Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Buttercream Beauties

I think its safe to say buttercream is BACK. Not that it ever went away completely, but after years (decades even?) of playing second string to fondant, buttercream-covered wedding cakes are making a comeback.

Maybe its the blossoming culture of relaxed bridal "rules", or the trend of rustic-chic wedding decor, or it could be valuing taste over perfection, but more and more brides are eschewing fondant for the cake of their dreams.

I have a few opinions on fondant, some of them conflicting. There is a time and a place for fondant cakes. Many of these times and places happen to be weddings, but I don't see it as a necessity anymore . Once upon a time, and I was recently told this by a VERY traditional, VERY southern mother of the bride, the cake represented the 'bride', and therefore needed to be white. Pure white, inside and out. She was not very happy with the bride wanting my buttercream on the outside, and buttermilk cake on the inside, both of which are made with butter, and therefore not pure white. I explained that I do not use shortening or imitation vanilla extract which results in my frosting being a very slightly off white, but that the flavor and texture is unbeatable. For my cakes, if you want pure white, it has to be fondant, I simply will not compromise the quality of my ingredients for color.

If your primary goal with the cake is design, and tying it perfectly into the theme or color scheme of your event, then fondant may be the obvious way to go. On the other hand, I would say 90% of people end up peeling it off before consumption, or just eating around it. It truly is for aesthetic purposes only, albeit an edible one. Don't get me wrong, I love making edible artworks with fondant, but sometimes, buttercream is best.

Sometimes, simplicity makes for a stunning cake on its own, without all the adornment of details and adornments. These two cakes were my first of many this wedding season and I think they kicked it off with a great start. More to come, so stay tuned.

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