Monday, November 10, 2014

What to Expect at a Cake Tasting

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One of the best parts of wedding planning -- hands down -- is the cake tasting. You sit down and people put cake in front of you to devour. And then all you have to do is pick your favorite. I mean, my version of heaven looks something like this scenario.

However, if you don't know what to expect, a cake tasting can be a little intimidating. Our friends over at Bittersweet invited us to their Cafe and Gift Shop to help us give you the scoop on what a dessert tasting is really like. (Spoiler alert: It's delicious.)

Our friend and cake mogul, Nancy, first brought us a fabulous plate of eight different flavors of cake, with a strip of buttercream frosting to boot. I honestly thought things couldn't get better!

Until they brought out the fillings. Yum! I could barely keep my spoon on the table, I was ready to dive into everything.

These plates, arranged so stunningly, not only showed off the amazing flavors, but also hinted at Bittersweet's flair for presentation. When at your cake tasting, take note of the company's customer service and presentation. Remember, you'll be working with these people quite a bit to ensure that your dream cake is ready for your big day.

Buttercream is one of the most popular types of frosting around, though fondant has been having it's day for a while now. Fondant tends to hold up better for complicated, heavy detailing. Buttercream -- or even whipped cream -- can be great for a fabulous taste and simpler designs. But buyer beware: buttercream and whipped cream don't hold up in heat! Ask your baker which kind of frosting will be best for your design, location and wedding date.

Also note that the price of the cake goes up with the amount of detail in the design. A simpler cake suits a lower budget. A very complex, ornate cake is a bit more costly, but stands out as a centerpiece of your decor. 

We hear water is usually the best way to clear the palate between different samples. Though, the tea and lattes we had at Bittersweet's Cafe and Gift Shop were pretty delicious, too. 

One big question on everyone's mind is always, "How many people should I bring?" It's generally accepted that the maximum is five (including the couple-to-be), but you should always ask your baker before assuming they'll prepare enough cake for all of your guests. 

Be sure to take at least one bite of everything. Even if you're not a fan. After that, just devour your favorites before you run out of room.

On another note, be sure to let your baker know of any food allergies before the tasting. All of the cake and dessert is prepared for you before your arrival at the tasting. You don't want to show up and realize that you can't try anything! It would be a true travesty if you had to sit there and watch everyone else enjoy all that yummy cake while you're not able to try a bite!

And now, the important part...the RIGHT way to test cake and filling.

  • First, use your fork to slice off a bite of cake. 
  • Then use your spoon to collect a small amount of fruit preserves and dollop it onto the bite of cake. 
  • Finally, use your fork to pick your sweet filling. 
  • Without taking the filling off your fork, pick up the cake and preserves and take a moment to seriously enjoy and consider the flavor combinations. 

The point here is to try as hard as possible not to cross-contaminate different fillings, so you have the most accurate experience of how your cake will taste. If you can't decide which flavor to choose, consider using different flavors or fillings for each layer of a multi-tiered cake!

So, the illustrated method above doesn't perfectly follow our tips, but that's only because everything was so delicious that we just couldn't slow the frenzy. :]

Needless to say, we did all but lick the plates. It was SO delicious. But, right when we thought we could take no more...

...out came the pastries. These tasty little bites of heaven were amazing. The goal here is to, again, try a wide variety of sweets to best determine which you might like dotting your dessert table. These delights were so delicious, there are no words. I'll just leave you with some images to enjoy...

Be sure to visit Bittersweet's website and their vendor page on our website for information about their fabulous cakes, pastries and services! And don't forget to stop in to their Cafe and Gift Shop at 1114 West Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657!

We just want to take a second here to really thank everyone at Bittersweet for making this "tasting" happen. It was a wonderful experience and we're so glad we were able to partner this way! We really appreciate that you treated us like queens while we were there! Thank you very much!

What are your best tips for going on a cake tasting? 

1 comment:

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