Marshmallow Love

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Deliciously light and fluffy, and with endless flavour possibilities, homemade marshmallows make perfect additions to a wedding cake table  as well as beautiful guest favours. We have been having some fun experimenting with flavours and are delighted to share some of our favourites.  With so many options we would as always be delighted to customise flavours as required!

Champagne or Raspberry Rose

Our favourite flavours which taste so good independently or combined. We couldn’t decide which to choose so will leave it up to you! Here we have layered fresh raspberry and rose with deliciously decadent real champagne mallow. Flecks of freeze-dried raspberry between the layers add a little surprise!

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Bourbon Vanilla Bean, Roasted White Chocolate

Sweet and caramel-like, our roasted Belgian white chocolate is delicious swirled through vanilla bean marshmallow.

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Cinnamon Spiced Irish Apple

Made with pure local Irish apple juice, this lightly spiced marshmallow is a real taste of Autumn.

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Pure Coconut

Fragrant Malibu marshmallow coated in textural dessicated coconut.

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Fresh Blueberry Swirl

Visually beautiful and equally delicious, this blueberry swirl marshmallow can also be made with other summer fruits.

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Earl Grey Chocolate

Belgian chocolate marshmallow infused with the subtle Bergamot fragrance of Earl Grey Tea

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Real Wedding-Natural and Elegant Wedding Cake Styling

It is always a delight when a finished wedding cake display exceeds all of your expectations. Such was the case for a recent cake table we styled in the gorgeous garden room of Powerscourt House. Our client had a beautiful vision for her cake and the finished display exemplifies how a little thought and some simple yet considered styling can really give your wedding cake the wow factor.

Our client chose a simple textured white iced cake adorned with fresh greenery and lisianthus, in keeping with the green and white scheme of the gorgoues wedding flowers by The French Touch. Delicious cake flavours of Guinness Chocolate with Caramelised White Chocolate, and Lime White Chocolate and Pistachio were accompanied by fluffy Coconut Marshmallow and Pistachio Macarons.

With a stone wall backdrop and flooded with natural light from the grand windows overlooking Powerscourt Gardens, the garden room was the perfect spot to create a stunning wedding cake centrepiece. A natural stone-coloured linen tablecloth complemented the rustic stone walls. Cakes and treats were displayed on pristine white stands and plates, surrounded by natural greenery interspersed with hurricane and antique votives. The final flourish was the floral gold hoops by wedding planners The Wedding Festival. I had no idea these were part of the display until I arrived, and oh my they were just fabulous!

Props used in this table styling and more are available to hire from Cove Cake Design. Contact us to discuss your wedding cake styling!

Cascading Peonies and Ballyfin

 

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Every once in a while a cake deserves a little more attention than a photo and quick mention on Facebook and Instagram. I’m sure all cake decorators can recognise the delight when the loveliest of clients walks through your door with a fabulous vision for their wedding cake, a stunning venue and a dream team of suppliers lined up. Such was the case for a recent order for a peony cascade cake at Ballyfin.  

The design and stature of the wedding cake was in no doubt influenced by its final setting in the palatial surroundings of Ballyfin Demesne. Built in the 1820s, Ballyfin is probably Ireland’s finest regency mansion and I have to confess that I had been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to visit due to a little bit of personal interest…for much of the 20th century Ballyfin was run as a boarding school which was attended by my father in the 1960s. The eventual closure of the school led to a state of disrepair before an eight year restoration project resulted in it’s reopening as a luxury 5 star hotel in 2011. And it is not hard to see where the eight year’s went….the interior is breathtaking. From stunningly restored architectural detail to sumptuous furnishings and fine artwork, it is a luxurious step into another time and place. Quietly exclusive it caters to around only 10 weddings per year.

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(Images courtesy of Ballyfin.com)

The cake itself was from an original design by the fabulously talented Peggy Porschen, a design that my client had fallen in love with on a visit to the famous cake parlour in London. Four tall tiers were swathed in a sugar peony cascade matching the shades of pink in the bridal bouquet.

