From treehouse weddings to gemstone wedding cakes, cake decorating extraordinaire Mark Seaman predicts a natural look to wedding cake design trends in 2017.
“I think all of the wilderness options are going to be the thing this year. There are a lot of options from nature to choose from,” says Seaman, CMSA, who is culinary applications chef, specialties, for Barry Callebaut.
“People are looking for what’s seen as extreme: the wilderness, treehouses. I expect to see a lot of things in wedding cakes related to a greenery palette.”
Some experts regard treehouse weddings as the hottest trend in the business. Event spaces like TreeHouse Point near Seattle are booked solid, offering couples an awe-inspiring setting within a collection of treehouses amidst towering trees, lush plantings and a flowing river.
And don’t forget destination weddings. According to research from The Knot, the acclaimed consumer magazine, 20 percent of all weddings last year were destination weddings. Caribbean beach weddings are so yesterday. Now wedding parties fly off to Iceland.
Seaman is an expert on recognizing trends and helping brides achieve their dream wedding cakes, having taught four years as a chef instructor and master cake artist at the prestigious French Pastry School after running his own cake shop for nine years in Chicago at Marked for Dessert.
In another nature-inspired trend, gemstone (or geode) wedding cakes “are huge right now,” Seaman says, “and I think a lot of cakes will be created based on the bride’s birthstone.”
A gemstone cake is made by removing parts of the center and adding a gemstone made of rock candy or other edible materials. Popular gemstone cake ideas incorporate amethyst, rose quartz, agate, and turquoise and gold.
Seaman also says that metallic cakes are going to continue to be very popular. “Brides like shiny objects,” he says. “There’s going to be a lot of bling.”
An artistic approach
More novel. Less traditional. Seaman foresees a continuing emphasis on making wedding cakes more artistic in 2017.
“Having more of an artistic bent than a traditional cake,” he explains. “That works perfectly with our new Mona Lisa fondant line.”
Barry Callebaut Group recently introduced rolled fondant under its Mona Lisa specialty decorations brand. The product line was developed to offer solutions for the most common challenges that cake artists encounter when working with fondant products.
The efficiencies are now there to create beautiful cakes and fondant figures in less time and with greater consistency. As a bonus, “the ingredient deck is extremely short, and that was our goal,” Seaman says.
The new fondant line also addresses the packaging issue. Cake decorators know that with fondant, if it gets too dry, you have to cut it out and throw that part away. “Our solution is 100 percent vacuum-sealed, with two 10-pound packs in a 20-pound pail,” Seaman says. “So no matter when it is manufactured, you’re going to have the same consistency and you’re not going to have to throw out product.
Mona Lisa Rolled Fondant is available in white and chocolate varieties, and is formulated to deliver technical, taste and dietary benefits.
The fondant rolls thinly to deliver exceptional elasticity, making it ideal for sculpted cakes. Additionally, the tear-resistant fondant dries semi-firm to create a consistent surface for chocolate applications and other decorative details. The unique ingredient formulation allows for longer working times to accommodate different cake sizes and multiple climates.
To address growing consumer demand for products made with high-quality ingredients and the fondant is not produced with genetic engineering. For consumers with special dietary needs, the new fondant contains zero grams trans-fat, is suitable for vegan and gluten-free diets, and is certified Kosher Pareve.
The white fondant is free of titanium dioxide, a common food color additive found in many fondant brands. The chocolate fondant achieves its rich color and taste from cocoa powder. Both fondant varieties are ideal for wedding and other celebration cake applications, helping ensure taste and appearance are never compromised.
Other wedding trends
Seaman recommends a variety of creative ways to use Callebaut Crispearls that enable you to add a “remarkably seductive chocolate touch” to your pastries, desserts and pralines.
“I love to use Crispearls as pinpoints on a cake. They are fully edible and made of chocolate. It’s so easy to do. You could have a quilted cake, and just stick on Crispearls in a pattern.”
Also, brides today are asking for more variety, he says, with a smaller focus cake with a dessert station and self-service items.
One creative product application here involves using a bake stable cream, available from Callebaut, to an intense taste and soft, creamy texture. Callebaut’s Creme dell' Artigiano Nocciola bake stable cream features a hint of hazelnut.