I have a salty-tooth and can pass on most dessert. I’m rarely swayed to eat a piece of wedding cake when I could have had a few extra pieces of cheese or fried calamari.
My fiancé and I aren’t interested in a standard wedding cake whose decorations resemble a Barbie’s wedding dress. However, I’ve been looking through wedding magazines and have seen some eye-candy cakes that could change any un-bride’s opinion of the final course.
Recently, we were in Hoboken for lunch (at the lovely Brass Rail http://www.thebrassrailnj.com/) and decided to stop by to peruse the counters at Carlo’s Bakery (http://www.carlosbakery.com/). Carlo’s is used by one of the venues we are considering.
My fiancé, my father, my father’s friend, and I were equally stunned by the display of cakes, pastries and other goodies throughout the store. From a cake that looked like luggage piled three high to crispy, unfilled cannoli shells, I knew this was the real thing. We immediately made an appointment to meet with the chef, Buddy Valastro.
A few days later, we found ourselves tasting cake in the back of the bakery at ten a.m. with my parents.
Buddy brought out a book with cakes included in the venue’s package and a book of additional wedding cakes that we could choose from for an additional charge. Over coffee, we looked through the binders and ooh-ed and aah-ed as if we were watching fireworks on the Fourth of July.
There were cakes with matte ganache that looked like they had been painted and fired in a kiln. There were polka-dots and sugar bows. There was a cake designed to look like a stained glass window. Another one that seemed to be covered in blooming cherry blossom branches. Fall leaves with perfect colors. Every flower imaginable for every season graced one cake or another.
Buddy explained the various fillings and decorations that could be added. When I disclosed my ever-challenging allergy to high fructose corn syrup, Buddy knew which toppings and fillings I could eat.
Then we were kindly offered a paper plate with slices of cake. We tasted a variety of flavors, from chocolate to hazelnut to carrot to red velvet. There was a cannoli layer in one cake. A cream cheese layer in another.
Buddy and his cakes have been featured in countless bridal magazines. The weekend we were there, he told us about his upcoming appearance on The Food Network and Good Morning America, to make Brittney Spears’ birthday cake. He is famous for good reason.
We haven’t made any final decisions on the wedding cake, but we did immediately decide to purchase sesame cookies, pignoli cookies and an almost all-crumb crumb cake.
Here are some pictures from our cake tasting adventure:
To all of you un-brides and un-grooms out there, don’t give up on the wedding cake. There are modern interpretations that might just steal your heart.
You decide how you want to approach dessert at your wedding. My parents had a one-layer wedding cake with a strawberry and pineapple ying-yang topping. You can simply offer a plate of pastries or even individual cupcakes that look like mini-wedding cakes. Or, you can serve a more traditional cake, dessert display and even a chocolate fountain. There are so many options.
When you are looking at venues, ask them if the cake is included in the final charge. Often, a venue will either have a baker on staff or they will use a local bakery. You can show the baker a picture and ask for a tasting. You can also decide to order your own wedding cake and have it delivered to the site the day of your wedding.
Here are some professional pictures from Carlo’s: http://www.carlosbakery.com/WeddingCakes.asp
If you order from Carlo’s, I hope you’ll invite me.
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