I remember looking at my parents’ wedding pictures when I was younger and be completely mesmerised by the beauty of that giant cream cake (seven tiers if I remember correctly)… Wedding cakes have never really been just cakes. If we go back in time and look at weddings of our parents and grandparents, wedding cakes have always been a bit of a lavish display of a couple’s style.
Today wedding cakes are just as, if not more, important than they ever used to be. I always used to refer to cake designers as ‘cake makers’, but actually this term doesn’t do them any justice – after all anyone can make a cake. There’s a real art to designing a wedding cake that not only reflects a client brief, but that is also unique. Like anything, copying someone else’s design can easily be done, yet professional cake designers continuously develop new collections, which, just like many other forms of art, are inspired by all sorts of things in life.
One of the wedding designer that has recently caught my attention is Abi from The Abigail Bloom Cake Company. I love her timeless cake designs, so I’ve asked her to tell us a bit more about her company, what inspires her, and what tips she would give to couples looking for a cake designer.How did The Abigail Bloom Cake Company come about? As a cordon Bleu chef and a degree in International Hospitality management, being in the food industry was really something that in hindsight I would have always got into sooner or later – I just got a little side-tracked after graduating by spending time in the fashion/headhunting industry! I got to a point of working very long hours, and much as it was challenging, it just wasn’t me. So as I’d already spent many years collecting cake recipes, I started to think about having a deli/cake company. Over the next 2 years I spent time substantially changing and refining the recipes (from a variety of sources) and then I eventually decided that if I wanted to make cake production a full time career making wedding and celebration cakes was probably the most rewarding of all. So I spent the next few months reading and practicing, practicing and reading. I had one to one tuition with two of the UK’s top cake sugar artists, produced cakes for family and friends, charged cakes at cost to friends of friends, and then, several months later, once the brand, logo, website and first cake collection were designed, The Abigail Bloom Cake Company was born.
What trends do you see emerging in 2012 with regards to cake designs? I think there is definitely a trend for more contemporary cakes that have an elegant feel, particularly the ivory, blush, cream and pale pink ranges with splashes of colour through fresh flowers. There is also a trend towards cakes that are more kitsch and those that can fit in with the ‘garden party’ theme. For those who have the budget, we are also seeing traditional piping and the use of sugar flowers, and couples choosing to have additional fake tiers to create a little more drama for those smaller weddings. The cupcake theme seems to be having a Marmite feel about it this year. You either love them or hate them!
Where do you get your inspiration from? Literally everywhere, from architecture to the latest looks on the catwalk, to wallpaper and furniture design. I love flicking through magazines and collecting ideas for future collections.
What top tips would you give a couple looking for their wedding cake? Spend some time reading about the different styles and find elements of cakes that you like, some like simple, some like complex. Do you want a cake to reflect your theme or do you just want the wow factor? Spend time collecting tears of cakes that you like or ideas that you have, so that when you book your consultation the cake designer has the best chance of hitting the nail on the head with your design.
A cake designer should be willing to chat to you before a consultation about the process and how they can help you. Be comfortable with the person you are booking the cake with. Be prepared that if you want a really beautifully designed bespoke cake for 120+ people it will cost more than £300. Putting a perfectly finished wedding cake together (not forgetting the hours we put in to make tasting cakes at the consultation and doing sketches after the consultation) it takes so much longer than people think – they are always amazed and then the penny drops as they see why they cost so much.
Also try and leave at least a couple of hours between the end of dinner and the cutting of the cake – that way it will be eaten and appreciated!
Thank you Abi for your time!
To get in touch with Abigail Bloom Cake Company:e: email@example.com t: 020 7278 0835 m: 07906 829405 twitter: @cakeladyAbi Facebook: The Abigail Bloom Cake Company