1. Who will be making my cake?
It is important that you choose a formally trained Pastry Chef. Years of apprenticeship and experience in professional kitchens and bakeries will have honed the skills of a professional Pastry Chef. Variety is the spice of life and your Pastry Chef should have a resume that includes multiple bakeries and a worldwide experience. The selection of ingredients, proper mixing, baking time and temperatures and the art of assembly and decoration is key to creating a beautiful and flavorful cake. It is a marriage of chemistry and art. Why would you trust such an important detail of your special day to anyone but a trained professional?
2. What are the ingredients and where do they come from?
Insist on using fresh ingredients that are specifically chosen for your cake. Request only the finest organic, local or Non-GMO ingredients. When choosing a cake to celebrate your marriage and treat your friends and family do you think that cake from a bagged mix is the right answer?
In addition to traditional flavors such as vanilla and chocolate, A pastry professional working on a scratch made cake can create nearly any flavor combination you can dream. From traditional to outlandish, the flavor of your cake is an extension of your personality!
3. What kind of icing do you use?
Italian Buttercream is a luxurious frosting that helps keep the interior moist. Made with real buttercream and sugar it is a versatile topping that can be made smooth or piped to create virtually any design. It’s velvety, luxurious texture and delicious flavor will certainly be a crowd pleaser. One note of warning, Italian buttercream frosting has a lower melting temperature and you will want to take proper precautions when planning an outdoor wedding.
Fondant Icing is made with sugar and water. It can be molded and shaped like clay. Due to these properties, it is popular for very complex designs or outdoor weddings where temperature may be a concern.
For texture and flavor, Pastry Chefs will recommend Italian Buttercream every time.
4. Can I see your portfolio?
A wide variety of cake shapes, decorative frosting and custom adornments will illustrate the skill of your pastry chef. A Pastry Chef with years of experience will be able to demonstrate a proficiency in meeting customer’s expectations. Don’t forget to ask about custom options that add to the beauty of your cake including ribbons, floral arrangements, or edible items made from gum paste or fondant. The physical beauty of your wedding cake will only add to your special day.
Keep in mind that the cakes you see in magazines are often inedible and or manipulated with photoshop. Question your expectations while reviewing a portfolio. Set your expectations high and understand that when looking at a magazine cake, that the old adage applies “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”
5. Can I taste it?
Do not pass up a chance to schedule a tasting with your Pastry Chef. Pastry Chefs will often charge a small sitting fee to prepare custom bite sized samples of their cakes and frostings. A custom tasting is worth every penny. Make a day of it with your fiancé and loved ones and it will become one more happy memory of preparing for the big day. You will be able to really appreciate the talent of the Pastry Chef and have an appreciation of the multitude of flavors, textures and combinations that will make up an important part of your wedding.
6. Do you have any other specialties?
Do you want to spice up your special day with variety that shows your personality and caters to the diversity of your guests and loved ones? Why not offer pies, cheesecakes, macrons or other baked goods?
The Pastry Chef you choose shouldn’t be a one trick pony! Ask about the variety of complementary sweets available. You may find that in addition to a beautiful and flavorful wedding cake you can surprise and delight your guests with world class pastries and baked goods.