Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Whispering sweet Nom Noms

It was with a little apprehension we reached out to a new cake vendor, the Hotel du Pont. Our venue encouraged us to call the bakery department and let us know how it worked out since they wanted to create a partnership with a new cake vendor. But we were still cautious. Our friends assured us the quality was there. (No rotten cherries.) So I left a message and waited to hear back. A patient week passed. I grew anxious, especially after my last interaction with Baker #1, and shot them a follow up email. I confirmed our tasting meeting as soon as I heard back, also asking questions about what to bring (Mr. P said glass of milk) and where to meet. I never heard back.

Hotel lobby
It should then come as no surprise that we sat in the hotel lobby for 40 minutes while the front desk frantically (in a discrete way) tried to locate someone, anyone in the bakery. I passed the time shooting pictures (also discreetly) of the lobby decor and furniture.

Carved, painted & gilded ceiling

Curved sofa and stacked glass ball lamps

Oooo, velvet. I will not pet the upholstery.
I am in a fancy place and must act accordingly.

We started with an hour on the parking meter - now only 20 minutes. Mr. P toyed with the idea of moving the car. Just when we were about to return to work, our gal appeared apologizing for the scheduling mix-up. It was on their calendar for next week, but they could squeeze us in between meetings. (I couldn't help think if someone would have answered my questions the week before, the miscommunication could have been avoided.)

Just like in the floral appointment, we went over the basic parameters of the wedding before moving on to the show and tell. The laptop opened and images of confections (organized like the flowers) were slideshowed. She understood we were not traditional and would enjoy modern shapes with whimsical touches. No swags, no piping, no mounds of fresh or sugar flowers. And definitely no plastic columns separating the layers.

Since we're having a summer wedding, we are staying away from heavier fall/winter flavors. Our options:
Flavors: Marble, Chocolate Chip, Lemon, Grand Marnier Pound, Banana, Carrot, Swiss Chocolate and Hazelnut or Almond Nut.
Fillings: Raspberry, Strawberry, Passion Fruit, Apricot, Mango, Lemon, Chocolate Ganache and Swiss Chocolate Cream.
We left with a bag containing pre-selected samples of three cakes and fillings to mix and match.

What's inside the bag?? Oooooh!

Our samples: vanilla pound with raspberry filling, lemon pound with lemon filling and hazelnut pound with apricot filling

When we reviewed the menu the week before, I was surprised to see 80% of the cakes listed as pound cake. I pictured dense, heavy, dry cake. Happy to say this was not the case. Light and tasty!

My choice, the lemons, were good but didn't impress as much as the oddball (but as we soon found out, traditional European) apricot filling paired with the hazelnut pound. It was sweet but not too sweet with lots of complexity. Now we understood why the apricot made an appearance on so many of the cakes!

Two seconds before I put the camera down to dig in!

What flavors did/would you select for your cake tasting?

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