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Being displayed in the Rotunda room at the heart of Ballyfin, the cake was to be a centrepiece to be viewed while guests mingled over welcoming drinks (before of course being tucked into later!). A key to this design was therefore to ensure that the cake was of equal beauty when viewed from all angles, hence the continuation of the floral cascade around the back of the cake and neat little bows to hide the joins of the ribbon. The final flourish was to be a base of fresh roses and peonies by the amazing Joeanna McCaffrey flowers, sadly I had to leave before seeing this final detail in situ so I can’t wait to see the final photos!

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People have asked how many hours it takes to make sugar flowers and to be honest I lost track of these! Made over several weeks whenever I had time, over 700 peony petals were cut, veined and shaped, along with an array of peony buds, stephanotis, buds and leaves. Fixing the flowers on the cake took nearly four hours! It was my first time working with this many flowers and I was thrilled at the outcome of the challenge.

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My final glimpse of this cake  through the ornate doors of the Rotunda would be the first view seen by the bride and groom and their guests. I hope that this view, and the luscious layers of Guinness Chocolate and Lemon Coconut Raspberry cakes to be served later that evening, were well received!

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Macaron Menu

With the unsurprising popularity of macarons as wedding favours or pretty additions to cake tables, we are delighted to launch our first macaron menu.

Macarons – Rose and Raspberry Recipe

I have always had a little love for macarons. For many years my husband has flown for work with Air France which has meant regular routings via Paris.  Whilst I was still a poor student, and long before macarons had made a major appearance in Ireland, he would bring me home beautiful little packages of pastel-coloured goodness from the airport’s branch of Ladurée.  Such a treat!

When I started my cake business, macarons became something that I wanted to make myself. They are so beautiful as wedding favours, or as additions to a cake table, and the flavour combinations are endless!

Macarons are however notoriously difficult to make.  There are many variables that can affect the ability to get perfectly identical macarons with a smooth top, nice feet, crispy shell and soft chewy middle.  These variables range from underwhipping to overwhipping the egg whites,  under-resting or over-resting, baking temperature, under-baking or over-baking, the weather, phase of the moon..(!)..etc.

My biggest stumbling block was collapsed insides. The macarons would look perfect, with shiny tops and nice feet, but inside was just a large airpocket. I discovered that this was due to them not being completely cooked inside which caused them to collapse when taken out of the oven. After some experimentation I found that a change in the baking temperature solved the problem!

Having found what methods work for me in my kitchen I am now addicted to making macarons and playing with flavours! So here I have decided to share some of what I have learned and what methods I use as well as a favourite recipe.

French or Italian

Macarons can be made by the French meringue method whereby the egg whites and caster sugar are whipped into stiff peaks of meringue before adding the almond meal mixture, or the Italian method in which a hot sugar syrup is added to whipped egg whites to make the meringue. Having experimented with both I now prefer the Italian method, as it gives smoother shinier tops and is also more consistent due to the meringue being more stable.

To age or not to age

Many recipes say to age the egg white before use which dries them out whilst maintaining the protein structure, hence making them more elastic and better for whipping. I sometimes age the egg white and sometimes don’t depending on my time constraints. I have never found a difference so don’t see it as critically important for success.

Silicone or baking parchment

I started off using baking parchment but found that I got lopsided macarons at the edges of the tray. I believed this was because the parchment wasn’t completely flat having been taken off a roll. I moved to silicon mats and no longer had lopsided macarons.  My mats aren’t specifically for macarons so don’t have a template. I hence just count to 3 when I am piping the mixture. With the pressure that I use this gives me the size of macarons that I want. I do find that macarons take a little longer to cook on silicon than on parchment.

Trays

In the early days I invested in a beautiful large heavy duty baking tray to maximise the chances of macaron success. However when in need of extra trays I now also use some older cheaper ones and don’t see a difference in results dependent on the type (or cost!) of tray I use.

Resting

This I have found is essential. The theory behind resting your macarons is that a skin forms on top and when they are put in the oven and begin to rise the air is forced out at the bottom creating those lovely feet. There have been times when the weather has been damp or for some unknown reason my macarons have taken too long to form a skin. When I put these in the oven I get little/no feet and burst tops as the air escapes from the top instead. To speed up skin formation I sometimes put my trays under the light of my extractor fan which gives off a little heat or in a room with my dehumidifier. I also try to plan my macaron making for dry days!

