All About Wedding Cake

The wedding cake has always been important to the marriage celebration. In ancient Roman times, bread was broken above the head of the bride, signifying good luck for the couple. As time passed, different foods replaced bread and were stacked, the happy couple expected to lean over it and kiss before dismantling and serving. The contents evolved into buns and small cakes or pastries, sometimes even meat pies which were eaten as part of the meal. But the symbolism has pretty much remained the same, that of fertility and good fortune, as the newlyweds ceremoniously cut the cake and share with each other prior to their guests.

Contemporary cakes are often not even edible but merely disguised cardboard or styrofoam, elaborately decorated, then whisked away to the kitchen where a simple sheet cake is cut and served to the unsuspecting guests. Traditionally the top layer, often called the groom’s cake, is saved and consumed at a later date, or may be separate entirely. At some weddings, the cake consists of tiered cupcakes for easy serving, or displayed on an elaborate “sweet table” of desserts where the guests can help themselves.

During the Victorian age in Britain (1800s) the royals and elite class took the wedding cake to a new high (literally) with sweet cake and white icing as a status symbol of the bride and groom, exemplified by the lavish display served at the 1871 wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise, which took three months to complete. One has to wonder how well it held up literally during all that time and was it still edible. Apparently so, as pieces of the original were auctioned off years later. One buyer described the texture as “firm,” an understatement to be sure. Although most royals favor a lavish but somewhat traditional cake, elaborate reproductions of palaces and historical landmarks have been prominently featured at some elite children’s weddings.

No longer the traditional white cake or fruitcake (favored by Brits) the contemporary cakes have evolved into spectacles of artistry, with unique themes, sculptures, photos and even replicas of the bride and groom themselves. They may be carrot cake, chocolate or cheesecake, with colorful icing and decorations of any flavor, and frequently come with a price tag far surpassing the bridal gown. Specially trained pastry chefs compete on Food Network and have their own businesses which create wedding cakes exclusively.

Possibly, the most famous wedding cake in history belongs to the character Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ legendary novel Great Expectations. The jilted spinster, left at the altar, spends the rest of her life in her bedroom wearing her wedding dress, the rotting wedding cake on display, covered with cobwebs. Although not so dramatic, here are some famous modern-day cakes that deserve mention:

Actress Grace Kelly’s celebrated marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco featured a six-tiered wedding cake at their reception in 1956, and depicted a three-dimensional replica of Monaco’s Pink Palace, her soon-to-be new home.

When a radiant Elizabeth Taylor carved into a five-tiered white cake at her lavish first wedding to hotel heir Nicky Hilton in 1950, it was topped with traditional wedding bells, created by the pastry chef at the chichi Bel-Air Country Club in California. Imagine the lucky bakers who were commissioned by Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Although the cakes got smaller and smaller with each subsequent marriage, they still had a terrific repeat business from each of the two actresses.

At the 1947 royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth, soon to become Queen of England, the 500-pound fruitcake (a traditional British favorite) stood 9 feet tall. It required 660 eggs, 300 pounds of dried nuts and fruits, and three-and-a-half gallons of Navy rum. (And some of us complain when we receive a measly two-pound fruitcake at Christmas.)

Prince Charles and Diana’s five-foot tall cake was adorned with marzipan Windsor coats of arms and was so vital to the royal celebration that a duplicate copy was made, in case of an accident. (Kind of like “an heir and a spare.”)

When Kennedy daughter Eunice married Sargent Shriver, she had to stand on a step ladder to cut the cake, it was so tall (which brings new meaning to the phrase “standing up for a wedding”).

Elvis Presley married Priscilla in 1967, where the wedding featured a large yellow cake, which came with a price tag of $22,000, a staggering amount in 1967. Created by the pastry chef at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, he proudly proclaimed the layers of his masterpiece were filled with apricot marmalade and liqueur-flavored Bavarian cream, then glazed with fondant icing, topped off with marzipan roses. Fit for a king.

