Standard wedding cakes that were dished up at the formal reception after the marriage ceremony were constructed of rich fruit cake clad in almond paste, it had a minimum of three tiers from big to small and on top of the last level there were a bride and a groom posed between a number of pillars and the remaining portion of the cake was decorated with pink sugar roses. That was the cake no argument, and most often it was created by Auntie Charlotte and her help Lettie- four or five months before the wedding so it could reach maturity.
As a concession the lower layer was made of cardboard with a little door to gain access to the numerous little pieces of pre cut cake wrapped in cellophane, which every guest got one of. The slicing of the cake with a large silver blade which required a hand each from the groom and bride was pure fake, although obviously there had to be a picture of the ceremony.
Anything at all goes these days with wedding cakes from leaning towers, to tiers of cupcakes, to individual little truffles all bundled in such a way as to form a tower. In reality anything you can dream of, that wedding cake can be created. Just check on some wedding cake websites for some examples (like on http://www.fabweddingcakes.co.za).
The only thing that remains traditional of wedding cakes is that it has to be remarkable, and attention grabbing, and that the guests would ooh! and aah! and be more conscious of the cake than to the bride. Little Johnny of course, would see nothing else and would usually have to wait for several hours to get a disappointing morsel of the lavish looking affair. One more thing that went out the conventional window is Auntie Charlotte and Lettie, for that matter. Nowadays Mr. So and So, the chief pastry chef from the Lord Abbanoth Hotel spent FORTY HOURS on the cake, you know? That snippet was picked up as a whisper from the bride’s mom to a renowned racehorse trainer’s ex wife.
And, of course, listening to these wedding co-ordinators speak on TV in their la- di- da voices and phoney accents everything has to match and be co-ordinated – we can’t have the cake arrangements clashing with the bride’s eye shadow or the colour of her footwear. And wedding cakes this month are so passÃ© darling, you must have countless small cakes exquisitely iced in bright green and maybe violet, so they won’t be missed. In the meantime we will watch every British and American wedding mag to pick up the latest flavour and have that instead. It takes ages to finalise the details on the wedding cake, after not only talking to a number of titled pastry chefs but also some specialty bakery shops. Now we need to get the two mums to agree to the final detail while the future bride throws a couple of tantrums because Daddy is balking at the cost of darn cake, for heaven’s sake.
Tell you what Suzie, just phone Auntie Charlotte and let her know to get on with it!