Temperature and baking time

I started off baking at 150°C for 14-16mins, removing the macarons when they no longer had a ‘wobble’ which shows they were cooked (or so I thought). However, they were collapsing completely on cooling which I discovered was due to the fact the insides weren’t actually cooked enough. I experimented with different temperatures and found that by baking my macarons at 170°C for approx 15mins they came out perfect! Any longer and they started to brown on top, any less and they weren’t cooked. I do however think that the temperature and cooking time is something that needs to be tested under each baker’s tray/oven conditions.

 

And finally…a recipe for one of the first flavours I worked on and a really lovely one, Rose and Raspberry!

Rose and Raspberry Macarons

Ingredients:

  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 40ml water
  • 2x40g egg white (not pasteurised)
  • Red paste food colour
  • 1/2 – 1tsp of rosewater to taste
  • Good quality raspberry conserve (I make my own but there are so many good brands out there too!)

Step 1:  Grind the almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor for 1-2 mins until powdery. Sieve into a clean metal bowl and discard any larger pieces. Add 40g egg white,  the rosewater and some red food colour and mix using a spatula until a paste is formed and the colour is evenly distributed. The colour will lighten on addition of the meringue and also during baking so make sure the colour is darker than required for your finished macarons.

Step 2: Place the caster sugar in a small saucepan and add the water. Bring to the boil without stirring but swirling now and then to ensure even heating. Make sure there are no sugar crystals around the edges of the saucepan and if so, use a pastry brush dipped in a little water to brush the sugar back down into the syrup. Use a sugar thermometer to ensure the temperature of the syrup does not pass 115°C.

Step 3: Meanwhile, begin to whisk the second 40g egg white to soft peaks in a spotlessly clean metal bowl. Increase the speed of the mixer as the temperature of the sugar syrup passes 105°C. When the syrup reaches 115°C remove from the heat and slowly pour the syrup in a steady stream into the egg whites. Take care to pour the syrup onto the whites and not onto the whisk or edge of the bowl. Continue to whisk on high speed for 5-10mins until the bowl is cool to the touch and the meringue forms stiff peaks.

Step 4: Using a spatula, incorporate a third of the meringue into the almond paste mixture to loosen the paste a little. Then add the rest of the meringue. Work the batter by sweeping the spatula around the edges towards the centre and scraping from the bottom up over the top. This is called ‘macronage’. The batter is ready when it has a ‘flow’. Test by making a small peak in the batter and seeing if it begins to disappear back into the mixture.

Step 5: Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm or similar round nozzle. Line 1-2 baking trays with a silicone baking mat or baking parchment. (If using parchment, stick down on the tray at the four corners with a little of the macaron batter). Pipe out regular circles of batter leaving a little space in between each one. When finished lift the tray and drop onto the countertop to release air bubbles and help settle the macarons. If any air bubbles are visible that haven’t popped use a small cocktail stick to do so.

Step 6: Leave the macarons to rest to form a skin on top. They are ready when you can lightly touch the surface with your finger and no mixture comes away.

Step 7: Meanwhile preheat the oven to 170°C. When the macarons are ready to be cooked place in the oven and bake for 14-16mins turning the tray midway through. They are cooked when they no longer wobble when you gently try to move one from side to side.

Step 8: Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing from the tray. Store in an airtight container until ready to be filled.

Step 9: To assemble the macarons, first match them up in pairs. Using a teaspoon or piping bag put some raspberry jam on one half of each macaron and sandwich the other on top. Take care not to overfill. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a day before enjoying!

Vegan Chocolate Pistachio Cake with Raspberries

My children love a family birthday and never let one pass without having candles on a cake! With my birthday falling just a few days after Easter this year I decided to bake a cake which was a bit more wholesome after the chocolate-laden weekend my children had experienced the week before. This cake is gluten, dairy and refined-sugar free. The natural sweetness of the banana and syrup satisfied the desire for a treat while the dense nutty texture made a small slice sufficiently filling. Although this recipe is for a tiny 5″ cake it easily serves 8-10 deliciously rich slices. This was deemed a winner by my children, so much so that it was gone before I got to take a photo of a cut slice! (problems of a food blogger!).

