In a detour from my normal ramblings about running, fitness, fashion and sometimes beauty, I thought I’d introduce you to something I’m having a bit of a mare making a decision over: The Wedding Cake.
You see I asked my very talented soon-to-be sister-in-law (see her designs below) if she would kindly use her skills to create something special. When she replied yes, she’d be delighted, what would we like? I had no idea. It’s not something I’ve ever thought about before. And to be honest, part of me was thinking why do we have cake at weddings? What does it actually symbolise for the happy couple besides a photo moment of the two of you grabbing hold of the knife trying to cut a straight line through the sponge and icing together?
So I typed origins of the wedding cake into Wikipedia to unearth a bit more about this (rather expensive) ritual. Among the many tales including one that I rather liked in Medieval England of the couple piling up the cakes as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over, I found that cutting and distributing the cake was originally a job for the bride as consuming it would ensure fertility. And in the 18th century, you kept your cake until your first wedding anniversary to prevent you from marriage problems in the future. Who knew that a bit of fruit cake once meant so much?
But what about Italian wedding cakes, seeing as we’re getting wed in a country rich with tradition, why not do a modern take on some of their many options for our nuptials?
Indeed, in Ancient Rome, wedding cakes were not eaten (nor were they sweetened), but instead they were broken over the bride’s head or thrown at the bride by the groom to boost fertility (let’s see him just try that one). While today, we get to dab (or smear) cake on each other’s faces, which sounds like fun to me. As for the cakes themselves, there are plenty of torta nuziale (that’s wedding cake) to choose from. In no particular order:
1. Profiterole Tower
A pile of chocolatey, squishy profiteroles moulded together using hot caramel to create a conical tower shape – similar to the croquembouche in France.
This traditional Italian wedding cake sandwiches a thin cream consisting of mascarpone and sugar between extremely thin layers of filo pastry. It’s topped off with berries, sometimes chocolate and a light dusting of icing sugar.
3. Tiered White Wedding Cake
Pretty much the same as what we have in England. The icing is white to symbolise the purity and devotion to her husband. Not so sure about the first part of that sentence.
4. Crostata di Frutta
Large custard tart topped with all kinds of fruit and berries served at weddings to wish good fortune and fertility on the bride.
So there you have it, plenty of choices if we choose to go down the Italia route. We still have 10 months to decide but a gluten free sponge cake with a fruity twist could be on the cards.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions below. What did you choose for your wedding cake? Or have you been to a wedding where the gateau really struck a chord?