Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How much per slice?

I try not to blog about cake, because just the thought of it sends me to the freezer section of my local Safeway where the Pepperidge Farm Devil's Food cakes are perpetually on sale. Speaking of frozen...

I like to prepare my clients for their cake tasting experience. I tell them: chances are, it won't be anything like the Sylvia Weinstock cake tastings you've seen on television. The cake may be served to you in a white disposable box. It may be cold (fresh from the freezer), dry, and taste suspiciously like those Duncan Hines cakes you enjoyed making as a teenager. However, it may cost you a lot less than say, my all-time favorite wedding cake. A dreamy, moist pistachio that's not too sweet, not too rich, and made from scratch by a great pastry chef, who will give you a generous slice, which will then make you forget that he just said it's going to cost $12.00 a slice. And that's just a simple butter cream cake. However, if you've ever caught an episode of The Food Network's Wedding Cake Challenge, or that Sylvia Weinstock special, then you have a pretty good idea of the time, patience, skill and hard work that goes into creating masterpieces like the one pictured above.

So, do you splurge on the delicious cake made from scratch or do you save by purchasing a cake made from ingredients suspiciously born from a box? Do you have the cake designer create a fondant masterpiece or do you have a butter cream cake designed ever so simply?

Here's one way to come up with an answer: think about the last wedding you attended. How many slices of cake do you recall were left on the tables to be thrown out by the catering staff at the end of the night?


Anonymous said...


I've been to some weddings where the bride and groom tried to save money with the cake by getting it from Costco, and yes, it was pretty nasty.

That said, I used to work in a high end bakery where the baker sold slices of cake-box cake for at least $5.00/slice,and people were none the wiser (in fact, they raved about the cake more often than not)

Jesse said...

12.00 a slice cakes are certainly not for everyone. And while I may be biased, in my experience if the cake is well done it will be a memorable centerpiece, if not the highlight, for everyone at the wedding.

The several letters my wife has received from her clients tell the same story :)

Leslie said...

Jesse - I wholeheartedly agree.

Leslie said...

Anonymous - My mother taught me a trick many years ago. Add some Mixed Essence to the batter of cake-box cake, and voila! a whole new experience. Do you think your baker boss did something like that?