FEATURED IN Wedding Essentials SPRING 2016 Edition
SWEET TEMPTATIONS One of the most important things I tell my couples when selecting their wedding cake is to choose something that represents them or the theme of their wedding. Most of the time the couples can’t decide what flavours they want but I suggest my four top sellers: Vanilla with home-made lemon curd filling (an absolute winner – and my favourite!), Chocolate with caramel filling, Red velvet sponge with vanilla buttercream filling or cream cheese frosting, or carrot cake with vanilla buttercream filling.
The cake can have three or four different flavoured tiers; the bride and groom each choose one, with the third or fourth tier being chosen by the moms of the couple. My policy is to not use any nuts in my recipes, due to the possibility of nut allergies amongst the guests, but I certainly can add them if requested, and then insist on placing a little note alongside the cake advising guests about the cake containing nuts.
HIS AND HERS
When a couple requests a cake which represents each of them individually, I suggest a “2-in-1” cake or a “bride and groom” cake. The bride’s side is usually the pretty, dainty, decorated side and the groom’s side is usually the comical side or more masculine side of the cake. This always brings a smile to the guests’ faces as usually the cake is displayed with the pretty side towards them as they enter the room but when the couple go to cut the cake, the cake is then swivelled around on a turntable to reveal the “other” side of the cake. Incorporating both their designs on one cake is sometimes a challenge but is always fun to do.
WEDDING CAKE AS A DESSERT
Very often the couple have the wedding cake as a dessert, in which case I ensure there is a slice for each guest. When I deliver the cake to the venue I provide the co-ordinator with a cake slicing chart. If followed correctly, this chart ensures a slice for each guest. If they are having a dessert table then I advise them to have a smaller cake and maybe some cupcakes, biscuits and marshmallow pops.
I like to deliver and set up my cakes at the venue about 2 hours before the event, so depending on the time of the ceremony, I delivery accordingly. A new trend I have noticed is where the couples cut their cake once they have made their entrance to reception hall. Doing this straight away allows all the guests to see and enjoy the cake cake-cutting ceremony. Doing it towards the end means that many guests are likely to miss it, so I agree with the earlier the better.
DOES SIZE MATTER?
Providing my couples with the correct amount of cake is very important, but, if they want a 4 or 5 tier cake (around 130 – 150 servings) but they only have about 50 or so guests then I suggest adding some “fake” cakes in between. I’ve done so many cakes like this. It gives the “wow” factor without the wastage of left over cake. You really can’t tell the difference when they are all tiered up. I’ve done a 4 tier cake where only one tier was the actual cake and was really only for the photos rather than serving at the reception. Fake Cakes are becoming more and more popular as so many people don’t know about it and it gives them so many more design options with their cake.
One always needs to be on track with seasons and trends. In the heat of the summer, I advise my couples to avoid a chocolate ganache finish – the sun and heat can melt this in a very short amount of time, UNLESS the cake is being set up in a cool airconditioned venue. The same applies for buttercream. One of my first wedding cakes was a 3-tier white chocolate ganache cake and my heart nearly stopped on the day of delivery – early on a hot summer’s day. The set up was in a marquee with no air coolers nearby. Thankfully there was a nice breeze blowing through, and all 120 guests enjoyed the cake, but I learnt a valuable lesson on that day. Summer weddings require air conditioning! If the cake is to be set up outside, I insist on full shade on a stable table (yes, I’ve had some wobbly tables before!). Another point to consider is the fashionable “naked” cakes, which contain little or no icing on the outside of the cake. I advise against these in the heat of the summer, as icing seals in freshness and moisture of the sponge and, without it, it can dry out very quickly.
You can save the top tier of your cake for your first anniversary very successfully. This can be done by sealing the cake in cling film and then wrapping it in tin foil and popping it into the deepfreeze. To defrost the cake, simply unwrap the foil and cling film, place it on a wire rack to defrost completely and then slice and enjoy your cake all over again!
