Being one of the country's top makers of wedding cakes, I decided it was important to acknowledge our roots and those who know me will not be surprised that this slice of information woke up the historically enquiring mind within, and I decided to research a little further...
Roman writer Lucretius, Circa 100BC, wrote of the first form of wedding cake, a loaf made from barley or rye which was crumbled over the brides head by the groom as a sign of his domination over his new bride. Hmmm, not surprising this is a tradition we have since abandoned! The rest of the crumbs were then thrown by the guests and became the first form of confetti.
The tradition of loaves and pastry's at weddings continued, and in England during the middle ages the wedding centrepiece was often a tower of sweet buns, piled as high as possible. The couple who managed to kiss over the tower were assured a life of prosperity... so long as they were not slain by dragons, taken out by the plague or any of those other nasty medieval maladies. Pastry's filled with offal and nuts (eeeewwww!!) were also popular around this time!
It was in the 1700's however that the wedding cake as we know it really came into its own as multi-tiered cakes made of fruit (a symbol of fertility) became the centrepiece of many weddings. Thick fondant now known as Royal icing gained its name during this era after it was used on the wedding cake of Queen Victoria herself and Prince Albert. Perishables were extremely expensive around this time, with double refined sugar being one of the most pricey food items going. Thus the traditional white wedding cake was not a symbol of purity and virginity originally (rather this came later) but a sign of the family's wealth, who could afford such luxurious goods.
It was the hedonistic 1980's that saw the real turn around in the way we view wedding cakes as we threw tradition to the winds and embraced new colours, styles and flavours....chocolate mud for a wedding, shock horror! These days we draw inspiration for our cakes from fashion, venues, seasons and even interior design and at PC we always aim to stay one step ahead in our cutting edge designs, and incorporate the individual qualities of each and every bride and groom which step through our door.
So what do you think Queen Victoria would have thought of this one?