Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Up...Cake Tasting!

**Sorry! I tried to snag some pics off of the baker's website and she uses a video feed that didn't allow still shots. I'll try to find some out there that were similar and get them posted!

What better way to start off a weekend with your best girlfriend than with going to a cake tasting? I can’t think of anything better! Way back when, long before MOH planned on coming in on this particular weekend to lend a helping hand, B and I had scheduled to do our cake tasting with our baker on this past Saturday. Since she was planning on coming in, MOH tagged along. I briefly thought about calling the baker and letting her know that we’d have another body there (i.e. – trying to get MORE cake!) but decided against it. I figured that she would give us generous enough pieces of cake, and I was right.

We showed up right on time at The Sweet Stuff, and waited just a few minutes while Michelle finished up her previous appointment. Shortly after we got there, we were seated and awaiting our cakes. Belatedly I realized that I had meant to bring my wedding folder with me (How could I have forgotten it?) so that I could give Michelle copies of our monogram and the scrolls that are being used on all of our paper products in case she wanted to try to copy the design into some of the decorations on the cakes themselves. Since I left those things at home, MOH took my car and ran back to get them for me – isn’t she a doll?

In the meantime, we were seated and B and I started perusing through her books on past wedding cakes. B wasn’t really too opinionated about this whole process (other than wanting to taste the actual cake) before we got there. I figured out very quickly that he had opinions though. LOL. Michelle brought out a plate piled high with cake for us to sample. There was white cake and chocolate cake. Then regular buttercream icing, chocolate buttercream icing and her chocolate fudge icing. For the fillings, she gave us samples of her three most popular: raspberry, Bavarian cream and strawberry. Can anyone else say YUMMY?

Everything was simply TOO good. The flavors were all good, the textures just right, and nothing was too overly sweet. My one complaint was the slice of chocolate cake that she gave us to sample was a bit on the dry side. You could tell the flavor was good though, and I’m sure that it was just a slice that was maybe a few days older than the white cake. The white cake was melt-in-your-mouth-fabulous. The chocolate cake when fresh will be the same way, I’m certain.

Anyway, Michelle stayed out of our way pretty much while we looked at books and tasted different combinations of the cakes, icings and fillings and waited for MOH to make it back. Once MOH got back with my planner, we were ready to go. Michelle sat down and started talking to us about what we wanted. This was the first loop that B threw at me. As soon as she sat down, he said that he wanted a cake with no icing. He’s not a huge sweets fan, so I can understand his request. But this is a wedding, and that’s not typical. I said as much, and he replied that he didn’t see anyone else getting married that day, and if he wanted a cake with no icing, then there would be ONE cake with no icing. And he’s right. Lucky for him we’ve elected to do the cake buffet option, so if he wants one cake without icing it won’t be a huge disappointment to others who like icing. And then lucky for me, Michelle was able to talk him into a light layer of icing that she called a “crumb layer” just to seal the cake, which keeps it fresh and moist. Whew. Small crisis averted.

Next, he informed me that German chocolate cake was his dad’s favorite cake and we would have two of them there. I wasn’t really planning on having any German chocolate cakes, but whatever, that’s fine too. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean that it’s not popular, right? Then again, it’s not about what everyone else likes; it’s about what we like, right? Once again, the cake buffet saved the day, and allows us to have flavors of cake that I don’t like there without ruining the bride’s cake experience. So, two German chocolate cakes went on the order. Lucky for me, we needed to order 10 cakes in total...

While MOH and B were clowning around, Michelle and I started talking about our wedding cake, which will be the only two-tier cake. I decided to do the same flavor on both layers at the last minute. I wasn’t really decided on that until we got there, to be honest. I knew that I wanted one layer to be red velvet, but wasn’t sure if both layers should be the same or have one different. And MOH pointed out that doing things that way would mean that we would eat the exact same cake on our first anniversary as we did on our wedding night. You see why I like her? Then again, who said I was only eating ONE flavor? There’s a cake BUFFET...and you think that I’m only having one piece? After 9 months of dieting??? No way, Jose.

Anyway, both MOH and I liked several of the design options that Michelle had out on display in her shop. B was not really enthused about the design portion of the talks, so he just kept flipping through the books. And then, all of a sudden, he said “I like THAT cake.” He had found a design that he liked. And lucky for us, it was a chocolate cake, which we hadn’t put into the flavor mix yet, other than the German chocolate ones. So, two more cakes picked out.

After that, the process was simple, painless and fast. I knew what other flavors that I wanted, and really left the design stuff up to Michelle. I trust her to do a good job, and other than the design on “our” cake, I don’t care which design goes on which cake. For our cake, she’s going to do the design in black icing and copy the scrolls that I gave her to copy. I think that it’s going to look SOOOO good and that cake will really stand out being different than the others! I can’t wait.
So here’s the official line-up that we settled on:
1 – two-tier red velvet cake with cream cheese icing
1 – white cake with strawberry filling and a “crumb layer” of buttercream icing
2 – German chocolate cakes with German chocolate icing
2 – Chocolate cakes with raspberry filling and chocolate buttercream icing with a chocolate ganache topping
2 – Italian cream cakes with Bavarian cream filling and cream cheese icing
2 – Strawberry cakes with cream cheese filling and icing

Can you tell that we like cream cheese icing? LOL. To round off our cake buffet, I will also be getting two cheesecakes from Sam’s to have at the wedding. I love cheesecake and have to have one at my wedding. Adding those will give us 12 cakes on our buffet, only having one displayed of the doubles at a time. Here are some inspiration pictures that are similar in design that we talked about having that day (**NOTE - These are NOT Michelle's designs through The Sweet Stuff bakery, these were just random images I found online that reminded me of ones that we saw in her shop and liked.)
(source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

If you’re an Austin area bride, getting married on the South side of Austin or down in Buda/Kyle/San Marcos, I would highly recommend checking out The Sweet Stuff. Her prices are more than reasonable, and the cakes (from our tasting) were divine. I’ll write up a full review of them after the wedding, but for now I can’t say enough good things about working with Michelle. She’s been great!

So that’s one BIG thing checked off of my To Do list...we’re getting closer! What do you think about our cake flavor selections? Did it make you want some cake? It did for me, and I HAD cake over the weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I checked out The Sweet Stuff's site- I will def be giving them a call in a few months!