Donald Trump and Melania’s cake cost $50,000 and could not be served to the guests because of the amount of wiring used to keep it intact. Reportedly the cake was a stunning seven-tier work of art, weighing in at over 200 pounds and consisted of yellow sponge cake flavored with orange zest, soaked in Grand Marnier, filled with butter cream, and adorned with 2,000 individually constructed flowers spun from sugar. (Author’s note: I don’t know about anyone else, but it sounds so delicious that I would have gladly picked out the wires and devoured it.)

No question, the simple wedding cake has evolved into an art form, where creativity and ingenuity know no bounds. If you can dream it up, and absorb the cost, you will find a willing and talented baker to create it. In the words of a famous French royal, “Let them eat cake.” Indeed.

Making Strawberries Cake

Strawberries grew wild for centuries and were enjoyed by many Europeans, although much smaller in size than we have now. But they first became cultivated in France in the 1750s (leave it to those French). Like so many other fruits valued originally as medicinal and mentioned in ancient Roman writings, they are depicted in oil paintings during the 15th century by Renaissance artists (a little snacking on the side, perhaps?). Seems they were consumed as a panacea to depression (who can feel blue when you have sweet berries to nosh on?).

Gathered in the woods by early colonists, foodie president Thomas Jefferson experimented with different varieties in his vast gardens as early as 1789, serving them up at grand dinners to the delight of his guests. His frustration was the small size at that time, still a strain of the Alpine variety which he brought home from France. Fortunately, horticulturists and growers continued to work on producing a larger size and of course were eventually successful.

But Americans are not the only country which cherishes this delightful red fruit. They are a tradition at England’s Wimbledon annual tennis tournament, served with cream. In Italy, strawberries are a favorite gelato flavor. The Greeks like to dip them in sugar, then roll them in brandy. Japan still experiments with dozens of varieties, which were originally very expensive and available only for royalty. During the 1930s, their production was increased dramatically, and they now rank as one of the top growers in the world.

Needless to say, America’s love affair with the strawberry is legendary, as we far surpass any other country in production and usage, cranking out 1.5 million tons a year, a third of the entire world’s production. Translating into just over 9 pounds per American in consumption, here’s what tops the U.S. hit parade:

Jam – America’s favorite flavor

Shortcake – with biscuits or sponge cake, topped with whipped cream, a classic

Pie – either fresh (with a sugar glaze) or baked, often with rhubarb

Ice cream – in popular Neapolitan (with chocolate and vanilla) or by itself

Yogurt – fruit on the bottom or blended

Smoothies – blended and flavorful

Pairs well with bananas

Fresh – by themselves, sliced and sugared or as a topping

Chocolate-covered – a candy and fruit in one

Sliced – on breakfast cereal and pancakes

Hardy and easy to grow, the plants also make an attractive ground cover, although local critters like to sneak into backyards and devour the fruit when the coast is clear. They also freeze well and can be enjoyed year-round.

If you are fortunate to live in a region where strawberries are grown, an enjoyable outing is visiting a “pick your own” field, even though it’s tiring under a hot sun and puts a strain on the back, worth doing once (and all you can eat in the process). So make it a point to pick up a quart or two on your next visit to the local supermarket or farmers market. The best ones are fresh, ripe and flavorful.

Tips To Make Great Lime Pie

Key West Florida is famous for two things: the Ernest Hemingway house (with its 6 toed cats) and Key lime pie, named after limes which grow in the Florida keys. A favorite American dessert made with Key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks, the traditional “Conch version” uses the egg whites to make a meringue topping. Key limes are smaller, more tart and aromatic than the common limes we buy year-round in grocery stores and grown abundantly in other regions of Florida and California. Key lime juice, unlike regular lime juice, is pale yellow, which, along with the egg yolks, produces the filling’s pale color.

Appearing in the early 20th century the exact origins are unknown, but the first recorded mention of Key lime pie may have been made by William Curry, a ship salvager and Key West’s first millionaire. Supposedly his cook, “Aunt Sally”, created the pie for him. It seems his crews of sponge fishermen at sea did not have access to ovens but the original version allowed the creamy pie to be prepared without baking. Early writings state that Aunt Sally’s version called for a graham cracker crust and softly whipped cream.