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Vegan Chocolate Pistachio Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberries

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 25g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • Sea salt
  • 2 flax eggs: 2tbsp ground flaxseed and  6tbsp of water (or two large eggs if not vegan)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 80ml melted coconut oil or rapeseed oil
  • 120ml maple or other syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the chocolate ganache:

  • 125ml full fat coconut milk (you can use more or less milk depending on whether you prefer a softer or stiffer ganache)
  • 275g dark chocolate (dairy-free if vegan)

Step 1: To make the cake, preheat the oven to 150°C/315F.  Grease and line two 5” cake tins

Step 2: Make the flax eggs by combining ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5mins to thicken.

Step 3: Put the pistachios in a food processor and blend to a fine powder.

Step 4: Put the ground almonds, ground pistachios, cocoa powder, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Step 5: In a separate bowl mix together the flax eggs, mashed banana, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Step 6: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 20-30mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Step 6: To make the chocolate ganache, heat the coconut milk and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Place mixture in the fridge for 30mins-1hour until chilled and firm. Scoop into mixing bowl and beat on high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Step 8: To assemble the cake, level the cakes. Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread some of the whipped ganache over the cake and cover with fresh raspberries. Place the second cake layer on top and repeat. Simple but oh so delicious!

Earl Grey, Lemon and Lavender Cake

 

Earl Grey Tea is a black tea blend flavoured with bergamot orange. Its citrusy aroma naturally lends itself to flavouring cakes and confectionary and it pairs well with floral accents such as lavender. I have always been wary of using lavender as a cake flavour, too much and it can be reminiscent of soap which is never pleasant to eat! However this recipe is the perfect combination. The earl grey-infused milk adds fragrant moistness to the cake and pairs beautifully with subtle lavender icing and a contrasting tangy lemon curd.  This cake was a winner when taste tested by my family, so much so that I plan to add it to our wedding and celebration cake menu, perfect for something a little different!

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Earl Grey, Lemon and Lavender Cake

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 250ml whole milk
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 360g plain flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp ground Earl Grey tea leaves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 medium eggs

Ingredients for the lemon curd:

  • 75g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Juice and zest of 3 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

Ingredients for the lavender buttercream:

  • 60ml milk
  • 1 tsp culinary lavender flowers
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 450g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Purple food colour (optional)
  • Lavender flowers to decorate (optional)

Step 1: To make the cake, preheat the oven to 150°C/315F.  Grease and line two 6” cake tins (or for a shallower 2-layer cake use two 8” cake tins).

Step 2: Place the milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for around 30mins. Remove the teabags, squeezing out any excess liquid. Measure the remaining milk and ensure that there is 250ml. If it has reduced slightly add more milk to bring it up to 250ml.

Step 3: Cream together the butter, vanilla paste and sugar by hand or in a mixer.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, ground tea leaves and salt.

Step 4: Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with a third of the milk each time and mixing gently after each addition.

Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for approximately 40-45mins until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tins for 10-15mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 6: To make the lemon curd, melt the butter with the sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small pan over a low heat. Beat together the eggs and the egg yolk in a bowl and add to the lemon mixture. Stir gently over a low heat until the mixture has cooled enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and pour into a sterilised jam jar. Leave to cool and store in the refrigerator until needed. Any leftover curd will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Step 7: To make the lavender icing, place the milk and lavender flowers in a small saucepan over a low heat. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and leave to infuse until cool. Beat together the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (approx. 10mins). Strain the lavender from the milk, add the milk to the buttercream and beat again. Add a few drops of purple food colour if desired.

Step 8: To assemble the cake, level the cakes and cut each cake in two to create 4 layers (if an 8” cake simply sandwich the two layers together as follows). Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the layer and fill the centre with buttercream to a shallower depth than the ring. Place some lemon curd in the centre and spread around the layer keeping it inside the piped ring. Repeat with two more layers and top with the final cake layer. Spread the top with icing and sprinkle with lavender flowers if desired.

