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Wedding cake

Have your cake and eat it too: a non-traditional approach to wedding cakes

Once upon a time, wedding cakes were a one size fits all affair – that is to say, dried fruit and white fondant were the order of the day. That was – of course – pre-Instagram.

Wedding cake

As our cake creations have become increasingly elaborate, they are taking a bigger bite out of the bridal budget. But as we’re sure your inner sweet tooth will assert, it’s a worthy cause, with their painstaking design details an opportunity to stamp one’s personality on the big day, as much as the wedding dress itself.
If you’re looking to make a statement at your dessert table, it seems 2018 is living up to the culinary hype. We have hunted out the wedding cake trends 2018/2019 couples will totally adore.

Blooming beautiful

We’ve long been seduced by the culinary cool cred of the edible flower trend to add flavour to salads and soups. Now our clever cake makers are having a dalliance with decorating of the floral kind and it’s got our mouths watering.

Beautiful brushstrokes

Brushstroke cakes are currently trending in a big way. These art-inspired creations consist of melting chocolate onto wax paper and using a paintbrush to create ‘feathers’ which are placed on a cake once they harden.

Black beauty

The beauty is in the simplicity of this tasty trend. All dressed in black, she may appear dark and moody at face value, but like the LBD, is actually chic and understated, especially when brought to life with several textured tiers.

Floral fixation

This romantic trend is right at home with a spring wedding. A new take on the watercolour trend of recent years, hand-painted floral details are one of the prettiest wedding cake trends of the year.

Gilded garnishing

Gold leaf is being added to fondant or buttercream frosting to create a gilded finish. Strategic scattering gives a rustic shimmer or cover one or two tiers to truly dazzle your guests.

Fig-ment of your imagination

Many brides to be are going back to basics, with simple buttercream cakes featuring one fruity flavour – figs. Though fruit wedding cakes are not new by any stretch, figs are the fruit of the moment. Expect to see these dark purple fruits dotting wedding cakes throughout 2018.

Naked & famous

The so-called ‘naked cake’ – which boasts little to no frosting – is the shabby chic of the cake world; a little rustic but oh so glam and its popularity shows no sign of abating in 2018.

Glamorous glass

The most clever of our culinary creators have been taking clear isomalt – a sugar substitute – and colouring and shaping it to create a stained-glass effect.

Dane McGregor aka Baker Gatherer

Sure to rise: Q&A with instagram’s Baker Gatherer aka Dane McGregor

We’re not proponents of gender stereotypes round here at Metropol, but we won’t deny we were tickled pink by the sight of Dane McGregor, Baker Gatherer, getting his culinary craft on over on his Instagram @bakergatherer in amongst all the lasses. The sweet toothed recipe maker and content creator talks shop on whipping up a concept that was always sure to rise.

Dane McGregor aka Baker Gatherer
Dane McGregor aka Baker Gatherer

It’s exciting to see a bloke baking – often that is a field heavily populated by women. What inspired your passion?

I’m sure every male can relate to food being the key to any good relationship. I’m no different, although I do have a huge sweet tooth. From a young age, I’ve always enjoyed being in the kitchen and scouring through cooking books, so I can assure you that eating with my eye has definitely fuelled a passion.

Do you come up with original ideas or look to innovate on existing recipes?

Quite a lot of my ideas are all original, although I do like to experiment with different elements which stem from existing ideas or concepts. For example, if you already had two well-known desserts or pieces of baking, why not fuse them together to create something new, unique and get people curious about making it themselves? I’ve used the word ‘Frankensteining’ before and that’s exactly what I do, experiment and see what comes to life.

Do you think the true art of baking has been lost to the ‘baking in a box’ phenomenon?

Definitely not. I’ve even considered branching out into creating ‘baking boxes’ myself to allow people to replicate my recipes at home. I believe they have their place in the kitchen, either for convenience or allowing the public to try different recipes and products. On the other hand, there are still those people who are more traditional and prefer to bake from scratch. I’m probably more of a traditionalist myself, most likely because I’ve grown up with home baking and I generally already have everything I need in my pantry and cupboards ready to go.

What’s in the mix this year for you and your recipes this year?

I have lots of neat ideas moving forward, such as creating new recipes and content for my website. But I do want to spend more time networking and building positive relationships with brands I’ve already been lucky enough to work with, although with plenty of new ones too.

Monisha Sharma

Beautiful vegetarian victories: Q&A with the very Instagramable Monisha Sharma

Monisha (Mon) Sharma hails from exotic India where food is full of soul – no superlatives will do these dishes justice. Mon has brought her heritage and her creative convictions to New Zealand and is wooing a captive Instagram audience with her culinary charm. A little bit Kiwi, a little bit Indian, a little bit hard-to-put-your-finger on, Mon’s creations are charming to mind, body and soul. Metropol talks to the fabulous foodie about her claim to social media fame.

Monisha Sharma

How did ‘Mon’s Flavours’ start on Instagram?

I’m actually not a food blogger. My background was working full-time in a restaurant and when I moved to New Zealand, this all just happened. I actually wasn’t very well for a while and I started playing around with recipes at home. It was my son who said, ‘Why don’t you start Instagramming?’ and he set me up with the account. At the time, I didn’t even know what a hashtag was or how to use a camera! I started putting up my smoothies and recipes and I think this started to resonate with people. I just kept being original. I love making people laugh and smile.

Monisha Sharma

Where does your inspiration for your colourful and unique recipes come from?

I do every single thing from scratch. Being Indian, I love different ingredients from my culture and also from others and like to mix and match. A lot of recipes I have created are not necessarily made from anything fancy – it could just be everyday ingredients from your cupboard – for example, my avocado smoothie. I might add in peanuts, or cacao powder, or add some magical pear. I like to create what is delicious, healthy and filling.

Monisha Sharma

You are a vegetarian, how does this influence what you create?

When people ask me how I have survived being a vegetarian until now – 43 years old – I say, ‘Well, I can run with more energy than a meat eater!’ I like to prove them wrong and when I tell them I have a 21-year-old son they say, ‘Wow, you must be doing something right!’” I love to work with vegetarian ingredients. When it comes to cooking or baking you just have to love what you do and be confident in your decisions.”