The pile of wedding rituals is stacking high, and we are lovingly embracing every unique trend that the couples are setting for their special day. Some of these trends are completely novel, while others have been picked up through acculturation. The cake cutting ritual is one such activity picked up from the western culture, which has sneaked into our hearts. Team Wedding Asia spoke to Gitika Abbott from cake.me.over and Rushina Mehrotra from Daffodils Creations to understand what the baking industry has to offer for your D-day.
Changing careers after becoming a mother almost 10 years ago, Gitika is not only living out her passion of being a highly acclaimed cake artist, but is also helping others find inspiration in the art by teaching as a Cake instructor. According to Gitika, “Wedding cakes have been happening for a very long time. It is just that now they are very popular. Earlier there used to be just bakeries that would create the basic kinds of cakes, but now there are too many home bakers who have come forward to make beautiful cakes. So, I think people do like a Showstopper at their event, and cake always makes everyone happy!”
An MBA Graduate who worked as a corporate professional for about 10 years before breaking ground in the baking industry, Rushina specializes in fondant-free cakes. “I very firmly believe that the cake is not just something that needs to look great, but it also needs to taste great. With most designer cakes that I have seen, the focus and emphasis is mainly on how that cake looks. So people don’t mind covering their entire cake with loads and loads of fondant, which is nothing but a dough made out of sugar icing. It is terrible to eat. It is rubbery, chewy and at the end of the day it’s pure sugar. It’s not something your guests would enjoy eating, and that’s why most of my cakes are covered in either white chocolate ganache or white chocolate mousse. I try to use as little fondant as I can,” she explains.
While the taste of the cake is mostly in the hands of the bakers, where most couples struggle with is the cake’s design. “Whenever I have someone coming to me for their special day, I sit down with them and I jot down what would they like, what kind of design would they have in mind, a picture of how they have thought their special day to be like. Sometimes it’s really difficult for people to kind of visualize what the end result would be, but I draw out and give them sketches of what their cakes would look like. So, I think that’s the way I go ahead with their special day. I (personally) like a lot of minimalistic design work and block colours. Unless there is someone who wants me to make a very traditional cake, my usual style is a modern-Indian, sometimes fusion kind of work,” says Gitika.
According to Rushina, the cake design is the amalgamation of what the client wants, what the team can create and some references off the internet. “Most couples come with no clarity. So a consultation is a must, for wedding cakes especially, because you get to know the couple, you get to know their choices and you get to know how they met. So you try to include these elements into their cake. Like, we know a couple who proposed to each other in Paris on the Eiffel Tower. We then incorporated those elements into the cake, because that was their story. So cake designing is a process that takes almost 2-3 days.”
A great hack given by Rushina is to stalk the socials of your cake artists. “We have all our cake images posted on our social media. Once the couple tells us what they like, we get to know about their choices. We also then discuss what outfits the bride is wearing, what decor they would have at the wedding, so all of these elements are considered and then we recommend our designs to them.”
Carrying large cakes poses a major hurdle. Gitika says, “There is a lot of time management that takes place. Every little detail is taken into account, and there is a B plan also because obviously this is someone’s very special day. I completely plan it from the structure to the transportation to whatever I am using in the cakes. I have been to a number of cities, and even then I make sure that we are able to deliver our cakes just as smoothly as if we were in our own town in Delhi.”
Rushina shares another piece of information on the matter, “My team of chefs and I travel to the venue with all our cakes in parts. We frost and layer our cakes, refrigerate them so that they don’t melt in the journey and then assemble them at the venue.”
We asked both of them about a wedding cake design that would never go out of style. According to Rushina, it’s a classic 3-4 tiered cake with floral arrangements. Gitika, however, believes that cake designs are like clothes. Someone might like a design that was popular almost 20 years back, while others might want something modern. “I don’t think any kind of cake designing will ever go out of style, it just comes down to your personal preference.”