Soaked with rum, overloaded with fruit and wafting with fragrance—that’s how many Trinbagonians like their wedding cakes. Also known as black cake, or fruit cake, these confections are true sentinels of wedding tradition in Trinidad and Tobago. Variations of it can be found at Jamaican, Guyanese and Bajan weddings. Our rich, Caribbean black cakes, however, are far departures from North American wedding cakes which are generally light in consistency and colour, mild in taste and often iced in soft butter cream. However, the traditional fruit cake is giving way to some new looks and innovative flavours for 2012.
Here are some tips and trends:
Although this year we will be seeing more pure white cakes, many brides are still embracing the trend of vividly-coloured, fondant cakes. One thing to bear in mind when choosing colour is that not all food colourings are equal in taste! Red, blue, green and black tend not to taste as good as paler shades.
A revolutionary new shape
Move over cupcakes and make way for cake pops. These have a very similar shape to chocolate truffles and are placed on lollipop sticks. Cake pops can be wrapped in fondant, drizzled with glaze or iced. They are an unusual twist on traditional cupcakes. Some couples are even choosing new confections for their cupcake tree or tower, such as mini éclairs, tiny cheesecakes, tarts and cinnamon rolls.
What will cakes be coated with this year? Most probably butter cream! Many people say they prefer the taste of buttercream over fondant. Butter cream, however, won’t be suitable for outdoor weddings—it will melt. However, fondant will continue to have its followers since nothing can beat it for pristine smoothness and versatility in design.
All-chocolate cakes will be in vogue this year. These cakes will feature detailing such as chocolate flowers, dots, curls and sticks. We have Kate Middleton to thank for this trend—she commissioned a decadent, chocolate groom’s cake for Prince William for their wedding. The cake was made of the Prince’s favourite tea biscuits and decorated with white chocolate dahlia flowers, milk chocolate leaves and white and milk chocolate feathers.
This is the year to experiment with your cake’s flavours! Red velvet was the favourite in 2011 and will continue to be in 2012. However, look out for unusual flavours such as carrot, chocolate chip, almond, apple spice and lemon poppy seed. In terms of fillings, mousses will be popular in flavours such as passion fruit, guava, pineapple, berry, mango and peanut butter. One tip is to start with your cake flavour then select the filling afterwards.