It’s the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. The invitations are all out there. The Salahis have boarded their plane to London and Kate has lost another couple of pounds putting her one pound away from anorexia. In honor of the royal wedding and as a helpful hint to all those skinny bitches out there, I think it’s time to fatten these broads up with a little cake talk.
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton may have been heralded as the tastiest wedding of the century but since we have only tiptoed into the century I find it pretty unfathomable to think we can count out the next ninety years and award this event such an awesome accolade. Before we rush to judgment lets cut into some of the confectionary highlights of the past and whip up some ideas for the future. Towering concoctions of iced gaunache and frosting fantasies have been molded from the imaginations of some of the most famous pastry chefs of centuries gone by. My most recent research has centered round those chefs of the last half century with a particular interest in those who had a secret desire to highlight their architectural aspirations creating cakes that were more structural than eatable.
Lets start in the fifties with the 1955 cake cutting for King Hussein and Queen Dina. It seems like risky business to begin cutting a slice out of an eighteen-foot high ode to Moorish architecture from the bottom tier. You’ve got to think the cutting was totally ceremonial or the cake might have tumbled in much the same way their short two year sixty-seven day marriage crumbled into divorce.
The following year a wedding that ended up being a true love story produced a wedding cake that clearly drew the line between beauty to behold and gateau to devour. Created by the renowned pastry chefs at Monte-Carlo’s famed Hotel de Paris, the six-tier cake came complete with a two-tier birdcage containing a pair of real turtledoves and a music box playing Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” while a miniature ceramic prince and princess twirled atop. Pretty – yes, eatable – well I don’t know about you but two pooping turtledoves on the top of someone’s wedding cake would be enough to keep me off the dessert line. By the look on the bridesmaid’s face I think I might not be the only one harboring that thought.
Did you ever notice royalty never seem to be able to find a regular knife to cut their cakes? Although there always seems to be an ancestral saber available to slice into their eatable architectural monuments commemorating their extravagant nuptials. King Abdullah and Queen Rania were no exception. In 1993 they stabbed another tier on another filigreed frosted skyscraper of sugar based culinary magic.
One more thing I noticed was the apparent status of a royal could be directly correlated to the size of their cake. So far, the cakes of distinction have all commanded exceedingly high ceilings in order to make their entry but if the bridal party didn’t include a king or king in waiting with no possible chance of sitting on the throne the height of their cake seemed commensurate to their position in the peeking order of their plight. Take Captain Mark Phillips and Princess Anne’s pathetically diminutive little three-tier version. Had Anne been an only child or found a way to do away with all those brothers she might have commanded a bit bigger piece of the royal spotlight.If all this cake talk or the ostentatiousness of royalty has thrown you into a sugar stupor and your stomach has started to feel a little queasy, I found one Brit who figured out the perfect solution to our malaise. Pass the bag; I think I need it too.
TERMINOLOGY NEEDING NO DEFINITION
A style of architecture popular in the nineteenth century where architects got out their professional decorating tools and applied the architectural equivalent of rosettes and curlycues on every square inch of their metal and concrete slices of the architectural pie. The term can also be applied to any structure that appears to be built in graduating tiers similar to the tiers on a wedding cake.
Thanks to an old zoning law in New York City, many skyscrapers dating from the early twentieth century were required to have a certain amount of setbacks to reduce the amount of shade the building might cast at street level. Given the amount of frosting dripping from the surfaces of these usually ornate structures you’d think a little shade might be what you’d want to keep all those doo-dahs from melting.
Now the Americans didn’t have a monopoly on this over abundance of decadent decoration…no.
The European’s were on board and in fact they were more than likely the ringleaders here. Christopher Wren was to wedding cake architecture what Patty was to just plain cake
and the Italians were never slouches when it came to piling on the ornamentation
Photographer: AnnonymousAnd I’d like to keep it that way