Dark Chocolate Tonka Bean Cake with Raspberry Glaze

Bundt cakes are my go-to style for beautiful looking cakes for gatherings of family and friends when short on time. With a little bit of baking and a drizzle of icing you have something that looks amazing and easily forms a centrepiece for any table.

This Dark Chocolate Tonka Bean cake with Raspberry glaze is a new bundt cake favourite! I recently came across Tonka bean whilst browsing one of Dublin’s many fine delis. It comes from Brazil and has a fruity and somewhat spicy flavour. Used in a similar way to vanilla, a small amount grated into cakes, cupcakes or macarons lends a subtle flavour. Indeed if you are unable to find Tonka bean simply substitute with vanilla in this recipe.

This chocolate cake is an adaptation of a beautifully moist chocolate cake recipe which I regularly use for our wedding and celebration cakes. It hence also works well baked in a normal tin and layered with your favourite buttercream. For this bundt cake I finished it with a raspberry glaze for a sharp colour and flavour contrast!

Happy Baking!

Dark Chocolate Tonka Bean and Raspberry

 

Dark Chocolate Tonka Bean Bundt Cake with Raspberry Glaze

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 200g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 160ml natural or greek yogurt
  • 55g good quality cocoa powder
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 3 medium free-range eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tonka bean finely grated

Ingredients for the raspberry glaze:

  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2tsp freeze dried raspberry powder (or if unavailable use raspberry juice instead of the water below)
  • 50-75ml warm water

Step 1: To make the cake, preheat the oven to 160°C/320F/gas mark 3. Grease a 2.4l bundt tin very well with butter.

Step 2: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.

Step 3: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir to melt.  Remove from heat and sift in cocoa powder. Add yogurt and 80ml hot water and stir to a smooth paste.

Step 4: Meanwhile, beat together the butter, sugar and tonka bean until light and fluffy.

Step 5: Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Step 6: Add chocolate paste and stir to combine.

Step 7: Finally stir in flour mixture taking care not to overmix.

Step 8: Pour the mixture into the bundt tin and bake for 40-45 mins until cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Step 9: Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 30 mins before gently turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 10: To make the raspberry glaze, dissolve the raspberry powder in the water (or use raspberry juice) to give the desired colour and flavour. Add to the icing sugar to give a thick but runny consistency. Spoon over the cake allowing it to drip down the sides.

Choosing Wedding Cake Flavours

 

With many of our 2016 brides and grooms in the process of choosing their wedding cake flavours I thought I would write a little post to take a peek inside our cakes and offer some tips on flavour choices!

Our Cakes

Our ethos at Cove Cake Design is first and foremost to create delicious cakes for all to enjoy. Yes we love to decorate in our own unique style but the foundation of this is simply yummy cake!

Each of our recipes is chosen to reach our essential and strict standards for wedding cakes: interesting flavours; visual appeal; moistness; ability to stay fresh; and finally, ability to be cut neatly into portions. And it doesn’t end there…we take time and care to level each layer to exact measurements before syruping and generously filling with buttercream, with the final cake containing four layers of cake, three of filling and measuring 5″ high. Cakes are then coated according to design in a buttercream finish, or in a layer of ganache prior to a thin 3mm of fondant icing. It is only after several hours of work to create a perfect cake that the decoration can begin!

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Our Flavours

So what is on our menu! We have recently edited and perfected our menu to incorporate eight delicious and crowd-pleasing favourites. We do believe every one is a winner!

Top L-R:

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry; Lime White Chocolate and Pistachio; Orange, Almond and Rosewater; Lemon, Coconut and Blueberry; Apple Caramel, Brown Butter Icing and Blackberrry

Bottom L-R:

White Mocha and Irish Whiskey Sea Salted Caramel; Guinness and Caramelised White Chocolate; Champagne and Strawberry

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Cake Flavour FAQs!

And finally some answers to those most frequently asked flavour questions:

Can I have a different flavour in each tier?

Yes of course. Do bear in mind though that as the tier sizes get smaller there will be fewer portions of these flavours. So for example for an 8″/6″/4″ cake the portions will be 40/20/10. In this instance a separate flavour in the 4″ tier only gives 10 portions so I would recommend a total of two flavour choices, one for the base tier and one for the two upper tiers giving a relatively even spread of portions for each flavour.

