How to Choose the Best Cake in Italy

We here at The Tuscan Wedding are always looking to bring you the best information and ideas to make your wedding everything you’ve ever dreamed of–beautiful, romantic, and special!  We have a special treat for our readers as we have asked a guest to contribute an article for you to better understand how to decide on your wedding cake.  This is our best pastry chef giving you a bit more inside on how to select the best cake.

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Contributed by: Melanie Secciani of http://tuscanweddingcakes.com

Good Wedding Cakes are Not Subjective!

My 11 year old Antonio, is a killer cake critic. I mean he is brutal. All of my kids are, but he takes a particular pride in it.

He knows what most people intrinsically know when it comes to wedding cakes, but can’t articulate. Good Cakes are not subjective.

If there is an air bubble, crack, or elephant skin he’ll find it. He once told me that one of my cakes looked like a gypsy wedding exploded, that a local restaurants carrot cake looked like a melting igloo covered in sprinkles, and that a friends wedding cake looked like bad skin with lettuce on top.

So what does Antonio know, that the first time wedding cake shopper doesn’t?  First, a good wedding cake has 2 equally important parts. The inside and the outside.  The inside should be delicious. If it’s your wedding cake, it should be so delicious you’ll remember it forever.  The sponge itself should be naturally moist, but not soggy. The moisture should come from the spongecake being moist, not from a dry cake soaked in syrup. It should be evenly cooked through.  The creams should be light and silky. If they are gritty or greasy, that’s not good.  They layers of spongecake within each tier should be even.  And most importantly – It should taste delicious. So delicious, you’ll remember it forever.

The outside should be gorgeous.  The cake should be level. Unless it’s designed to look like it’s toppling over – It should be straight. The fondant covering the cake should be smooth looking. That means no air bubbles, cracks or elephant skin.  The fondant also shouldn’t look too thick or heavy handed.  Edges should be angular and crisp. The embellishments, unless there’s a really good reason for it, should be edible. That means things like lace and ribbon, should be made of sugar not fabric. And speaking of sugar ribbon, it should be thin and refined. It should be as thin as real ribbon and not have a bunch of visible seams.  If the cake is piped, the piping should be consistent.  If it has swag or drapery, the drapes should be evenly spaced and soft looking.  Any rolled or molded matching details, should be the same thickness.

When your meeting with your potential decorator, taste their cake, look at their portfolio of real cakes, and look at their display cakes.  Keep in mind, when you’re judging their work – A faux cake is much, much easier to decorate than real cake. The baker has all the time in the world, can push as much as they want on a hard perfectly shaped styrofoam round, and doesn’t have to deal with 10 kilos of soft jiggly cream filled real cake. If you go to a baker for a tasting, and look at their display cakes, and their display cakes are not neat and refined – run. I promise you, if they can’t decorate a faux cake beautifully, they can’t decorate your real cake.

Ordering your wedding cake can be challenging. And the truth is, the wedding cake is a big deal. A really great wedding cake designer can use as many as 60 individually perfected techniques on a single wedding cake design. Knowing what to look for when you go in, can give you a huge advantage when it comes to choosing your baker.

So let you inner 11 year old take flight. And have fun choosing the cake of your life.

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