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A guide to arranging the perfect wedding cake and bomboniere.
Photography by Linda Pasfield Photography
The tradition of sweetening the marriage with cake is present in the history of many cultures. In medieval England, sweet rolls were stacked as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over. If they kissed without collapsing the tower, it was said they would have a prosperous marriage. The croquembouche was later created by the French in an attempt to give the bride and groom a better chance at prosperity, as the sweets were bound together with threads of caramel. The croquembouche is still the traditional wedding cake of France.
No matter what the tradition, ask any bride and she will tell you that cake tasting is one of the most enjoyable wedding planning activities — not only do you get to taste a range of mouth-watering cake options, but you also have a groom that is eager to participate too.
Whether you would like a four-tier swirl torte with marzipan roses, a pastel charlotte or a traditional fruitcake, the choice is entirely yours. With such a vast variety, it is sometimes hard to choose between all the scrumptious options.
Some brides choose to stick to a traditional fruitcake, whilst others opt for a macaron tower or a gluten-free almond cake. Whatever your choice, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when tasting. Firstly make sure that the wedding cake tastes fresh and delicious. Often taste is overlooked in favour of style, but a good cake maker will know how to do both. Don’t forget to taste the whole slice, including the icing to make sure that all the cake components blend well together.
If any of your wedding guests are vegan, vegetarian, coeliac or diabetic, why not choose a multi-tier cake with different flavours to suit everyone? Guests who are unable to consume alcohol for religious or other reasons, will usually need to avoid fruitcake.
Before you place your order, you’ll need to know how many people you will be serving the cake to. As an approximate guide, a round, two-tier fruitcake will serve 100 people. If you plan on serving a softer cake, such as a mud or sponge cake, you will need a slightly larger cake for 100 guests, so ask your cake maker for their advice. You should also consider whether or not the wedding cake is going to be served with another dessert. If it is, then it is more practical to serve ‘coffee’ size portions that are half the size of dessert servings.
If you decide not to serve your wedding cake at your reception, check whether your cake maker can supply you with small boxes or cake bags so that guests can take their cake portion home with them. You will also need a larger, durable box to store the top layer of a fruitcake if you plan on following the tradition of keeping your wedding cake for a significant occasion.
The choices are endless when it comes to the look of your cake, and it’s a great idea to keep magazine cuttings or photographs on a mood board for inspiration. You might choose bite-sized cupcakes, petit-fours, friands or a spectacular croquembouche. Or you might choose a more traditional square, round or heart-shaped multi-tiered masterpiece. Look to match the trimmings and colours of your wedding cake to the overall wedding theme. Keep in mind too that square cakes will usually feed more people than round ones, and that the more intricate the icing work on your cake, the more it is likely to cost.
The tradition of giving bomboniere to guests also dates back several centuries. During the sixteenth century, the upper class society of France gave elaborate boxes filled with sweet delicacies to wedding guests as a gesture of gratitude. In neighbouring Italy, wedding guests were given sugared almonds as wedding favours in order to represent everlasting happiness.
Bomboniere can be as unique as the couple getting married. Whilst many stick to the traditional sugared almonds, others give their guests wedding candy or macarons in beautiful paper boxes. Candy buffets are also popular as your guests can pick and choose what they put in their bag.
Traditionally bomboniere parcels are given to each guest or each couple, and you should always order more than you need, as you can keep any leftovers as a memento, or give them as a thank you to your wedding service providers.
Check out some of Tasmania’s best wedding cake and bomboniere suppliers.