While no one is sure when the tradition of the wedding cake began, it is generally accepted that the ritual centered on granting the new couple prosperity and fertility. This was achieved, it seems, by crumbling the cake and throwing it over the newlyweds’ heads. As if this was not disturbing enough, wedding guests would then make a mad scramble to consume the crumbs from the floor, with the hope of garnering some of the residual “good luck.”
Today’s wedding cake is, no doubt, much different from those cakes of old, with one unfortunate exception. While they are all beautiful to the eye, many are still worthy of that same ultimate demise of being crumbled and tossed! Fortunately, the number of pastry chefs who can create a wedding cake that is as good to taste as it is beautiful are growing in numbers.
Growing even faster is the number of wedding couples who are choosing to end their banquet the same way most of us like to end any great dining experience — with an amazing and memorable dessert that compliments their cake. Depending on who you are and what your wedding will be like, you might explore several sweet endings. You can tell a lot about the couple by their choice of dessert and so, just for fun, here are a few options we have matched with different personality types. Although we think you will enjoy all of them, see if you agree with our observations.
If you are looking forward to being in the limelight, let your dessert speak right along with you. Show-stopping, flaming desserts of yesteryear are making a big comeback. Guests will love the drama of Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee assembled and flambéed to order. Served with a scoop of fresh vanilla been ice cream and offered with cappuccinos and lattes, how can you go wrong?
Looking forward to an elegant wedding day? Chances are that your menu is five-star, so make sure the dessert is too. We might suggest a varietyof petit fours, or European tarts and mousses in exotic flavors like kiwi or hazel nut. And, because presentation is everything, consider utilizing some unique china and have the chef “paint the plate” or serve the mousse in demi-tasse cups along with edible chocolate spoons. There are several specialty rental companies now, both in Los Angeles and nationally, that can add a high-end, high-style elementto the dessert course.
Fun & Sassy
Time to express yourself. Couples with a trendy attitude are following the example of some adventurous restaurateurs and requesting desserts such as fresh, hot jelly doughnuts and chocolate fondue. As caterers, we have adapted these desserts to accommodate buffet service. For instance, mini doughnuts can be made fresh right before your guests. One unique service style is to present two donuts (like wedding bands) in a small bag imprinted with the bride and groom’s monograms. Just like at Krispy Kreme, these desserts draw a line every time.
While fondue may be fun for a table of six, the chocolate fountain is usually used to accommodate larger groups. This amazingly popular station is serves as a central focus to a dessert buffet. Imagine a river of molten milk chocolate cascading down multiple tiers. Guests dip skewered fresh fruit, marshmallows, pound cake (or any- thing that goes well with chocolate), directly under the steady stream of chocolate. It’s the perfect combination of elegance and fun.
Keep it simple, but worldly, you say. How about a trio of cappuccino cups filled with vanilla bean, chocolate and hazelnut crème brulee being torched tableside? Maybe you would prefer fresh fruit stuffed with home- made sorbet. Imagine a long-stemmed strawberry frozen with fresh strawberry sorbet, maybe a white peach filled with peach sorbet or a tangerine shell filled with tangerine sorbet. The options are limited by your imagination alone.
Every bride likes to leave her guest with a sweet memory. You’ve found that perfect cake, send a piece home in individual boxes with each guest or if valet service was provided, have them hand over a box of truffles along with the keys for the ride home.
Anyway you slice it, the cake is not the only sweet star on today’s wedding menus. Make it a sweet ending and save room for dessert!
Opening photograph by Artisan Events