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Cake Tasting 101

Monday July 30, 2012

Let's get real here. As your go-to wedding confidant, we know all your little bridal secrets. Every bride gets obsessed with some detail of her wedding. For some brides, the most important thing about her wedding might be her designer wedding gown and blinged out shoes. For other brides, it's the CAKE. Whatever your recipe for happiness, we totally understand the madness and obsession that overcomes a bride when planning her dream wedding day. After all, you've found your prince charming and now it's time to celebrate happily ever after!

If CAKE is what you're obsessing over, we're here to help! In today's wedding world, the wedding cake is often a highlight of the reception and a true work of art. Can't decide on how many tiers, what shape or size to choose for your wedding cake? To go cupcakes or cake? Nix the traditional wedding cake and go with macarons and a dessert bar? The options are endless and we've talked to our Cake Experts to get the details on what all brides wanna know– Can I have my cake and eat it too? We say, YES!

Cake Design by Cake Works
Photo Credit :: Kai-Photo

Q: How far in advance should I book my cake vendor?

A: Abi Langlas of Cake Works suggests the ideal time to book your cake vendor is 3-6 months before your wedding. By this time you'll have most of your other wedding details finalized and you can make sure your cake design compliments them. However, if you want a extremely specialized cake or if your cake will be the shining star of your wedding, you should book up to 1 year in advance.

Q: What is a cake tasting? Is there a fee?

A: Selecting your wedding cake is one the sweetest parts of planning your wedding. A cake tasting is a great time to have your consultation with possible cake vendors. It'll give you the opportunity to discuss your wedding, your dream cake and most importantly, TASTE their cake samples! The fee for each cake company varies, here's the scoops from some of Hawaii's top cake vendors!

Cake Works located on 2820 South King Street, has a $20 cake tasting fee. This fee can be credited towards your deposit if you book within 24 hours of your cake tasting. Tasting includes an assortment of mini cupcakes in various flavors and a slice of strawberries and cream cake. Sa-weet!

A Cake Life consultations are available Monday-Thursday at The Wedding Cafe. A fee of $25 is required to reserve your appointment time. Cake tasting includes six of their most popular and delicious flavors. Mmm!

Hot Cakes offers cake tasting for a $30 fee. This includes up to three flavors (recommended because the more flavors you have, the more difficult the decision!). Flavors can be adjusted to fit the bride's wishes. This tasting fee can be applied to a cake order which would make the tasting complimentary. PS: Hot Cakes even encourages their clients to take the cake home to try with friends and family!

Aloha Cakery is happy to do cake tastings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at The Wedding Cafe. Aloha Cakery provides an assortment of cake flavors and frosting to mix and match to your liking. A cake tasting fee of $25 is required, and can be applied to any cake order.

Photo Credit :: Kai-Photo

Cake Tasting tips

1. Eat a meal before your cake tasting. If you arrive hungry, your hunger will stray your cake decisions.

2. Start your tasting with the lighter, fluffier cakes like angel food and end with richer, denser cakes like mocha chocolate. The pastry chef can help recommend an order to taste the cakes to please your palate.

3. Taste cakes, frosting, fillings and embellishments separately. This allows you to truly taste the flavor of each.

4. Then, mix and match to find the combo you love the most! The cake experts will usually pair the most complimentary flavors together, but maybe you'll absolutely love a random combination– it's your wedding!

5. Drink water throughout the tasting to cleanse your palate.

Q: How many people can I bring for my cake tasting?

A: Of course, it depends on the location and the cake vendor, but Abi of Cake Works suggests bringing no more than three people. That magic number is ideal because she has found that the more opinions and people involved actually make it more difficult to make a decision. Can you imagine? Your groom loves the decadent salted caramel. You're more of a fresh strawberries and cream kinda gal. Your mom is gushing about the lilikoi and how much your out-of-town guests will love it. Your bridesmaid is insisting on the red velvet–you get the picture! Keep it simple and perhaps aim to make your cake tasting a flavorful wedding date with your groom!

Photo Credit :: Kai-Photo

Q: How should I best prepare for my cake consultation?

A: It's best to come with questions you might have. You like the look of fondant cakes, but what does fondant really taste like? What's the price difference for using real flowers compared to handmade sugar flowers? Bring magazine clippings, pictures and ideas for inspiration of cakes you LOVE. It also helps to bring any details you have already finalized from your wedding. Bring your invitation, picture of your gown, and wedding colors - all the little details will help your cake artist to design the cake of your dreams.

Q: How much does a wedding cake cost?

A: The magic question! And the answer is– it all depends. The price of your cake is determined by many factors, the most important being the number and size of tiers as well as your design choice (choice of flavor, custom shapes, colors, decorations, rental of fountains, bridges or cake stands, purchase of cake toppers, frosting or handmade sugar flowers, and delivery). As you can see, with all this intricate details, the price of your cake will vary so it's important to discuss all these sweet details with your cake vendor first before they are able to give you an accurate estimate.

Cake Design and macaron mannequin by Cake Works
Photo Credit :: Kai-Photo

Photo Credit :: Kai-Photo

BEHIND THE SCENES

For those of us who have never been a pastry chef and don't religiously watch the Food Network, here's a delicious sneak peek of the magic and artwork that takes place behind the scenes of a bakery. Looks more like an art studio than bakery? It's kinda both! These bakeries have the creative vision, talents and equipment of artists... and the yummy ingredients to make it look as good as it tastes! Kudos to Abi Langlas of Cake Works for letting us into her kitchen!

Photo Credit :: Kai-Photo

Photo Credit :: Kai-Photo

Whether you decide to go with a fondant 3-tier strawberry guava cake or an ombre buttercream haupia cake, have FUN with it! Make the best use of your cake tasting consultation, come prepared with questions and inspiration, look to your cake artist for their expert advice, and on the big day... have your dream wedding cake, and eat it too! Mmm hmm!

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