Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cake and hedgehogs

What do cake and hedgehogs have in common, you ask? Well, read on and you’ll find out!

Earlier this year, Brendan and I had our cake tasting at Jacques Pastries in Southern New Hampshire. The bakery has a partnership with our reception venue, and we first met them at the open house for 2013 couples in February. It was definitely love at first bite – all of their samples were wonderful, like little fluffy bites of heaven!

Brendan, eagerly eating a cake sample - wish we'd eaten more!

We made the drive up to New Hampshire one sunny Sunday morning in March. Sure, it was a bit early for a cake tasting – more than 6 months out – but we figured we’d get in a fun task while we were in the middle of a cold winter and seeing no end to the tedium of putting together guest lists and contact information. It turned out to be the perfect activity to cheer us up! We brought Brendan’s parents along for a second opinion.

We entered the shop, excited – the beautiful cake samples in the windows definitely helped set the mood. Our consultant, Cathy, was very friendly and encouraged us to try as many samples as we wanted. Jacques has helpful little cards with all the flavors on them, but we were a bit overwhelmed with all the options. Since we described our wedding as fall-themed, Cathy suggested we try all the different fall flavors along with the basic vanilla and chocolate. Definitely a great idea!

We tried – and loved – every single one of the flavors that they brought out. It was a very difficult decision, since everything was so delicious, but we decided on three different flavor combinations, given that our cake will have three layers. Each tier can have up to three different flavors of frosting, since there are three stripes of frosting in between the smaller layers. We went with:

Bottom tier: Spice cake with two caramel buttercream stripes and one apple filling stripe. This one was Cathy’s suggestion, and was definitely our favorite!

Middle tier: Almond cake with two hazelnut buttercream stripes and one Baileys buttercream stripe. We were all surprised to like the almond cake so much (it seemed like one of the plainer flavors), but it was spectacular. This tier will taste a little more traditional.

Top tier (our anniversary cake): Espresso cake with two hazelnut buttercream stripes and one cinnamon buttercream. The espresso cake was very rich, so we felt like it might be too much for the actual wedding. For our anniversary, though, it should stay moist and delicious!

As far as the design goes, we went pretty simple. Although Jacques has some really cool designs (New England brides, check out their website if you want a really crazy cake!), we wanted our cake to feel like a traditional wedding cake. We went with a “spackle” style buttercream for our frosting, which should look something like this:

Each layer will have an orange ribbon underneath a burlap ribbon, which will all be under a small lace ribbon. Hopefully a perfect mix of rustic and fall and romance! The final drawing for our cake looks like this:

Drawing courtesy of Jacques Pastries

And yes, those are, in fact, hedgehogs on top of the cake. Our cake toppers will be a cute little set of salt and pepper shakers I found in a store back home in MN:

They are magnetic “kissing” salt and pepper shakers – which normally I might consider a little silly, but they are so. darn. cute. Brendan likes hedgehogs, too, and the bakery told us we are not at all crazy for using salt and pepper shakers as a cake topper. Apparently, the little holes at the bottom for filling them work perfectly for putting the shakers on the cake – who knew? We’ve made a little top hat for the “groom” and ordered a tiny veil for the “bride” from, so everything should be set for the cake!

I can’t wait to taste our cake on our wedding day – and you better believe I will be getting some cake; no one comes between me and my cake!

Did you have a fun cake tasting? What is your favorite flavor?

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