Many cooks and bakers in Florida claim their recipe is the only authentic version. Be that as it may, the filling is rarely disputed: rather, most debates revolve around the crust and topping. Everyone does agree, however, that green food coloring is for amateurs, and a proper version should be pale yellow. Key limes (also called Mexican or West Indian limes) are the most common lime found throughout the world; the U.S. is the exception in preferring the larger Persian lime.

The two contentious versions center around crust and topping. Early pies probably didn’t even have a crust, but now locals vacillate between traditional pie crust and graham cracker. And then there is the topping. The two camps argue meringue vs. whipped cream. (Apparently these folks have a lot of time on their hands.) Contrary to popular belief, what makes the filling creamy is not cream at all but sweetened condensed milk which is thicker than evaporated milk and comes in a can, first introduced by the Borden Dairy company in the late 1800s. It’s possible that if the sponge divers had anything to do with the pie, they indeed had plenty of canned milk, eggs and Key limes on board (and plenty of sponges for clean-up).

In other countries where Key limes grow, they are used more commonly in many dishes and as a popular flavoring. Although grown for centuries in Asian and South America, they didn’t make an appearance in the U.S. until the late 1800s. which means foodie president Thomas Jefferson missed out entirely. (How he would have loved those pies!)

If you visit Key West, pie factories and bakeries abound, and you can literally eat your way from one end to the other, reveling in the different offerings and deciding for yourself which one you like best. There are also shops which sell dozens of products enhanced with Key lime, such as moisturizers, potpourri, candles, soaps, candies and cookies. Unfortunately for much of America, procuring authentic Key limes is not always easy, and using regular limes just won’t do. Oh sure, you can buy bottled juice which the locals would frown on, but for some it’s better than nothing.

Starting in 2013, the annual Key Lime Festival is held over the July 4th weekend as a celebration of their favorite citrus not only as pie but in other foods, drinks, and an important part of their. Clearly these aficionados take their pie very seriously and expect no less from anyone else. And by the way, don’t even think about using frozen topping. The whipped cream police will find you and have you arrested.

Tips To Get Cakes Nearby

Cakes are always present on birthdays for both adults and kids. Thank the Germans for starting the annual celebratory of children’s birthdays with cake which then is called Kinderfest. Although many variations of sweets are eaten around the world for birthdays, candle blowing ritual has unknown exact origin. But theories from Greek origin explains that placing candles on birthday cakes is done to honor the birth of the goddess of the moon, Artemis, on the sixth day of every lunar month (in which the round shape of cakes are based to resemble the moon). This can be linked between her oversight of fertility and the birthday tradition of candles and cakes, however, this has not been established.

But on today’s generation, birthdays aren’t complete without blowing candles on cakes. It has been a tradition in mostly any part of this world. But a cake couldn’t just be on birthday celebrations, it is also present on mostly any occasion known – if we want to. Birthday cakes or any other cakes in several places comes from the best that is a long-established cake store with a reputation of producing only the best and provides the customers an outstanding experience.

Every place has a referred cake shop to order their cakes. But the question is, where to buy the best birthday cakes in your place? Big thanks to some cake shops for (answering our question and)producing high quality and consistent gourmet cakes that is perfect for birthdays or any other occasion. Being just around to some particular places is the perfect shops to be, for the best cakes, obviously!

You can fall in love with their lovely and delicious treats by being a unique cake shop in every place you are staying that astounds with creativity, variety, freshness and quality for their products. The commitment of using the finest and freshest ingredients available reflect on the products that can be distinguished by the texture, appearance and flavor of their cakes and gourmet.

Moreover, these cakes and gourmet aren’t just for birthday celebrations. Wedding celebrations or even at normal days, we love to eat cakes and gourmet. At some point, desserts are significant to every community. We may not admit but our children love cakes, cheesecake, gourmet and more. Our children today would eat without any occasion just to fill their days. I, too, would admit that I crave twice a week getting some triple chocolate cake for me to bring home and eat.

Lastly, the only way to know where to buy cakes not just in your community and on all other places is to make a list or a canvas then check them out on their physical store and try out their cakes or any products listed on your list.