The inaugural royal groom’s cake will serve as a compromise of sorts between Prince William and Kate Middleton, who have selected very different confections for their April 29 celebration.
In London, they are calling the prince’s dessert of choice the “Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake.”
According to “The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide” (Wedding Solutions, 2002), the practice of grooms’ cakes originated in the American South, with guests taking the cake home in boxes engraved with couples’ names.
The tradition enjoyed a revival a few years ago, when cooking shows began to feature cake making, according to Los Altos wedding planner Megan Ahalim of La Vita Bella Events (www.lavitabellaevents.com).
Today, most couples serve it with the wedding cake as another way to include the groom in the festivities.
“The brides wanted to surprise their grooms with a cake that highlighted something special about the groom, like his love for a sports team, classic cars or maybe his fraternity insignia,” Ahalim said.
Prince William chose his own cake, drawing on childhood memories of McVitie’s Rich Tea “biscuits,” the British word for “cookie.” Bakers will crumble 1,700 of the biscuits into the batter, adding 17 kilograms of dark chocolate.
This nostalgic, playful cake contrasts with the traditional fruitcake requested by royal bride-to-be Middleton, who asked for icing flowers symbolizing different emotions from the Victorian language of flowers. For example, acorns represent strength and endurance, and roses mean happiness.
Usually, however, brides will request a cake for their grooms secretly, said Keiko Enrique, catering manager for Satura Cakes, located at 200 Main St. in Los Altos (www.saturacakes.com).
“The bride wants to surprise (her groom) normally, and after the tasting, she calls me back, saying I have to see you separately,” said Enrique, a Los Altos resident.
Satura makes cakes in the shape of footballs, baseballs and even wine bottles, depending on the groom’s special interest.
Under new ownership since August 2009, the patisserie serves artisan cakes made by owner Seungho Jung. He favors simple cakes without fondant, which tends to make the cake too sweet, Enrique said.
Wedding consultant Ahalim discourages her clients from having two cakes.
“I find this to be a great area to cut costs,” she said, adding that with the recession, most customers these days want weddings on a smaller scale.
If the couple still wants to have their cake and eat it, too, Ahalim suggests a “sweets table with the groom’s favorite treats, like chocolate-chip cookies that a close friend or family member can make homemade the week before the wedding and freeze them to keep fresh,” or finding a local bakery to make them.
“Both of these options will cost you less than an over-the-top groom’s cake,” she said.
Another choice is to “stick to the standard tiered cake,” but bake a layer in the groom’s favorite flavor, Ahalim said.
“The cake doesn’t have to be all one flavor,” she added.