Home-bakers To Call15 Jul 2016
The first cake you’ll be cutting with your significant other as a married couple should be one that you and your guests will find unforgettable, which takes skill – and more importantly, passion. After stalking multiple Instagram accounts and making endless calls, I had the opportunity to speak to two young individuals who were able to turn their passion into thriving home baking businesses and make everything from festive birthday cakes to elaborate wedding creations.
FROST AND FLOURISH
After being inspired by the food scene in Australia, Sophia Foo set up Frost and Flourish where she bakes cakes from scratch, including a subtle creation appropriately named ‘The Lady’ – a genteel earl grey sponge with rose butter cream and lychee filling.
The recent wedding cake trend favours a less-is-more ‘naked’ aesthetic, which is where bakers retain the ‘natural appeal’ of cakes by using minimal frosting or go without entirely. To join in the buzz, we got Sophia to strip ‘The Lady’ down (pun not intended) and she added a tier with macarons and strawberries on top. The result was just as magnificent!
According to Sophia, customers tend to make orders based on the look rather than the taste of the cake, but the flavour is just as – if not more – important than the visual appeal. “Brides need to realise that people take away from it the experience, not the visual,” she says.
She advises brides to always keep an open mind when ordering their wedding cake – bringing in Pinterest pictures of how you’d like your cake to look is great to start, but remember not to be too rigid about your expectations as it’s difficult for bakers to replicate cakes exactly – and at the end of the day, you don’t want a carbon copy of someone else’s cake.
Another key point is to bear the style and theme of your wedding cake in mind when you’re searching for a baker. Do you want a homely, ‘rustic’-style cake or do you want something fondant-covered and ultra-modern? Most bakers specialise in a particular style of baking and results may vary if asked to venture out of their comfort zone, so it’s always best to find a baker that specialises in the type of cake you want.
SHAUN TEO CREATIONS
After finishing his studies in Hospitality Management and arming himself with a bit of working experience in hotels, Shaun Teo decided to venture into creating his own online cake business. Since launching his business in February 2015, he has already amassed a staggering fan base of 60,000 Instagram followers.
Handling fondant, a type of decorative yet temperamental sugar icing, seems to come as second nature to Shaun. In fact, the first wedding cake he ever made for his uncle’s friend was a seven-tier fondant cake that looked fit for royalty. Since then, the orders have continued to roll in and local celebrities such as Debbie Goh and Marion Caunter number among his clientele.
Florals, pastels and berries are the highlight of most of Shaun’s pretty creations, making them suitable for just about any wedding theme. A recent addition to his repertoire was a two-tier pink and ivory watercolour wedding cake with fruits, flowers and macarons; however, his ‘carousel’ cakes are also firm favourites for any occasion with their intricacy and elegance.
We found out that this self-taught cake decorator is capable of prettifying the bizarre as well by presenting us with a three-tier wedding cake enveloped in black and white butter cream, accessorised with flowers and gold flakes. It’s not the first time he’s done a wedding cake in this taboo colour as well as he has actually had a customer place an order for a contemporary wedding cake in black before.
Even if none of the above options suit your taste, fondant is extremely versatile and Shaun has been known to create everything from ‘Despicable Me’ minion cakes to a cake that looks like a parcel stamped and wrapped in twine. With fondant and a passionate baker’s creativity, the sky’s the limit!
Ultimately, do your research on the kinds of wedding cakes that you like and that will work on the day. Having a visually appealing cake is great – if it’s realistic and doable. Do your taste tests prior to the wedding to know what you’re getting and keep the humid weather in mind. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, it’s best to stay clear from whipped cream, meringue or butter cream to avoid a cake meltdown! Most importantly, make sure to take the time to enjoy the cake with your significant other; you can, in fact, have your cake and eat it too!