STORY BY Lyndsay McEwan
PHOTOS BY Cheryl McEwan
FEATURED ON THE PRETTY BLOG: JUNE 2016
This lovely bridal couple live in Australia but the bride’s sister contacted me to make a vegan wedding cake. I have to say, this was a first for me but what we decided to do was to do the top 15cm tier as the actual vegan cake and the other two tiers, 20cm and 25cm as a normal sponge cake but with vegan icing. The venue was at Old Mac Daddy’s Luxury Trailer Park (just love that place!) in Grabouw. The beautiful photos were taken by the very talented Claire Nicola King. Here is the article published on The Pretty Blog:
FEATURED ON SOUTHBOUND BRIDE’S WEBSITE: AUGUST 2015:
This lovely couple contacted me to make their wedding cake for their gorgeous wedding held at “In the Vines” in Somerest West (my home town :-)). I had some big shoes to fill as the groom’s mom was a cake decorator and she was going to be at the wedding too! Had to make sure this was 110% perfect. They wanted a rustic cake with sugar paste succulent plants. The cake was a vanilla cake with a lemon curd filling and butter cream icing (to which I also added a touch of lemon curd). They both loved the one I made at their tasting session and Alan, the groom, said it reminded him of his younger days when his mum used to bake and decorate. Nice to know my cakes bring back happy memories too!
Here is the article published – photos courtesy of Cheryl McEwan Photography (my lovely daughter!):
FEATURED ON STYLE ME PRETTY LIVING: MAY 2015:
“SURPRISE GARDEN INSPIRED BIRTHDAY LUNCH”
I was contacted during the course of last year by Carol Anne Kemp to make her Mum a birthday cake, cupcakes and biscuits for a very pretty surprise birthday lunch she was arranging. Now, I am in Somerset West, South Africa, and Carol lives in Canada – quite a long way away! I have to congratulate Carol on the stunning event she organised from so far away for her Mum. Her Mum loves florals and vintage styles so this is exactly what Carol planned for her. The venue was a Dear Me Restaurant in Cape Town and the venue room was all white – floors, walls and ceiling – no wonder it’s called the “White Room” 🙂 It was a blank canvass – perfect for any decor! When I delivered the order, the stunning flowers and decor literally took my breath away – it was so beautiful! Have a look at Style Me Pretty’s website for the full article – I am sure you will agree it must have been a pretty special day! I am also very proud to say that my very talented daughter, Cheryl McEwan, captured all these special moments in time for both Carol, her Mum and friends and family.
Photography: Cheryl McEwan | Floral Design: Leipzig | Stationery: Lara’s Designs | Venue: Dear Me | Cakes & Desserts: Lulubelle’s Bakes | Event Planning & Design: Carol-Anne Kemp | Vintage Rentals: A Vintage Affair
FEATURED ON SOUTH BOUND BRIDE’S WEBSITE: SEPTEMBER 2014:
“We All have Roots in Africa”
I had the great honour of making my first big wedding cake for a wedding shoot in 2014 which was published on the website of SOUTH BOUND BRIDE (http://www.southboundbride.com/). The themE was “We all have roots in Africa”. The wedding co-ordinator, the lovely Theresa Lazarevic of Creation Events (www.creationeventscoord.com) and my amazing, talented daughter, Cheryl McEwan of Cheryl McEwan Photography (http://www.cherylmcewan.co.za/), were a pleasure to work with!! The decor was done by Blooming Wonderful Decor Hire (http://www.bloomingwonderful.co.za/), and flowers by Paradiso Flowers (http://www.paradiso.co.za/), which all added to this beautiful shoot!
My brief for the cake was the tribal necklaces worn by the tribes in Africa and also a photo of a skirt with a similar pattern:
My “African themed Beaded cake” was also voted as one of the top cakes on South Bound Brides ” Best of 2014: Cakes & Desserts”: http://www.southboundbride.com/best-of-2014-cakes-desserts/#more-38698
Below are a few photos of the shoot to whet your appetite! (Photos courtesy of Cheryl McEwan Photography and Creation Events).
Please click on the link below to view the full article: