Using Fresh Flowers on a Wedding Cake

Using Fresh Flowers on a Wedding Cake

Fresh flowers can be a beautiful addition to any cake however, there are also safety concerns to take into account when using fresh flowers with food.   As an alternative, you may wish to decorate your cake table with fresh flowers, and use sugar flowers on the cake itself to avoid any problems or concerns.

Below you will find general information on using fresh flowers, as well as a few questions you might ask your florist. Never hesitate to follow up with your florist if you have any concerns.

 

Fresh Flowers:

  • Fresh flowers should always be arranged in containers or taped into corsages to avoid contamination.  For food safety purposes, flower stems should NEVER be directly inserted into the cake.
  • If you as the cake decorator arrange fresh flowers for a cake be sure to add this as an additional charge. Include the cost of the flowers plus a $10 – 30 arranging fee (depending on estimated time required.)
  • Most cake decorators prefer to place the flowers on the cake for liability as well as food safety issues

 

Questions to ask a florist before using flowers on a cake:

 

·       Are the flowers toxic? Unfortunately, many popular wedding flowers are toxic. Be sure to double check.

·       Are the flowers organically grown? These are truly the only way to go as you do not want toxic pesticides near your cake.

 

·       Does the florist prepare the flowers in some type of container or pick? One simple way to avoid most contamination is to arrange the cake flowers in a container that can be sat on top of the cake, or taping them into a corsage type arrangement which will allow the stems to be placed into a special food safe plastic pick to be inserted into the cake, rather than inserting the flower stems directly into the cake.

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Liability Insurance

liability_cakeA while back a colleague told me about a cake decorator in a precarious position in which any cake decorator could find herself — what to do if there was a foreign object lost in your cake.

The specifics of the situation were that with only a few days to go before a multi-tiered, expensive cake was to be delivered, the home-based decorator found a shard of plastic inside one of the tiers. To make matters worse, there were a few additional pieces of plastic from a piece of her equipment, missing. While the likelihood of the missing plastic shards being inside the cake was small, the risk was still significant.

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Making Money in the Cake Business

wedding-cake-cutting

Why do cake decorators get paid upfront before the event — party, wedding, bridal shower, etc?

For weddings, it is important that a deposit of 30 – 50% be provided to hold the date. Moreover, because of the stress of the day, you don’t want to attempt to collect on the wedding day itself. The balance should be paid at least 7 days before the event. In all my years, I can recall only a few protests for this arrangement and even then we worked it out, with the final third of the balance paid on delivery.
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Cake Boss DVD

Cake Boss Season 1 DVD is available from Amazon.com and directly from the TLC Discovery Channel Store.

CakeBoss DVD
CakeBoss DVD

Buddy Valastro is one of the most successful and renowned cake artists in the United States. Master baker of Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, Buddy is the cake boss. He supervises a team that includes his mother, four older sisters and three brothers-in-law. And when you’re working with family on a daily basis, there is bound to be a lot of drama. The Valastros know drama but at the end of the day they also know love. Cake Boss is the half-hour series that chronicles Buddy’s over-arching desire to achieve his late father’s dream of making Carlo’s Bake Shop a household name with or without the help of his family.

Disc 1:

Ep. 1 A Bride, A Boat, and Bamboozled!
Ep. 2 A Fire, A Fashionista, and Family
Ep. 3 Bunny, Birthday, and Burnt Food
Ep. 4 Weddings, Water and Whacked!
Ep. 5 Bi-Plane, Bridezilla & Busting Buddy
Ep. 6 Undead, Unclothed, and Unhappy Mama
Ep. 7 Doves, Ducks, and Delicacies
Ep. 8 Museum, Mistakes and Mother Mary
Ep. 9 Soldiers, Sand and Salads
Ep. 10 Chinese Culture and Cannolis

Disc 2
Ep. 11 A Blindfold, A Bikini and Breathing Fire
Ep. 12 Leaning, Lobsters and Lecutres
Ep. 13 Fireworks, Falling Fondant and Fathers


CakeBoss DVD
CakeBoss DVD

Cake Decorating Tutorials + an Important Lesson

I have posted several tutorial videos from many well know and soon to be well know cake artists and entrepreneurs. What I love about this video in particular is that in addition to simply being useful, Edna also begins and ends the video promoting her business. For many of us looking at this video it might look like great advice and support for OUR cake decorating. In fact, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, and other “how-to” venues can be a great tool for demonstrating your command of the cake decorating skills.

As I watched Edna work, I wasn’t just admiring her technique, I was wanting one of her cakes! Her videos are helping others while at the same time setting her up as a subject matter expert. Whether they’re fellow cake artists, future customers or television producers, YouTube is increasingly where consumers are looking for talent.

tonedna1 on YouTube

One way to get a loan for your cake business….

Ask your customers…or would-be customers.

Read and listen to this piece from NPR.org about how a small dairy in upstate NY is attempting to procure an unsecured loan (at a 6 percent interest rate) from their own customers.
milk_standard
So many of you who want to borrow money to start your cake business are running into difficulty obtaining a loan. Is it possible to learn from Dante Hesse and work with the people who know and trust you — your loyal customers?

Hesse is offering 6 percent interest for an unsecured loan of $1,000. His business plan taps into a pair of burgeoning movements — the first characterized by an interest in organic, locally grown food; the second by an environmental approach to economics.

Check it out. More later about this idea, I’m sure.

Traditional-style Cakes are still in HUGE demand

Here’s an article discussing the influence of  Ace of Cakes and the Food Network on the wedding cake industry. What I find most interesting is that while new trends are emerging, the bulk of work for these cake businesses is still a good tasting buttercream cake.

Wedding cakes used to be a simple, though beautiful, part of a reception — three tiers of cake stacked together, some butter cream frosting, a few decorative flowers, a miniature bride and groom, and dessert was set. Yet with the advent of the Food Network and a new era of culinary creativity, bakers are now seeing requests ranging beyond the traditional to the unusual when it comes to the cake.Television shows like “Ace of Cakes” and “Food Network Challenge” have introduced concepts that years ago might have been impossible, designs that seem to defy the laws of physics to present cakes that emphasize art. Also, says James Nargi of Michael’s Bakery in East Hartford, brides-to-be get inspired and have ideas of their own from seeing cakes at other weddings. “People come in and seem a lot more educated about wedding cakes than before,” Nargi says. Nargi says the result is a move away from traditional cakes. Three tiers have been replaced by five or seven, often times not even stacked.

Journal Inquirer > Archives > Living > Tradition meets Food Network

Cake Baking is Art and Science

Here’s an article from The Daily Gleaner, Brunswick News that examines in a high level overview, the scientific principles of cake baking.


Baking is a very “scientific” process… in which all the
ingredients are building blocks that interact, causing chemical
reactions to create the structure of the cake.

Of interest to beginner cake bakers is the notion that it is very important to understand the terminology in a recipe. 

For example, Hofner says, no matter how hard you beat a butter cake,
you can’t hurt the batter. But with a sponge cake, if you stir the
other ingredients into the egg whites instead of “folding” them gently,
you’ll stir all the air out of the eggs and the cake will fall.

This is a great little article to remind us that its not all magic and art in the kitchen! There is a great deal of study and know-how required to make the best cakes….
dailygleaner.com – Let them eat cake