By Andrea Bosco Stehle, Rachel Jones, Maggie McCauley, + Liz Petoniak
Contrary to popular belief, you can absolutely have your cake and eat it, too. Whatever kind of cake that is, well that’s up to you. That “typical wedding dessert” tradition is shifting as couples are incorporating other styles of sweets and treats into that big day culinary masterpiece.
For a truly elegant dessert spread, do as the French do! Lori Rongier, co-owner of Gaby et Jules, shares three ways to incorporate the authentic French patisserie’s sophisticated and tasty treats into your big day:
Gaby et Jules recently unveiled stunning demi-cakes. “These are miniature, tiered wedding cakes that serve 35 people,” explains Rongier. “The idea is to order several and create a beautiful display by placing them at different heights.” Couples can customize their cake(s) with a variety of fillings, from decadent chocolate to light, fruity flavors.
2. Macaron Collection
“We can customize a beautiful palette of delicate macarons for any season or color scheme,” says Rongier. The incredibly cute and versatile treats can serve as centerpieces, favors, wedding shower cakes, and bridal party gifts. “Some non-traditional brides will even have full macaron towers in lieu of wedding cakes, as they provide an elegant, gluten-free option.”
Opt for this traditional French wedding cake, comprised of tiered cream puffs laced together with house-made caramel and nougatine. Sounds divine!
For a complimentary bridal tasting appointment, schedule with Gaby et Jules’ wedding concierge. Gaby et Jules, 5837 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412.682.1966. gabyetjules.com.
The “naked cake” is all the rage for fall, according to Bob Sendall of All in Good Taste Productions. What makes a cake naked? “Their inside-out nature. The icing is layered within the cake, instead of around it. This leaves room for bright flowers and beautiful fruits to take the spotlight,” says Sendall. Great for any type of wedding, its natural look allows a canvas for creativity with fresh flowers, fruits, and succulents, for a vibe that can range from rustic to incredibly polished. She says, “Let your creativity be the icing on the cake!” All in Good Taste Productions, 1520 Monterey St., North Side, 412.321.6869. allingoodtasteproductions.com.
Eating dessert is fun on its own, right? Well, interactive dessert stations take it to the next level! Amanda Byrne of Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique says loved ones will be in awe as made-to-order treats are created right before their eyes with incredibly innovative techniques. Popular stations include the Lil’ Fried Pie á la Mode Station and the Liquid Nitrogen Station for frozen cocktails and ice cream bars, but the Spherical Meltdown is a new favorite. “Hot, gooey caramel is poured over a delicate chocolate sphere, which melts away like magic to expose a delicious dessert inside,” she says. Keep the sweet streak going by gifting guests with mini cakes, adorable favors that can be enjoyed even after the festivities conclude. Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique, 213 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall. 412.772.1283. 3511 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412.687.1265. asweetboutique.com.
When it comes to cookies, the classics are classics for a reason. “Brides are going back to selecting the old-fashioned cookies,” says Deanna Soost, owner of Good L’Oven Cookie Shop. “They’re more focused on flavor over fanciness, and they’re not so caught up in the color-matched cookie table.” Good L’Oven bakes staples like chocolate chip, sugar, and thumbprint cookies “just the way Grandma does,” which means they’re fresh, never frozen, and made using quality ingredients. Plus, Soost is always experimenting with new flavors and ideas, like raspberry shortbread with white chocolate, chocolate pretzel cookies, and handmade ice cream sandwiches. She’s excited to work with brides to create swoon-worthy treats customized to their personal tastes. “I also think brides are spreading the cookie table tradition to their destination weddings,” she says. With cookies this good, why wouldn’t you bring them along for your big day? Good L’Oven Cookie Shop, 419 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue. 412.616.1251.
Prantl’s Bakery, home of “The Greatest Cake America Has Ever Made,” according to The Huffington Post, has big plans for the future, elevating its impressive cake designs and the national distribution of the famous Burnt Almond Torte. These plans include bringing in new faces, like Jeff Pastor, a Greensburg native, who joined the Prantl’s cake design team as the lead cake designer, and opening a new location in Greensburg for the 2016 holiday season. “We are also looking into creating a design studio, visible to the public, along with a retail location in a prominent Pittsburgh location,” says Melissa Kosheba Passafiume of Prantl’s. One thing’s for sure, we will be first in line to watch the bakers create their beautiful masterpieces! Prantl’s Bakery, 438 Market Street, Downtown. 412.471.6861. 5525 Walnut St., Shadyside. 412.621.2092. prantlsbakery.com.