What to have as a wedding cake?
What to have as a wedding cake?
Traditionally wedding cakes had been made of fruit, but, fashions change?
The wedding cake had originally been served with champagne well after the meal, and so fruit which is rich and heavy could then be enjoyed.
Made from flour, eggs, butter and dark sugar laden with lots of fruit and nut and finished with a good quality alcohol, the cake should be rich but moist.
The fruit cake has been around a long time and dates back to the roman times.
“The oldest reference that can be found regarding a fruitcake dates back to Roman times. The recipe included pomegranate seeds. Pine nuts and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. Honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added during the middle Ages. Crusaders and hunters were reported to have carried this type of cake to sustain themselves over long periods of time away from home.
1400s – The British began their love affair with fruitcake when dried fruits from the Mediterranean first arrived.
1700s – In Europe, a ceremonial type of fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest and saved and eaten the next year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest, hoping it will bring them another successful harvest. After the harvest, nuts were mixed and made into a fruitcake that was saved until the following year. At that time, previous year’s fruitcakes were consumed in the hope that its symbolism would bring the blessing of another successful harvest
In the early 18th century, fruitcake (called plum cakes) was outlawed entirely throughout Continental Europe. These cakes were considered as “sinfully rich.” By the end of the 18th century there were laws restricting the use of plum cake.
Between 1837 and 1901, fruitcake was extremely popular. A Victorian “Tea” would not have been complete without the addition of the fruitcake to the sweet and savoury spread. Queen Victoria is said to have waited a year to eat a fruitcake she received for her birthday because she felt it showed restraint, moderation and good taste.
It was the custom in England for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of the cake, traditionally a dark fruitcake, under their pillow at night so they will dream of the person they will marry.
The change in fashion and the way the cake is served now lends itself to other flavour; cake is still served at the end of the meal but, also can be sent to the guests after the wedding with thank you notes in fashionable trinket boxes. The flavours also have changed with many more people opting for a sponge or carrot cake or even chocolate instead,
Other unusual flavours include lemon, orange and banana!
A good quality sponge is dependent on the ingredients used; cheap ingredients will give a basic but poor tasting sponge cake. If one uses on the other hand organic ingredients,
Organic flour, organic cane sugar, free range eggs and organic butter with vanilla extract the flavour will be far superior.
This is the basic recipe for chocolate with the addition of fair trade cocoa powder, carrot cake is an entirely different mix, but again better the ingredients better the finished product.
Orange and lemon cake are made using the same organic sponge recipe for vanilla but, with the addition of zest and juice of either organic lemon or oranges.
Banana cake being same organic sponge recipe but with fork crushed ripe bananas!
I’m sure fashions will continue to evolve some weddings no longer have a central wedding cake but a great tier of fancy cupcakes, or combination of large cupcake and small ones.
I look forward to seeing what is to come!