If you're one of those people who waits impatiently through dinner for dessert, going to weddings is a lot more fun nowadays. That's because wedding cakes, once merely a pretty photo-op for a bride, have come into their own and taste every bit as good as they look. Bakers advise brides to experiment but choose something they really like, so consider the following when picking out a cake:
o The old white cake now comes in a multitude of flavors, from carrot spice and orange blossom to mocha and coconut, and fillings can evoke everything from the humble peanut butter to the sophisticated tiramisu. So taste samples from several different bakeries before committing to a flavor.
o As for color, remember: this is Sarasota. Pastels and more vivid hues reflective of local flora have inspired local bakers to cover their cakes with purple, pink and scarlet accents.
o Don't be afraid to ditch convention. Circular tiers may always be a safe choice, but consider the now popular stacked gift boxes, tiers of different shapes, or even cupcakes arranged in tiered trays.
o Toppers also can come in all shapes and sizes. Rather than porcelain figures, many brides are choosing fresh flowers and fruit toppings that sometimes cascade down the length of the cake and fill in the space between tiers.
o Personalize, personalize. Brides can make their cake uniquely theirs by inscribing their initials or whole poems or verses from a meaningful song on their cake. Some brides even choose to mimic details from their dresses or wedding colors-making the wedding cake an edible tribute to their unique love story.
To learn more about Sarasota's most beautiful cakes, read Anu Varma's story on page 112 of the February 2003 issue. Available on newsstands now.