Friday, February 24, 2012

What the heck is Italian buttercream??

I boast all the time that I use 'Italian buttercream' to ice my cakes, but other than sounding oh-so European chic- what does that really mean?

The buttercream you're probably used to is American buttercream, which is made by incorporating large amounts of powdered sugar into a fat (butter, shortening, cream cheese etc.). Although this frosting does hold a special place in my heart (especially with cream cheese!), it has a super sweet taste and sometimes gritty texture that is not ideal for achieving a smooth finish on a cake. Which is why, for most tiered cakes I prefer to use meringue based buttercream, or Italian.

Italian buttercream is made by cooking granulated sugar on the stove until it reaches the soft ball stage, adding that mixture to whipped egg whites and then beating the mixture until it cools down.  Now comes the butter. I'm not going to disclose exactly how much butter is actually added, but let's just say this frosting is NOT figure friendly...Next, you can add any number of different flavorings and then you're left with a not too sweet, super smooth and oh-so European chic Italian buttercream...heaven!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cake Tasting: Mark+Cassie

This weekend I had a cake tasting with Mark and Cassie for their June wedding. They may just be one of my most favorite bride and grooms ever, and I'm so excited they picked me to make their wedding cake! The theme of their wedding is 'lemon and lime' which was a lot of fun to brainstorm for... pay a visit to my pinterest to see more inspiration behind this cake.

As I mentioned in my previous post about cake tastings, Mark and Cassie got to pick three different cake and filling combinations. The flavors they picked were vanilla-bean cake filled with homemade whipped cream and fresh berries, vanilla-bean chocolate chip cake with chocolate raspberry ganache filling and vanilla-lime cake filled with lemon curd. They had three 4-inch cakes to taste, marked on top by a dollop of what flavor was inside:

The lemon and lime cake went with their theme perfectly and was the clear winner with both of them. Although, a great perk to booking with me is that you don't have to choose! You can have as many different flavors in your final cake as you have tiers. Your guests will definitely appreciate the variety as well. After the tasting came the design part of the consultation. I presented them with five different sketches to use as a base to build their cake design, and an idea for their topper:

They picked design #1 with the lemon/lime bride and groom topper and double sized middle tier with filigree. Their wedding will be around 175 which definitely requires four tiers, and the final cakes will be a 14", two 10" and a 6". Congrats Mark and Cassie and I can't wait to be a part of your wedding day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wedding Cake Tasting 101

The tricky part about working in the wedding industry is that everyone is a first time client [well...almost everyone]. Planning a wedding is a daunting task in itself, not to mention the fact that it is the first and hopefully only time you will be doing it. That can be a lot of pressure! But the cake is the fun part. Picking out your wedding cake from me consists of relaxing, talking about your wedding and eating cake. Sold yet?

For a tasting with me, you get to pick up to three different cake and filling combinations. I'll make your choices into three 4" round cakes which will  provide you with enough cake to share with family and friends...unless you like cake like I do and then, well, I won't tell if you won't. Once we settle on a flavor, then we'll talk design.

I'll have a few sketches ready for you based on any information about your wedding that you provided when we scheduled the tasting. Using these as a starting point, we can work on creating a design together that is unique to your personality and wedding theme. In the next few days I'll make a final one and e-mail it to you with a price estimate. After that, we'll be in close contact until your wedding day if you need to make any changes. Here's a list of helpful hints to get the most out of your tasting and consultation:

What to Bring:
  • Wedding invitations, save the date cards, engagement announcements or anything else with a pattern or color scheme specific to your wedding theme that you may want incorporated into the cake design
  • Personal stories that reflect you and your future spouse's style and wedding concept
  • Family traditions 
  • Information regarding your caterer, venue, or wedding planner that could be of help to me
  • Pictures and ideas of what your ideal wedding cake looks like
-Cake tastings are $20.00, and applied to your final wedding cake price if you end up booking with me as a deposit to hold your date.

-Please click on the menus tab to find a sample list of flavors, but keep in mind that I can create any flavor you can think of.