Saturday, April 19, 2008

Last Minute Wedding Cake vs. long term planning


We just completed another VERY short notice wedding cake for a bride, who first contacted us a week before her wedding....needless to say it became a hectic week! Which brings up the idea of why should you book your cake so far in advance. It breaks down into the following:

  1. The NUMBER ONE reason is that the baker could be booked for that weekend. you have to imagine what it is like, a baker has to do as many cakes as possible without losing quality in terms of design and execution in order to run a viable business. Some bakers can do 3 cakes, others can do more...cake decorators like Ron Ben Israel and Duff of Charm City Cakes, can do up to 20 cakes in a week....all probably delivered on Saturday at 5pm!
  2. If you wait until the last minute, you are left with what the baker already has in stock, in terms of colors, materials, decorations, and flavors. Most good purveyors are on the west coast, so shipping by ground can take several days, which pretty much means you won't get anything exotic that isn't already in the baker's inventory. We were lucky to have a few signature flavors already in stock for the above cake, i.e. pistachio, champagne, and blood orange. But if we hadn' get the idea.
  3. Certain decors take time to create. Namely sugar paste flowers, which need time to dry after being crafted. In addition, coloring fondant to match the decor of the wedding can be prohibited by the fact that fondant, after being colored needs to rest, or it will become very fragile and easy to tear when rolled onto a cake.
  4. Another element of the decor is approving the final details, etc. For instance, if the fondant is colored the same week, it's pretty much a one shot deal, i.e. if the color isn't what the bride wants, there really isn't much time to change it, due to the fondant needing to rest.
But, the cake was really cool and fun for us to execute because it tested our ability to conceptualize a cake and do a quick turn around for a cake that is rather complicated and exciting:
  • We had to color fondant on short notice using the colors we had on hand, mixing blue, white and gray to get a shade of blue slate that the bride was looking for.
  • Doing a double stack tier, a la April Reed, was something new for us.
  • Putting two types of cakes and three types of buttercream flavoring into one cake was intricate and fun.
    • Top tier: 8 inch Almond Cake with Pistachio Buttercream
    • Bottom tier (top): 10 inch Yellow Cake with Blood Orange Buttercream
    • Bottom tier (bottom): 10 inch Yellow Cake with Champagne Buttercream
  • Delivering the cake to a boat on the St. John's River say the least!

No comments: