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Sweet treats and showstoppers
Q. We can't agree on a flavour or look for our cake. What ideas can you share for a winter-themed design and how can we please everyone on flavour?
A. Maxine Den says: If you've come up with your shortlist of flavours and just can't decide, don't! You can have a different flavour in each tier of your cake; that could mean several if you're going for a multi-tiered showstopper. Another neat sidestep is a dessert table, laden with various sweet treats such as meringues, brownies, cookies and bitesize cakes. It also caters to both your guests' dietary requirements and tastebuds, allowing for plantbased products and items made without gluten or nuts, or anything else you might wish to cover.
On design, if you fancy a tropical themed wedding on the chilliest of Britain's dark winter days, I say go for it...it's your day, after all! But if you'd rather reflect the season outside, there are plenty of ways to achieve that too. On style, cake designers love to hear about the overall theme of your day – colours, materials, florals and foliage, and then we can let our creativity flow. Maybe you'd like deep and brilliant blues with a cascade of hand-painted chocolate shards, neutral shades with a pop of festive floral colour, or textured pastel buttercream with metallic highlights. The only limit is your imagination.
Maxine Den, Den Bake Shop
Q. How to inject seasonal brights into every element of your wedding…
A. Davina Bye says: If you choose a neutral palette for your décor, then your cake can be the place to add a burst of colour. The most traditional way is to incorporate some fresh flowers from your bouquet, but this won't make the biggest impact if your flowers are neutral. Instead, smother your cake in edible flowers for a wild multi-coloured vibe. You can also bring the colours of your flowers on to your cake's surface. People are scared of going for a non-white toned cake but don't need to be.
Add texture in different shades with edible embellishments. A cascading waterfall of bright rice paper features, chocolate details, fruits, macrons, meringues, piped details all look amazing.
If you match the tiers to one colour you can get away with more details like extra piping, textural features, flowers and other adornments. Different coloured tiers can be statement enough and need less adding to the finished showstopper.
It's a fine line between fun and too much. Choose a designer who has a good eye for colours and uses them confidently, then give them some starting points and trust their instinct! You're hiring them for their skills, and most will provide mock up drawings before the design is set in stone, so you can tone it down if you need to.
Davina Bye, ACHE for cake
Q. We want the perfect winter cake. What flavours would you suggest, and do you have any design tips?
A. Elizabeth Solaru says: Seasonal wedding cakes are a perfect way to incorporate winter style and flavours. While Christmas-themed weddings may seem an obvious choice, winter weddings are an opportunity to feature bold jewel tones such as emerald, plum, deep reds and navy blue and adorned with berries, seasonal flowers or painted in gold, warmer rose gold or cool silver.
For brides who love a bit of bling, cake designs with beading or crystals also make a statement, with crystal cake stands bringing a decadent and impactful look.
When it comes to flavours, an all-time favourite like chocolate, can be paired with one of the following buttercream and/or jam seasonal fillings: peppermint, praline, blood orange, or pomegranate. You could also incorporate warm spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or cardamom into your cake batter or fillings to surprise and delight your guests. Red velvet is another winter flavour favourite both for its colour and the hint of cocoa powder. The ultimate winter flavour must be fruit cake but not how your grandma used to make it. The modern take incorporates healthy and immune-boosting acai berries, dried cranberries, goji berries and golden berries in addition to the traditional fruit commonly used.
Elizabeth Solaru, Elizabeth's Cake Emporium