texture of fondant it is easy to shape, colour and decorate. It can be transformed into anything your, or your cake supplier’s, mind can imagine and your heart may desire. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination (and, of course, your budget!) Your cake can reflect the colours and theme of your wedding; simple or elaborate, monotones and elegance or bright colours and funkiness. In fact, your cake can be a fashion statement and a talking point.
Another 3 important factors are:
This will depend largely on the number of guests expected to attend your wedding. Your cake supplier will be able to help you with this.
Start getting ideas a few weeks, or even months ahead by paging through magazines or books. This way you will know precisely what you want, whether it is a unique design or a copy of a cake you have seen.
Of course, it is very important that the cake looks good, but it should taste good too. You do want it to get eaten, after all. You have many options: from vanilla or chocolate to fruit cake or sponge, even a cheesecake or a mousse cake. Or you could always have a tiered cake, made up of a selection of your favourites!