Thursday, December 13, 2012

Weddings, weddings and more weddings!

There have been several weddings since I have started my externship and I am learning a lot about how to prepare for them.  There have been wedding cakes and grooms cakes a plenty!

Whenever a bride calls about a wedding cake a tasting is then scheduled.  The bride and usually the groom come in and meet with either the owner or the pastry chef to sample at least a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream icing and a wedding cake cupcake (almond) with almond buttercream icing and discuss what type of cake they (she) would like.  :)  Whomever meets with the bride takes down all of the details and then the pastry chef usually does a rough sketch of the cake for approval.  A price is quoted, a deposit is made, and the rest is history.   

Some of the cakes have come with an important lesson, such as the popcorn bowl grooms cake.  The bride came in for a tasting and ordered both her wedding cake and the grooms cake.  It was a surprise for the groom and she wanted to have it look like a bowl of popcorn because her fiance really liked popcorn.  She was quoted a price and the order was placed.  At a later date the bride called and wanted to change the order from a bowl of popcorn to a vintage red and white popcorn container.  The Chef said no problem and changed the order.  What he later realised was that he should have reconfigured the price because the new cake was going to be a lot more work than the first order.  Of course, he did not change the price at the last minute, but instead used it as a learning experience for both of

There have been some beautiful cakes and some "interesting" cakes to say the least.  I have had many opportunities to observe Eric each weekend as he creates each bride's idea of her perfect cake.  I think the trend of fondant wedding cakes may be wearing out or it could just be here in New Orleans, but there have been more buttercream coated cakes than fondant covered cakes in the weeks I have been here.   I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn more about the world of wedding cakes. 
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of these beautiful cakes.  :(  However, I do have pictures from the first two weddings of which I had the pleasure of making the desserts.  I have said this before but, appropriately enough my first wedding was for two of my biggest supporters in my Pastry Chef nephew Mac and my "now officially" niece Tarah.  Their wedding was amazing!  They did not want a traditional wedding cake, but asked me to create a dessert buffet of some of their favorite desserts.  These consisted of handheld apple pies, banana pudding parfaits, pecan tartlets, chocolate cake (Mac's grandfather's recipe), and a choice of either s'mores cupcakes with toasted marshmallow icing or sweet potato cupcakes with maple buttercream icing.  Everything turned out deliciously fantastic. 

To top off the evening they asked me to create a cookie bar as the favors for the wedding guests. The choices were: the bride's favorite (peanut butter), the groom's favorite (snickerdoodle), their son Rylan's favorite (sugar cookies with sprinkles), and everyone's favorite (chocolate chip). 

I created my first actual wedding cake the week before I left Tallahassee for a sweet, sweet bride named Kaycee that works with my niece Tarah (see first wedding  She wanted cake for 200 people, but really only wanted three tiers.  We ended up with the three tier cake she wanted and an extra full sheet cake to be cut and served out of the kitchen to make up the rest of the needed 200 servings.  Kaycee had a beautiful southern wedding with lots of country style charm.  Her cake was a yellow cake with buttercream icing in a plaster finish with fresh sunflowers.  The wedding was held at a location that was down a dirt road to I decided to assemble the cake on site.  I was nervous enough and didn't want the nightmare of having the cake fall over as I drove down the bumpy dirt road.  My sister came with me to make the delivery and I am so glad she was there because she certainly kept me calm since when I got there and asked the florist for the flower topper for the cake I was directed to a bucket of sunflowers.  Soooo, knowing that you really can't put fresh flowers straight into a cake I quickly trimmed the sunflowers, wrapped the stems in some plastic wrap that I brought with me, and then inserted them into the top and at each tier.  I think the end result came out beautiful!  Kaycee was on her honeymoon when I left Tallahassee, but I was told she really liked the cake.  Phew, I feel like I just earned my first Pastry Chef badge.

Don't you love the stand!  I wish I could say it was mine, but she borrowed it from her aunt.  The more wedding cakes I witness being created the more and more anxious and excited I get about getting back to Tallahassee and starting to work on the opening of Sweet Inspirations!
I hope you are all having a wonderful stress free holiday season and remember in the midst of all of the holiday craziness to take some time to enjoy your family and the things that truly matter.  As you enjoy all of those delicious holiday treats remember that it is I who always remind you to Keep It Sweet!

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