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Royal Wedding to have two cakes
Kate has given detailed plans for the couple’s wedding cake but Prince William has also requested a McVities chocolate biscuit cake – which was one of his favourites as a young boy – as an alternative treat.
Fiona Cairns, a businesswoman who has gone from kitchen table baking to selling her creations to the country’s best-known stores, has been given the honour of baking the official royal wedding cake, the centrepiece of the Buckingham Palace wedding reception.
The 56-year-old cake designer, has also been asked by Kate to feature around 16 different blooms and foliage for their meaning; lily of the valley which symbolises sweetness and humility and ivy leaves which symbolise marriage. Also on her list of flowers, created using sugar paste, is the aptly named Sweet William – which means perfection and gallantry.
Kate has also requested elements from the Joseph Lambeth technique of cake decoration, where intricate piping is used to make three dimensional scroll work, leaves, flowers and other adornments.
Here are some examples of cakes made in the style of Joseph Lambeth:
The designs on this dramatic tower mimic the elaborate cake-decorating style of Joseph Lambeth, a master baker in England during the 1920s and ’30s. Fine garlands and latticework are piped onto the fondant in royal icing, as are delicate roses and bunches of grapes. The star and C-scrolls on top are examples of a technique called overpiping, in which a shape is layered over again and again, giving it depth. These heavier effects are piped in decorator’s buttercream (thicker than usual) to maintain their shape.
Another example of a cake in the style of Joseph Lambeth
Decorated with William and Kate’s new cipher (which will be officially released on their wedding day), the cake will also have a theme of flowers from the home nations – English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh daffodil and Irish shamrock.
Thistle – courtesy of visitscotland.ch
Welsh Daffodil - courtesy of reallywelsh.com
Ms Cairns who retails her sweet treats in Harrods, Selfridges and Waitrose was approached in February by William’s office regarding the wedding cake. She said: “It’s multi-tiered, doesn’t have colour – it’s cream and white (icing) – and it’s a traditional cake but also quite delicate and modern, all the tiers will have a different theme.”
Ms Cairns added: “She (Kate) has guided us right from the beginning and has quite strong ideas. That makes it much easier than a bride who has absolutely no idea whatsoever, which has happened in the past. But she knew very much what she wanted and she brought us mood boards and told us what influences she would like us to use on the cake.”
Kate asked her to incorporate flowers according to their meaning, which was very popular with the Victorians, who used the blooms to send secret messages. Ms Cairns said, ”There is the bridal rose which symbolises happiness, the oak and acorn – which is an architectural detail around the room where the cake will be – symbolising strength and endurance.”
The cake maker said: “… I can’t tell you exactly the recipe, but the brandy is very important, we always soak our fruits overnight to plump up the fruits. This is exactly the same method you would use at home if you were making a fruit cake – we just use bigger batches.”
Samples were sent to William and Kate who chose their favourite and she has now started baking to allow the sweet treats the necessary four weeks to mature. The finished product may be featured in the palace’s picture gallery that is hung with priceless old masters.
Although relatively unknown to date, this commission will no doubt make this cake designer widely known and in great demand.