FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North East Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yournortheast.wedding

 

Blooming baking

Blooming baking

Q. We love flowers and want to incorporate them into our cake. What should we look for?

A. Graeme Venus says: There are several options that can be taken into consideration. If you would like your cake to match with the flowers your florist is dressing the venue with, we would ask to speak to them and have them supply some extra flowers on the day. This way, when we set up the cake, we can dress it with the same flowers and colours that you have already chosen, and the cake will fit in with everything else. However, with real flowers we would also have to dip them in a food grade wax, or coat the cut stems, so sap doesn't affect your wedding bake.

You can also use sugar flowers on your cake. This option can be useful when specific colours, designs and positions are required, that are difficult to obtain with real flowers. This option, however, is more expensive, as these are made by hand. Plus, if there are a lot of flowers required, it can add a lot more cost to the cake.

Finally, why not consider silk flowers? There are some fantastic ones out there with no restrictions when adding them onto your cake. However, it can be difficult at times to match specific types of flowers and colours.

Graeme Venus, Sticky Sponge
stickysponge.co.uk

 

Say cheese

Say cheese

Q. My wife-to-be and I love strong flavours and want something unusual for our cake. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Lyn Dunn says: I have five words for you: a cake made of cheese! As you love strong flavours I would recommend our oak smoked cheese; this is lovely cheese that's smoked over oak chippings to create a bronzed outer core with a beautiful smoky taste. The other cheese in regards to strong flavours would be our Elsdon goats' cheese, which has a delicate flavour with a clean refreshing finish to the palate. Our bestselling cheese, which is our Northumberland Nettle, would be something a little different to finish the cake off – it has a gorgeous green flecked appearance and is always a talking point. Plus, as our cakes are made to order, you can select which order you would like the cheeses to be placed in, to ensure you enjoy lots of your favourite flavour.

Lyn Dunn, Northumberland Cheese Company
www.northumberlandcheese.co.uk

 

Boho babe

Boho babe

Q. We're having a boho-inspired wedding and we'd love to incorporate elements of our theme into our cake. How can we achieve this?

A. Helen Edwards says: Boho-style weddings are extremely popular at the moment and would be perfect if traditional weddings are not your sort of thing. The whimsical and romantic style allows you to be slightly unconventional and lets your artistic nature run wild. There are many beautiful elements linked to this theme, think dried flowers, feathers, pampas, succulents, macramé pieces and heavy lacework. The above cake has a wonderfully sentimental feel as all the flowers used were cut and dried from family members' gardens – what a fantastic idea!

Helen Edwards, Vanilla Teas
www.vanillateas.co.uk

 

Bloomin' beautiful

Bloomin' beautiful

Q. We love flowers and want to incorporate them into our cake design. What do you recommend we look for?

A. Gabriella Grace Rottiers says: I prefer sugar flowers to fresh florals on cakes because you won't have any issues with them wilting throughout the day.

I try to match the blooms and colours incorporated in the bouquet and there are so many options for displaying them on the cake. Do your research to find some examples of layouts you like to show your baker.

If you've gone for a wild-style bouquet, tie this in with the cake and have a more free and explosive arrangement. If you've opted for a more traditional and tighter design, maybe have small tight clusters of flowers to reflect this.

Gabriella Grace Rottiers, Gabriella Grace Cakes
www.gabriellagracecakes.co.uk

 

Festive bakes

Festive bakes

Q. We're having a Christmas extravaganza wedding and want an impressive cake that will wow our guests. Do you have any ideas of how we can achieve this?

A. Graeme Venus says: Here at Sticky Sponge Cake Studio, we create many extravagant and unusual cakes that add the wow factor to any big day.

Festive-themed bakes are very popular with Christmas just around the corner. The designs can be anything from a stylish Christmas tree to snow-covered mountains. Pull together the theme, wedding decorations and colour scheme, while still adding that personal touch to make the day even more special to you both. 

To create a showstopping cake, we find a non-traditional sculpted or painted cakes catch peoples' eyes and the details will get everyone talking.

Anything is possible when it comes to creating a cake that ties into your venue and a festive theme, so it's a good time of year to let your imagination run wild!

Graeme Venus, Sticky Sponge Cake Studio
www.stickysponge.co.uk

 

Scrumdiddliumptious

Scrumdiddliumptious

Q. My wife-to-be and I love strong flavours and want something unusual for our cake. Do you have any suggestions for us?

A. Gabriella Grace Rottiers says: My most unusual flavour is spiced clementine, which was inspired by my lovely friend Suzanne at Cove Cake Design. The fruity sponge is infused with star anise plus cinnamon and it's a flavour that most people wouldn't have tried before but are pleasantly surprised when they do. 

It's great to have something a bit different at your wedding rather than your standard Victoria sponge. Make sure to pick flavours that appeal to you and your partner – don't try and please everyone because it's your special day. 

Some of my couples enquire about a fruit cake, even though they dislike it, to provide for their older crowd. But your loved ones will be just as happy with a delicious sponge cake, especially if it's something they haven't tried before.

Gabriella Grace Rottiers, Gabriella Grace Cakes
m.facebook.com/gabriellagracecakes

 

Ready, set, bake

Ready, set, bake

Q. We're having an intimate wedding but still want a showstopping cake. How can we achieve this?

A. Graeme Venus says: When we create our cakes, people want a much taller and grander design to achieve that wow factor. However, in this case the cake would go to waste if it's only a small intimate wedding.

In these circumstances, we use dummy tiers that are made from polystyrene. This means couples don't have the extra cost or waste because they only have the amount needed.

We cover the dummy tiers the same way we do with the whole cake and use chocolate and sugar for the decorations – every couple can have the cake of their dreams this way!

Graeme Venus, Sticky Sponge Cake Studio
www.stickysponge.co.uk

 

Tiers of joy

Tiers of joy

Q. What should we take into consideration when planning our summer wedding cake?

A. Ami Plant and Barbara Jackson says: When creating a cake for a summer wedding, you need to consider your environment. A warm day in a marquee with the cake table in direct sunlight will not suit a semi-naked or buttercream cake; they should be kept indoors in an air-conditioned room. Fondant cakes are better in warmer weather because a good quality white chocolate ganache supports them while giving neat lines and sharp edges. We increase the ratio of white chocolate in warmer weather to ensure your cake remains stable.

A reputable professional will ensure your cake not only tastes delicious but looks as good after delivery. They should know how to stack and support it properly, what flavours and designs are on-trend and what will suit your theme and venue. Make sure your cake gets pride of place and discuss with your venue in advance to make sure that the cake will be displayed beautifully. You don't want crumpled table linen, poor stands or fire extinguishers as a backdrop to ruin the lovely photos. Consider some pretty additions such as cake pops, macarons or other treats to set-up on pretty trays and boxes to give the wow factor.

Ami Plant and Barbara Jackson, Sherbert Moon Wedding Cakes
www.sherbertmoon.co.uk

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