Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Final Decision? A Piece of Cake!

Up to this point, Mr. S and I had booked all of our vendors but one...our cake! As you may remember, this decision has been weighing heavily on my mind as I posted about it here and here and here! Whew, that's a lot of cake talk.

We had finally decided to have our tasting at The Sugar Syndicate, located on Chicago's northwest side. The Sugar Syndicate is part of something called The Sweet Collective, which is comprised of three separate businesses catering to you sweet tooths out there, all under one roof - The Sugar Syndicate, Rich Chocolates & Candies, and Ruth & Phil's Gourmet Ice Cream. I liked that we were going to get a more personal experience from this little boutique bakery.

Pastry Chef Cathay Rayhill did not disappoint on the day of our tasting! A week before our scheduled appointment, we had sent Cathay our three flavor choices from her current menu for the day of the tasting. We opted for:

  • White Cake with Mango Curd & Strawberries
  • White Cake with Lemon Curd & Mixed Berries
  • Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Peppermint Ganache

Our cake could include up to two flavors (or only one if we wanted), and since we figured we couldn't go wrong with our chocolate choice, we gave ourselves two fruity options to choose from.

Cathay's set up was great. She brought out three mini cakes in our flavor choices, made especially for us. Equipped with places, knives and forks, Cathay explained how we should eat the cake to get the best flavor combination, and left us alone to our own devices while she went back into the kitchen.

Aren't the little cakes just darling?! Cathay covered just one of them with fondant so that we could taste the brand of fondant she uses. The other two cakes were just covered with buttercream.

We started off with the mango (above), then the lemon and finally the chocolate peppermint. This was a perfect way to sample the different combinations and come to a decision. In the end, we opted to go for the White Cake with Mango Curd & Strawberries and (of course) the chocolate cake with white chocolate peppermine ganache. Yum!

Forks aside, Cathay rejoined us and began to talk design. After sharing some examples of cakes that we both liked, we decided on a twist on this cake that Cathay had previously done:

Source: Flickr

Our different tiers are going to be sized similarly to this cake above, with the middle tier skinnier than all the rest. That middle layer with also say congratulations with our names, and our names will be in green (the only green that will be on the cake).


Our other inspiration was this teardrop cake. I love how graphic it is. So we finally decided that black teardrops would be along the lefthand side of the cake, kind of wrapping around to the back.

One other reason that I love the idea of working with Cathay is that she only books one wedding per day, so any other special order she might do that do would be scheduled around our cake. She likes to be the one delivering and setting up the cake, which is a great perk and I think definitely shows how much she cakes about the work that she does!

Having really done my homework about bakeries in the area and putting so much thought into what I wanted my cake to be like I think has really payed off in the end - we had such a great experience and I can't wait for our guests to try some of this delicious cake!


Amber March 20, 2009 at 12:55 AM  

Those cakes sound SO good. Is it bad that I have a sudden urge to lick the laptop screen??

Rachel Elizabeth March 27, 2009 at 12:19 PM  

The little cakes are so cute! I think your cake is going to be beautiful.

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