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Your wedding cake is the centrepiece of your reception. You want it to look fantastic, reflect your style – and taste delicious! Will it be traditional or contemporary? Will it be moist fruit cake or luscious chocolate? Or sponge cake, lemon cake, carrot cake? A tower of profiteroles? A stack of fairy cakes? If your groom likes fruit cake but you prefer chocolate, you can even have one tier of each. If your budget’s running a bit tight, think of having a cake which you can serve as a dessert at the end of your wedding breakfast. And if you want to be bang up-to-the-minute, absolutely the latest trend is a cheese cake – no, not a sweet cheesecake, but a cake made of several large cheeses, moulded to the correct shape and size, stacked together and decorated with fresh fruit.
It makes a real focal point for your evening reception and can be served with crackers or warm baguettes.So, if you thought choosing your wedding cake was going to be one of your easiest decisions, think again! How to go about it?
Traditional white tiered wedding cakes can be personalised with sugar flowers reflecting your bridal bouquet, delicately constructed butterflies or even beads and feathers. Novelty cakes comes in all shapes and sizes from tiers of suitcases or parcels to cakes in the shape of the Eiffel Tower or a grand piano. Chocolate cakes are almost as versatile. Choose a smooth, shiny chocolate icing, or mouth-watering chocolate fudge or exquisite chocolate curls. And, of course, they can be milk, dark or even white chocolate. Fairy cakes can be made in paper cups decorated with hearts and topped with white icing scattered with matching hearts or decorated with individually made sugar flowers. Imagine it, it’s yours!
Visit several cake makers, look at photographs of cakes they have made, take time to discuss your ideas and your budget and see what they come up with. Do check that they use the best ingredients because while your cake must look spectacular, the proof of this pudding is certainly in the eating.
Ideally your cake should be ordered at least three months before the wedding. The most important thing to remember is that it will have to be big enough to give everyone a slice at the reception and to send slices to absent friends. Traditionally the top tier of a wedding cake was kept for the christening of the first child – so if you want to follow that tradition, you’ll have to opt for a cake that will last that long.
Your cake maker’s price may include delivery and setting up the cake at the reception venue as well as the use of a cakestand and knife – but it may not. Check. You may even be able to save some money by collecting the finished cake yourself and your reception venue may provide a cakestand and knife.
Cake Workshop are now celebrating their 32nd anniversary! Established in 1985 they were the first specialist novelty and celebration cake shop in Southampton and are convinced their success has everything to do with the constant quality, imagination and taste.
Owner Wendy Spreadbury took a bakery and confectionery course in 1987 and started work in the Cake Workshop in 1993. Wendy was able to buy and take over the business in 1996 and employs five people. She says: ‘We are a small business and care about each and every cake we make. There’s nothing better than to see our customers’ faces turn to a big smile when the lid is lifted – that’s job satisfaction at its best!’
Cake Workshop have lots of returning customers, some even after moving many miles away. They’ve also had the honour of being asked to make Prince Edward’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award cake for the past 15 years and the Prince has been known to enjoy a few slices!
The shop hosts a large selection of decorating equipment, food colours, toppers, stand and knife hire, cutters, sugar flowers, feathers, diamanté, glitters and much more if you want to give cake making a go yourself. Wendy and her team will be happy to help either at the shop, via their website (above) or through their FaceBook page @cakeworkshopsouthampton.
Opening times: Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 9am to 5pm, Tues and Sat 9am to 4pm.
Jennifer Bronsell of Bournemouth-based Coast Cakes is an award-winning cake artist who is a preferred supplier to many of the top wedding venues in Dorset and Hampshire. A qualified chef, she promises both excellent service and outstanding quality. Coast Cakes are highly recommended by Relais and Chateau 5* Chewton Glen Hotel Hampshire. All cakes are made in house at Coast Cakes.
Speciality Cakes pride themselves on providing personalised designs to fit all wedding themes and budgets. They are highly skilled in cake decorating and provide celebration cakes in a huge range of flavours.