The sweet science of cake
eagle county correspondent
Dawn Lee DiPeri will proudly tell anyone that her favorite color since birth has been pink. Planning her May wedding, she procured pink bridesmaids’ dresses, pink flowers and even pink tablecloths.
So it was little surprise to everyone when DiPeri threw tradition to the wind and got a pink wedding cake.
“There’s a lot more variety in cakes now,” said Ben Reil, pastry chef of the Blue Moon Bakery in Silverthorne, who has created wedding cakes for about 12 years. “You don’t have to go with white. There are still a lot of people who want the traditional cakes, but there are more people who say, “That’s not me.'”
Expressing herself was key as DiPeri designed her four-tiered, bubble-gum pink, white polka-dotted cake.
“It was a very distinct design element that tied in the pink with white polka dots that I had for the bridesmaids’ dresses color scheme,” she said.
Though many still choose a cake from Reil’s menu, he says designing your own cake is gaining popularity, and as a result, he’s seeing more “Mad Hatter” wedding cakes.
“I’ve done cakes with weird angles ” one that was blue and green with jelly beans,” he said.
On the other hand, Ronda Niederhauser, who co-owns the Columbine Bakery in Avon, says she’s seen more traditional wedding cakes gain popularity as the gaudy 1980’s influence lifted.
“We’re seeing simple, elegant and smooth, with small touches like Mom’s topper or flowers,” said Niederhauser, whose husband, Daniel, has been making cakes based on Swiss recipes for a quarter century.
While thick, embellished buttercream was previously fashionable, Niederhauser said she rarely uses colored icing anymore. Though the Niederhausers prefer a more subdued style, they don’t do just the boring, old white cake with white icing. Instead, their Swiss fruit tortes have become their best sellers. At the same time, Reil has seen a surge in carrot and chocolate flavors. With cakes usually measuring several tiers high, couples are usually welcome to choose a couple flavors.
Niederhauser said depending on which baker you choose, you may have to decide which you value more ” taste or looks. But both she and Reil guarantee they offer both.
DiPeri admitted that the look of the cake was paramount to the taste.
“Most people are too full after eating during the cocktail hour, salad, soup and entree,” she said. “By the time they get to the cake, most just sample it or push it off to the side.”
But DiPeri was pleasantly surprised that not only did the cake look fabulous, but it tasted good, as well.
“Normally, I’m not a big fan of wedding cake, but ours was exceptional,” she said. “Almost everyone ate some, even though they were stuffed.”
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