Thursday, February 13, 2014

Elegant Dessert or Dessert Table

In January we talked about having a cupcake wedding cake; a variation of the traditional wedding cake. One of my favorite alternatives though has to be the dessert table. But too, many have opted to throw all tradition out the window and select an elegant dessert. First lets talk about a simple elegant dessert served.

Elegant Dessert
There is sometimes a hesitation of a wedding cake simply because not all people like cake. Well, this will be true of any dessert selected; however, if you are attempting to create an elegant fine dining experience rather than a more traditional reception like atmosphere, then having an elegant dessert served after dinner may be the way to go.

If you opt to go this direction talk with your caterer and ask them what they would recommend to complete the dinner menu you have already selected. Or, this is the perfect time to pull in your ethnic background serving something that is traditional from your culture. For example, serving Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian dessert), Zuppa Inglese (Italian dessert) or Brudlaupskling (Norweigean dessert). The possibilities here are endless and will be unique to the bride and groom.

Dessert Table/Display
Lastly, and in more detail, lets talk about the dessert table.

What is it?
Dessert Table
The dessert table is just as it sounds; a arrangement of various elegant desserts on display for guests to serve themselves. These desserts can be placed out by the facility while guests are finishing dinner so that when it is time guests can help themselves to the sweet buffet.

Who should do this for me?
You can have your baker or the catering facility do this for you depending on the experience level and what your end goal is. If you want a small wedding cake plus the dessert table it is possible to order all of this through your bakery. But if your bakery is not familiar with the dessert table it is possible that your caterer can offer that service for you while the bakery makes your wedding cake.

What desserts should I select?
Your caterer or baker will be able to guide you in this but when picking out your desserts be sure to get a variety but not too much of a variety. You want to be sure to have ample amounts of each dessert selected so limit your variety to 4-5 types. Some caterers/bakers have packages complete for you already for which you would just select.

For example you could go with a Viennese Table which might offer assorted cakes, mini pastries, chocolate fountain with dipping items and assorted petit fours. You could go with Dessert Shooters which might consist of tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake, raspberry amaretto mousse and fresh berries with flower honey all displayed in shot glassware. Or you could simply go with Full Cakes which might consist of cheesecake, carrot cake, silk chocolate mousse, pecan pie tarts and so on.
Dessert Shooters

You can still order a smaller wedding cake so that you can have your photo opportunity to cut and serve each other cake. The wedding cake can then be cut and plated on smaller plates and added to the dessert buffet as another option for your guests. While you certainly can do so, I do not recommend having a served dessert and a dessert buffet as you are not only looking at a lot of food in general, but too one can only eat so many sweet items in a short period of time. Regardless of which style of dessert service decide upon, just be sure to take a moment aside and enjoy that sweet treat with your husband/wife!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cupcake display in leiu of a wedding cake

Back in December we talked about wedding cakes. As mentioned there are several options available now of which cupcakes are just one.

Cupcake wedding cakes can be constructed on a stand to mimic the appearance of a traditional wedding cake. There are a variety of stands available to you such as square or round, clear plastic or iron. You will want to check with your baker to confirm that they have a stand available that you like. In many cases I have had crafty fathers of the bride who went to work building a stand. In either case you will want to ensure you have a way to display your cupcakes in a fashion that matches your vision.

One item to keep in mind with cupcake displays is that typically not all of the cupcakes will be displayed. You do not want to over crowd the stand as it will then look thrown together. It is possible that some of the cupcakes will remain behind the scene until it is time for dessert which is fine; you would rather there be some cupcakes in back to
ensure that the display is perfect.

In nearly all cases there is still a top tier of the wedding cake as part of this display. There is one downfall of having just one tier; if you want to keep the top tier for your first year anniversary then you will want to do one of two things. First you can have two tiers of cake (the top to keep and the bottom tier to cut). If you go with this option, what you could ask of your reception hall is to serve the head table from the bottom tier of cake while serving the cupcakes to the guests. Or, two, you can ask your baker to make a separate top tier that arrives already boxed at the facility. This boxed tier you can take home to freeze at the end of the reception and then simply just cut the top tier of the display.

Having cupcakes also gives you flexibility in flavor variety. While I still recommend keeping your flavor selections to five or less, with a wedding cake you are limited to flavor variety based on the number of wedding cake tiers you need. If you do opt to go this direction be aware that if you have the reception hall staff serve the cupcakes that at some point a flavor is inevitably going to run out. Which means the last few tables served are going to simply end up with whatever is left. If you are not okay with this an alternate option is to ask that the cupcakes be placed on display and guests can help themselves after the entree is complete. In the event that your wedding food package includes a coffee display after dinner, it would be the perfect location to have the cupcakes displayed. An added bonus of this is that it gets the guests up and moving after the meal service.

On a final note, one bonus aspect of having a cupcake wedding cake is that every 'piece of cake' looks the same and is beautiful when your guests see it.

Next time we will look at a full blown dessert station complete with cake and other sweet treats; just another alternative to your wedding cake.