- Brought up baking from a young age I love to make delicious cakes to share with family and friends. Much like my mother, I can be one of those cooks who measure by "eye" rather than with a measure, and invariably add in or take out ingredients depending on what is in my cupboard. However, I do also appreciate the need to follow a recipe exactly for best results, as the "pour it in" method is really for those who have done a lot of baking over many years. I use this method for new recipes. So come share my recipes and learn some baking skills if you are not confident. Our daughter and son in law decided to have their wedding in Santorini, Greece last year. They also incorporated a few Greek touches in their wedding. The reception was held at a stunning location at a beach bar overlooking a private beach on the southern coast.
The wedding breakfast was a traditional Greek BBQ with souvlaki and salads and baklava for desserts. For those that don't know what baklava is - it is a a rich pastry made from layers of filo (phyllo) pastry filled with nuts, or other nut flavoured paste fillings and covered with a honey syrup.
A Variety of Baklava The wedding cake was of huge interest to me. I had recently done a cake icing course and would have loved to make and ice the wedding cake. However.....this was impractical. I did ponder the option of making the decorations and somehow taking them over. But as we were travelling for two weeks prior to the wedding, this wouldn't work.
Wedding cakes were traditionally made to bring luck to the bride and groom....and are steeped in many other traditions, which have changed over the years. But generally they are a centrepiece for the wedding reception, and many brides spend hours mulling over photos and sourcing the cake of their dreams.
My daughter wasn't so interested in the cake. She wondered what all my fuss was about! The wedding package had said a cake was provided. It was just as well I emailed myself and queried what it was and how many it fed. It was to be the traditional Greek wedding cake. I was happy with this. This is a layered sponge cake with flavoured filling. But.....the cake provided was in fact a cutting cake for the bridal party and to feed 6 people! Whoops.....this could have been a major disaster had I not asked.
We needed a cake to feed 40. I set to and scoured the web for suitable wedding cake shops on Santorini. We had decided the cake would follow the beach theme and be decorated with shells.The shop I chose had several beautiful photos of cakes decorated with shells so a decision was made with the help of the bride and groom.
I found a photo of a cake that was a beautiful delicate pale cobalt blue a paler version of the colour of the bridesmaids dresses. I emailed the photo and was assured this would be doable. The English seemed to be good with the person I dealt with.( I cannot find who to attribute this photo to.If anyone can help please email me - thanks)
I was very puzzled though. They kept assuring me they only needed 4 days notice. Knowing the work involved I couldn't work out how they could make the fondant shells in that time as they need several days to dry.I came to the conclusion they must have the decorations ready made for future orders.
We arrived in Santorini a few days before the wedding and my husband , sister and I set off to find the shop, sample the flavours and check they knew what we were wanting.
Ordering The Cake Now finding a shop when all the names were in Greek proved a mission. We were in the general vicinity, but the description - across the road from the power board, proved useless. What does a power board look like when you can't read Greek? Eventually we saw a shop set well back and I went in and yes.....this was the place we were looking for. And they had no sign......they hadn't got around to it. Maybe this is because no one has an address in Santorini. I am still not sure how the mail reaches the correct destination!
I asked had they received my photo.....and yes they had.They even went and printed off a copy to show me.
So now for some sampling. Flavours of rose, apricot, coffee and many more were on offer. We decided the bottom layer would be chocolate and the top two layers lemon. We also asked for a little more sponge as the filling was very rich as you can see in the photo.
Traditional Greek Layered Sponge Cake
The Cake Arrives Each table had a polished paua shell along with small tropical shells the children had collected when they were little when we lived in Samoa, set in sand in the glass candle holders.
The cake was brought out and placed on the table just before the bridal couple arrived from having photos taken. Imagine my surprise ! It was aqua blue and far from the smooth fondant covered cake I imagined. Our Greek wedding cake was covered in more of the cream filling and done in the rough look.However.....it matched the colours of the table covering beautifully and was certainly a wedding cake like no other! It really was very charming and suited the laid back style of wedding our daughter wanted. I was actually very happy with our unique Greek wedding cake.....and it was absolutely delicious.
The wedding co ordinator who was essential in a foreign country had told our daughter and son in law they would do the traditional Greek thing of feeding each other a piece of cake. Our daughter was horrified. It was one thing she had told me she didn't like. However.....she was not let off . No...this is the Greek tradition she was told.
She was delighted when they were provided with elegant long handled spoons, having only seen this done with hands, and it was a lovely moment before the cutting of the cake which was done just before the meal was served.
I still look at photos of this cake and chuckle at the saga and what it was like after all my efforts and research. Life is certainly full of surprises.
Brought up baking from a young age I love to make delicious cakes to share with family and friends. Much like my mother, I can be one of those cooks who measure by "eye" rather than with a measure, and invariably add in or take out ingredients depending on what is in my cupboard. However, I do also appreciate the need to follow a recipe exactly for best results, as the "pour it in" method is really for those who have done a lot of baking over many years. I use this method for new recipes. So come share my recipes and learn some baking skills if you are not confident.