The Art Of The Wedding Cake

The Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding CakeThe Art Of The Wedding Cake

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We’ve all seen the amazing cakes which can now be created to really give your wedding that extra wow factor – from traditional yet elegant designs to funky and fun to sculptures which truly are works of chocolaty art!

Jenny Hudson started her business, Sweet As in Warwick, with help from the Prince’s Trust. She makes exquisite Belgian chocolate cakes for weddings and other special events. In 2006 she was commissioned to make a cake for HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

Her cakes reflect contemporary tastes, which have seen a decline in the use of traditional fruit based wedding cake and more often chocolate based cakes with fresh fruit, are ordered. They can also be served as a dessert.

So we thought we’d ask Jenny about the process of creating that extra special wedding cake…

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Designing a cake

Jenny meets with the bride many months before the actual wedding, to discuss the cake design. If you have ever organised a wedding you will know the phenomenal level of detail that you have to think about from button holes to invitations. Jenny’s creative flair means she can help the bride pick out echoes and themes that will compliment the other features of the day: such as the dresses, the table decorations and the flowers. Sometimes the cake itself will influence the choice of, for example, the bridal bouquet. Some choose from her portfolio of existing cakes. For others she goes back to the drawing board and designs a cake from scratch.

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“Every bride is an individual but it is interesting how definite people are in their tastes,” comments Jenny,The white chocolate with the strawberries jumps out at some people, they find it so romantic.” Others (perhaps the incurable chocoholics) cannot resist the glossy dark and white chocolate combination of the tumbling leaves. When the bride wants something unique. The variations of textures and decorations she can use, mean that Jenny will use her artistic skills to interpret the bride’s suggestions and create something stunning and individual. Time spent on getting the design right ensures that the final cake will live up to expectations.

Ordering ingredients

Once the design is finalised, quantities are worked out and supplies will be provisionally ordered. Unlike some cake companies, Jenny makes every cake from scratch using local free-range eggs and milk, Belgian chocolate of the highest quality and fresh fruit supplies from local suppliers. As a perfectionist, she uses only the best quality chocolate. Can you imagine working with these ingredients? Chocoholics would be in heaven.

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Countdown to the wedding day

Four days before the actual wedding, baking of the cake layers begins. As a trained pastry chef, with experience at Claridges, Jenny runs her kitchen with military precision. With weddings back to back through theĀ  summer months, organisation is essential to ensure that everything runs like clockwork for every wedding.

The basic layers are made from a moist chocolate sponge mix, which plays a crucial part as Jenny explains,Although the sponge is hidden inside the cake, this is where it is vital that the taste lives up to the expectations created by the design on the outside. So I insist on top quality flours and free-range eggs. They make so much difference to the texture and taste of the cake.”

Next comes the ganache; the chocolate coating that envelops the sponge layers. Made from local double cream that is heated andĀ  poured over the chopped chocolate mix and stirred until velvety smooth. When poured over the cake it flows like a river.

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Preparation of decorations & fruit

The layers are assembled and then become the canvas for Jenny’s exquisite decorations. Attention to detail is crucial during the preparation of the decorations. Cutting corners here will let down the final display. The fruit is washed and checked vigorously and any blemished fruit is discarded.

Then the fun begins as the individual chocolate decorations are crafted. Some of her cakes have more than 30 individually shaped chocolate decorations. Although painstaking, this effort is well rewarded when the final cake is assembled. Each decoration is anchored to the cake with chocolate.

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The Big Day

Jenny will have checked out the venue before hand so that there are no delays as the cake makes its final journey. She will even check early morning reports so that she can allow extra time for any traffic jams. These cakes are too precious to be entrusted to couriers and as with any artist, Jenny wants to see the cake installed in person so that she can apply all the finishing touches. When the guests arrive all they see is the beautifully finished result. It must be heartbreaking to see the cake cut. At least she knows that all her cakes will live on in wedding albums across the region.

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If you would like Jenny to create a cake for your special day please send an enquiry through the website www.sweet-as.co.uk or call her on 01926 490560.

If you want to learn more top tips and skills with chocolate, Jenny runs various chocolate classes and events. To find out more or book give Jenny a call.

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