What flavours I should choose?

I always firstly recommend to choose your own personal preferences! Secondly, it is worth bearing in mind what season your wedding will take place in, so for example Lemon, Blueberry and Coconut is a lovely Spring/Summer flavour while Apple Caramel, Brown Butter and Blackberry is perfect for Autumn weddings. Lastly, most couples choose one chocolate flavour for all the chocoholics amongst their guests (!) as well as their favourite sponge flavours.

What are your most popular flavours?

Guinness and Caramelised White Chocolate is a clear favourite (and a great one for the male guests!), as is the celebratory Champagne and Strawberry!

Do you cater to special flavour requests?

Of course! We know our flavours work but we are happy to discuss your particular requirements or preferences. That is what bespoke cake making is about!

Anything else to consider?

If you are opting for a naked or semi-naked buttercream finish bear in mind how the exposed layers will look for each flavour. Also bear in mind any allergies amongst your guests.

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For further details on our menu see here!

 

 

Styling and Displaying your Wedding Cake

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The display and styling of your wedding cake is something that I ask all my clients to consider. After many months of work, it is worth making that last little effort to ensure your cake is a stunning centrepiece and a talking point for your guests. For those on a budget, it is also a way of keeping costs down by opting for a simple cake while using inexpensive decorative flourishes to display it beautifully.

I recently had the pleasure of working with Betty from Lulabelle Wedding Styling and Design to create cakes for  a wedding in the gorgeous surroundings of Tankardstown House. Her styling of our cake and sweet treats on this stunning table are a perfect example of how to successfully display your cake! The ornate table, symmetrical display, simple background…and just look at those eye-catching antlers! (Photograph by Charlotte La Chaussee)

Here are some tips on what to consider in order to achieve cake table perfection like this!

Location

Do ask your venue or planner where your cake table will be located.  If it is normally assigned to an inconspicuous corner of the room don’t be afraid to ask for alternatives! The floral cascade cake in the image below was in the centre of the reception room, taking pride of place for all to see. Another nice alternative is to see if there is a suitable place in the area where your arrival reception will be held. This is often the perfect time for your guests to view, talk about and photograph your beautiful wedding cake. Also consider practicalities of location such as keeping your cake out of direct sunlight or heat, especially in the summer.

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Table

Many venues, especially period properties may have beautiful tables or sideboards which are a feature in their own right. If the cake table is a standard table do ask your venue or planner to ensure that it is stable and covered in freshly ironed linen.  In the image below, The Wedding Consultant turned an ordinary glass topped table into a glamorous setting for this cake by elevating the glass and filling the gap with beautiful fresh hydrangeas. Buying a tablecloth that complements your cake and theme is also another way of giving your table a wow factor, eg. glitter, stripes etc.

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Background

Think about the background to the cake table. If it is in front of a wall or curtains, will the colours or textures compete with your cake? How will it look in a photograph? Also be aware of anything unsightly that might come into field in your photographs, such as wires, speakers etc. In this beautiful styling by Style Serendipity at Horetown House, a plain wall with the texture of old stone and greenery of a floral wreath is a perfect backdrop for these cakes.  (Photo courtesy of Paula McManus Photography)

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Cake Stand

Many venues include a cake stand in their package for use by their clients. In many cases this is a traditional silver stand. Do ask to see it and request a polish if needs be! Is it an appropriate size for your cake?  Also consider whether a traditional silver stand is most suitable for your cake style. For example, milk glass stands such as that in the image below are modern and elegant, while wooden ones add a rustic feel. Ask your cake designer if they have any for hire, most of them have a large collection (otherwise known as ‘cake stand addiction’!!).

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Display and props

Betty styled this cake table using the antlers as the main prop, a nod to a deer farm once owned by the bride’s family (love a little story behind the detail!). Coupled with the ornate table this creates a stunning display for the simple, elegant cake. The amount of props needed will depend on your cake and theme, for example vintage-style cakes look beautiful with lots of flowers and quirky vintage props.

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Happy styling!