In several of my previous posts, I have mentioned the stresses and tedium of pulling a wedding together. I am glad to finally write about an experience that was not in the least bit taxing. In fact, it was quite delicious.
A few weeks ago, Sean and I attended our cake tasting. The venue where we are having our reception has a partnership with the Columbia, MD based Touche Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shoppe. Our catering agreement with the venue allows us to get a standard (lemon-raspberry) cake from Touche Touchet as a part of our package. Sean and I were curious about what other flavor combinations were, so we set up an appointment to go and find out.
When we got to the bakery, we were warmly welcomed then seated in a small room in the back. The young lady dispatched to work with us presented me with a single rose, telling me that all brides get roses when they come in to choose their cakes. She asked if she could bring us bottled waters and was surprised to see that I had brought my own. Prior to our appointment, I’d read online that its good to have sips of water in between bites of cake to refresh the taste buds. Next, she gave us a notebook filled with pictures of cake designs for Sean and I to peruse, while she got everything ready for the tasting. Having spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest looking at cakes, I had an idea of what I wanted. I had envisioned a four-tier beauty with white icing, ribbons, and flowers. I was happy to see that Touche Touchet had several options that resembled what I had in mind.
Before Sean and I had reached a decision on which design we liked, our cake consultant returned, balancing a silver oval-shaped tray, topped with tons of little ceramic cups and two cupcakes. One cupcake was chocolate with a glittery chocolate icing, and the other was the yellow cake with butter cream icing flecked with multi-colored sprinkles. Neither of us is a fan of chocolate cake, so the yellow cake one served as our default during the tasting. Our cake consultant handed us a laminated sheet of paper. The sheet had the names of all of the cake filling flavors; written in the order they appeared on the tray. She recommended that we take pieces of the cupcake and make sure that we taste it with both the icing and some of the filling. It was kind of difficult to maneuver that with a cupcake, but somehow we managed.
To avoid going into complete sugar shock, Sean and I decided to do a process of elimination. We mostly ignored the chocolate cupcake and proceeded to taste the fillings, immediately discarding the ones we did not like (placing them off to the side). With the discards. The fillings we liked were only the ones that we tasted along with the yellow cake and butter cream. I confess to eating the whole cup of German chocolate filling, even though I knew for sure that we were not going to end up using it for our cake (what can I say – I love pecans!). Ultimately, we chose raspberry, lemon mousse, amaretto butter cream, and cream cheese butter cream as our fillings. The tiers will alternate in their flavor combinations, as such two tiers will have the raspberry and lemon mousse together and the other two will have the amaretto butter cream and the cream cheese butter cream. I believe we chose well and that our guests will love it.
I have the following advice for those who have not yet had their cake tastings:
1) Don’t bring a lot of people – The tasting process can be overwhelming because there is so much to choose from. It’s likely that the more people you involve, the more confusing the things can become. Sean and I originally invited our mothers, but neither was able to attend and I think that definitely worked out for the better.
2) Bring water or say yes to the water that you are offered at the tasting. That offer of water is not just an act of hospitality. You will need that water in between bites to keep the tastes from blurring together.
3) Bring a pen and paper to take notes. They will definitely come in handy.
4) If you have images that reflect what you are looking for in a cake, bring them with you in the event that your bakery does not have any designs you like. We did not have this issue, but I think it would have helped expedite the selection process if we had our images to show the cake consultant.
5) If you are considering integrating your wedding colors into your wedding cake, bring paint chips in those colors. With Touche Touchet, they just asked us to bring in a paint chip at our earliest convenience. Yet, if we had brought it along with us, it would have been already done (one less thing to think about).