One of my very first blog features was a write up of an amazing interview and tasting challenge hosted by the lovely Charlotte of Restoration Cake last year. Not only was it the beginning of a beautiful wedding friendship, but it was also the discovery of one seriously talented lady! Today I have an update with the newest Restoration Cake designs and a bit more about the inspiration behind the one and only Charlotte White.
1. OMG you have new cake designs! Tell us about each one and their influences?
I went to see the Glamour of the Gods exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery this year and was inspired by the beauty of the actresses in the photographs. I have always loved the Golden Age of Hollywood and have aspired to be as glamourous as these women were! As all of my cakes are 100% bespoke to each of my Brides, I thought that it would be fun to design three cakes based upon three of the actresses in the exhibition; Gloria Swanson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich.
Gloria came from a picture of Gloria Swanson wearing a gown dripping in pearls and wearing a feathered headdress. The pearls on this cake are hand-piped and hand-painted with a pearl lustre and the pattern of the pearls has been taken from an old necklace that I have had for years! The separator tiers are wrapped in genuine faux pearl necklaces.
Elizabeth was inspired by Elizabeth Taylor (perhaps now the patron saint of Weddings!). I wanted to create a design that was chic and minimalist from a distance and complex and detailed up close. I used a new technique in sugar lace to create the lace around each tier and finished each tier off with a simple strand of hand-piped pearls.
Marlene was inspired by Marlene Dietrich and the old song about Lily Marlene. I knew that this cake would have to be monochrome and striking. The calla lily pattern came from a piece of vintage fabric and was handpainted on each tier. To add some drama, I have used black satin ribbon tied in bows around the separator tiers.
Separator tiers are a great way to add height and drama to your Wedding Cake and the extra cost to include these in your design are minimal.
All of the flowers for these photographs were created by Steph Turpin at Fairynuff Flowers. I gave her the outline brief and inspiration for each design and she created the perfect crowning glories for these designs.
2. Any new flavours to add to your repetoir?
I have recently improved my lemon cake to be more of a lemon drizzle cake with ground almonds in the mix, which keeps the sponge lovely and moist. I am always looking to improve upon the recipes that I use.
My commitment to creating bespoke cakes extends into my flavour options. I always ask my couples about the flavours that they would like for their cake and am happy to accommodate special requests.
3. What sort of techniques have you used to achieve the awesome lace detail?
The lace on the Elizabeth cake has been created using a new technique called Sugar Veil. It is a really fine sugar that can be poured into a mould, set, and then cut and manipulated like real fabric. I cannot tell you how excited I am about the potential for this new technique!
Sometimes, Brides ask me to create bespoke lace patterns to match with elements of their dress. This is done with a traditional piping method and you can see examples of this on my website.
4. Whats the plan for Restoration Cake in 2012?
Onwards and upwards to infinity and beyond! This is my first year of running Restoration Cake full-time (as I used to work 9-5 in an office as well) and I already have lots of lovely Brides on the books for the year. I hope to make lots of fabulous Wedding Cakes and continue to meet lots of wonderful couples.
I am also happy to say that I will be writing a monthly feature in Vintage Life Magazine on cakes and cake decorating. You will be able to pick up a few handy tricks of the trade and I will be sharing some of my favourite receipes.
5. Are you taking part in any fairs next year?
I am indeed! I kick off the year at The Compleat Angler in Marlow on Sunday 8th January. It is a lovely venue by the river and I will be there with cake samples.
Then I am going to be at The Alternative Wedding Fair in Islington on Sunday 22nd January with more cake samples AND I will be modelling an amazing Wedding dress by Lisa Armstrong on the catwalk! To say that I am excited about this would be an understatement. Any OMG readers who want to come along and watch would be so welcome.
6. Totally unrelated to cake but whats the best thing about being married 🙂
It’s just amazing in every way. This has been a big year for my Husband and I (will I ever get used to saying that?) and knowing that we are a team has meant that we can handle anything that life throws at us. Having lived together for nearly 5 years before getting married, so much is the same but it’s the little differences like random memories of our Wedding day, and the rings, and the new name, and knowing that we made a lot of important promises that day that make me smile. I’m just a big softy!