You’ve probably noticed that Bake Off is back – and what a way to start, with glorious cakes galore! Including the iconic Bake Off intro chocolate cake with its infamous ‘missing raspberry’.
Did you notice that one of the layer cakes was cutely designed as a mini wedding cake? Which got us thinking about all the different types of cakes we’ve seen at Escot over the past 29 years (yes, it’s that long since we started hosting weddings at Escot House!).
During the 16th and 17th centuries, a savoury ‘Bride’s Pie’ was served at many weddings. This was gradually replaced by a sweet cake in the 17th century, usually a plain ‘pound’ cake covered in white icing which symbolized purity. Over the years this became a status symbol, the larger the cake, the greater the social standing! Dark fruit cake covered in marzipan and white icing became the standard choice for a long time. Tiers became popular, often causing consternation when moved into place. In 2004 a team of chefs in Connecticut created a 7 tier, 4-metre tall cake! Those of a certain generation will remember receiving pieces of cake in a little box, a keepsake of the wedding day.
We rarely see these traditional fruit cakes these days, the preference being for lighter cakes that appeal to different palates. But we still see plenty of layers, and the frosting is still white, or cream. Decorations is very natural, with flowers or fresh fruit part of the design.
We occasionally see chocolate cakes, though these tend to be single layer cakes that are in addition to the main cake. And many couples now have cakes that can be enjoyed by guests with allergies and dietary requirements, including nut-free and GF free cakes.
Of course, we have had our fair share of funky themed cakes, one of the most memorable being the amazing Lego cake and another, the spooky Day of the Dead cake!
For a number of years we had lots of cheese towers, replacing the sweet cake and coming full circle back to the savoury preference in the 16th century! We haven’t seen quite so many recently, but they are a great idea as they basically make up the cheese course and can be enjoyed as a savoury snack by evening reception guests.
What you choose as your wedding cake is of course down to personal preference, but most people opt for a professional cake maker. Otherwise you might end up with one of those Bake Off disasters like the flat layer cake or the wonky killer whale design from this week’s programme!