By Forrest Auberjonois. Cake. Published at Saturday, September 28th, 2019 - 06:44:44 AM.
The added sweetness, fruits, minced cakes are from the ”Bride’s Pie” which became the norm in 19th century England. Sometimes that pie was even made from mutton, especially if the family was not of the elite or royal lineage, with wealth to have the sweet meats. By the late 19th century, the bride’s pie was out and single tiered plum cakes were the norm or trend of the day. It was not until much later when guest lists expanded that cake or wedding cake, earlier called the ”Bride’s Cake”, that layering started to become trendy. Initially the layers were just mock-ups, much like the mock or fake cakes of today in which it was all either hardened sugar or hardened frosting on the top layers. As you know the use of the fake cake is for pictures now and the first cut. Nowadays the fake cake after the first cut and pictures is taken to the kitchen or back room while the cuttings for the guests are taken from a sheet cake of the same frosting design. This is both for convenience and to keep the cost of the wedding cake down to a minimum.
Many think that this ”crumbling of the cake” over the bride’s head may have evolved into another wedding day tradition? Do you know what it is? In order to protect the hapless bride from the wheat shower that is to come, bridesmaids draped a cloth over her head before the ”crumbling tradition” took place. Many believe that this simple cloth evolved into the wedding veil of today.
Fruit cakes, fillings are out, even though the United Kingdom’s Royal wedding went with a traditional fruit cake, which most Americans shun religiously at Christmas, so would NEVER be included or thought perfect for a wedding cake to be shared with your new relatives, friends, or even your spouse. Prior to the tradition in the United Kingdom of sweet or fruity cakes, in Medieval times the cake was usually made of a plain unsweetened bread. Actually probably a truer metaphor for what the bride was getting into than anything since. The bread was usually eaten first by the groom, who then broke it over the bride’s head showing his dominance over her (presumably throughout the rest of their married life.) I can see why that is not practiced anymore.
Another addition is placing wide ribbons around the base of each tier of the cake. Grosgrain or satin ribbon is typical or the baker can create faux ribbons from the frosting. Mimicking a pattern or a motif from the bridal gown is another great trend which helps to coordinate the wedding as a whole. The cake designer might duplicate in frosting the gown’s lace or embroidery pattern, or copy the bride’s unique necklace. For a more playful look, he or she may simply put some jewelry on the cake, like crystals or faux pearls to mirror the bride’s jewelry. Meanwhile, the traditional wedding cake is still abundant with frosting flowers, swags and swirls.
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