The Cake's the Thing



There's one thing that I’ve obviously been leaving out the entire time — the cake! I guess the cake’s a pretty important detail, but there have been so many other things to do that the cake things just kind of got lost in the mix.


HudsonValleyWeddings.com Tip: Petite Fours and Cupcakes Give new twist the traditional elaborate wedding cake by serving individual "cakes" to your guests.



When we first started talking about getting married, Tim mentioned that there is only one cake that he enjoys eating; a white Pillsbury boxed-mix cake with bananas as filling and Cool Whip topping. In the beginning I was totally cool with it (I mean, you can make whipped cream cakes look really cool — kind of like fluffy clouds! — and it does taste pretty good). But when I found out that the caterer provides us with a cake, I wasn’t sure if the whole Cool-Whip-and-bananas thing would go over so well. Especially since bananas tend to get brown after a few hours of being used as filling — not cute! This suddenly became a problem, because neither of us knew anything about cakes! I know what I like; chocolate and berries, like raspberries or strawberries; and we know what he likes… well, Cool Whip and bananas. I spent a bunch of time online looking up cake lingo, and I picked up a couple useful terms. Let me share my newfound knowledge with you! =)


HudsonValleyWeddings.com Tip: When the Bride Cuts the Cake choose an elegant option with violins and flutes playing in a semi-circle around the newlyweds.



DECORATIONS:
Dragees: Those rock-hard balls of sugar that people sometimes put on cakes — you know, the ones that look barely edible (but gorgeous nonetheless)? They’re sometimes painted metallic to make them look silver or gold.
Gum Paste: A mix of gelatin, corn starch, and sugar make up this easy-to-sculpt substance. If you ever see uber-realistic flowers or bow decorations on a cake, you’re looking at a gum paste creation! Objects made with gum paste also stick around for a while, so you could keep your gum paste flowers for years to come and they’ll never disappear (a little gross, but true!).
Piping: Pattern cake decorations like dotted swiss, basketweave, latticework, and shells. The patterns are created with icing in a pastry bag.
Marzipan: Almonds, egg whites, and sugar make up this thick paste, which can be molded into tons of different decorations. You can make colors in marzipan as bright as can be — it has the ability to be really vibrant stuff. Watch out, though, it’s super-sugary!


HudsonValleyWeddings.com Tip: Oh Yummy! Taste samples of both the cake and the frosting options you're considering.



ICINGS:

Buttercream: This is probably the most common icing that you’ll ever find — the creamy stuff they put on your birthday cake at the grocery store bakery, or the icing you use to ice your cakes at home. Since it’s really creamy and thick, you can use it to make cool designs, like flowers or scalloping along the edges of the cake. It’s really melty, though, so you best not leave it out in the sun for too long! (In other words, if you’re having an outdoor wedding it might not be the best idea.)
Whipped Cream (YES!! =D): Everyone knows what whipped cream is, and although it’s probably the most delicious icing out there, it’s not the best for a wedding cake. You literally have about five minutes to leave it out of the fridge before it starts getting all droopy and melting all over the place. A good idea if you’re in it just for the flavor, but a bad idea if you want good pictures later on…
Royal Icing: The extra-hard stuff you put on gingerbread houses as a kid. It’s white and shiny, and made out of confectioner’s sugar and egg whites or milk.
Fondant: A smooth, stiff icing made from gelatin and corn syrup. It’s pretty trendy right now; if you look at wedding cakes online, most modern designs are made from this. It’s not the most delicious icing out here, but it doesn’t need to be refrigerated so it’s perfect for outdoor weddings!
Ganache: A combo of heavy cream and chocolate that forms kind of a glassy-looking top coat over a cake when you pour it on top. It’s really bad in the heat, though — it’ll slide right off if you’re not careful! Scary stuff…
So this is what I learned about cakes over the past few weeks. I also learned that you can layer the cakes with different flavors if you have a multi-tiered cake, so that I can have my dark chocolate with raspberry filling, and yes — Tim can have his favorite cake! No hassles, no problems!


HudsonValleyWeddings.com Tip: To Top It Off borrow a cake-topper from a close friend, or, if you're lucky and they kept it, from your parents or grandparents. Oh — and choose a cake topper!



There’s this designer Ty Wilson who does a line call “Perfect Match-rimony,” and you can put together a bride and a groom with the same hair color and ethnicities as you and your fiancé! They’re made out of beautiful porcelain and although they’re pretty big, I think they’ll look great on top of the cake! Here’s a pic (except the hair colors will be reversed – I’m the dark-haired one!)... 
 
That’s that. We’re ordering the cake this week, so I’ll let you know what we decide on. Until then, have a great week!


HudsonValleyWeddings.com Tip: Preserve Your Wedding Cake properly and enjoy it on your first anniversary. Wrap the top layer in plastic wrap and cover in aluminum foil. (Don't use just foil, because it may leave a metallic taste.) Store in the back of the freezer.
WEDDING COUNTDOWN: 22 DAYS!!


~Laura


The Blog For Hudson Valley Weddings

About This Blog

Liz Stein

Laura Calhoon
Dover, NY

A Hudson Valley native, Laura Calhoon grew up in Poughkeepsie and earned her Bachelor's degree at SUNY New Paltz in May of 2007. Laura, who has worked for both Hudson Valley magazine and the Taconic Press in Millbrook, is now teaching at a nursery school in Brewster. She is thrilled write Behind the Valley Veil -- mostly because it gives her an outlet for all that wedding talk! Her hobbies include reading, drawing, singing opera (minus the viking hat), writing fiction, and performing with her band "What's in this Juice?" -- and, of course, hanging out with her wonderful fiancee, Tim. She currently resides in Dover -- not all too far away from her husband-to-be.

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