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29 Jun

Tiers of Joy: How couples can use innovative technology to enhance their wedding cake

From 3D cake-toppers to printed cakes, innovative technology and equipment are helping transform wedding cakes from multi-tiered desserts to stunning pieces of animated art    

It’s the age of customisation and when it comes to weddings, especially, couples are keen to go to any lengths to impress their guests. And the accessibility of new and innovative technology has only fed this desire, thus helping couples to take their celebration a notch higher. Take, for instance, wedding cakes. Over the years, the multi-tiered gateau has seen many developments such as photo cakes and the more recent 3D cake-toppers and 3D printed cakes. Throwing light on the equipment that makes it all possible, Chef Amit Sharma, Co-founder, Love & Cheesecake, says, “Three-dimensional printers and their possibilities—the results of which can be seen in favours, cake toppers and even cakes—are endless. In fact, 3D printed cake decorations are slated to be the next big trend for 2020 weddings. Now, if a bride wants custom-printed candy wedding favours, it’s possible, and so is an architecturally stunning cake made without fondant!” 

To top it all  

For those unaware of this fast-catching trend, 3D cake-toppers are created with the help of special photo studios that scan and take photographs of the couple which are then converted into cake-toppers. Three-dimensional cake-toppers are miniature replicas of the couple. Speaking on the various innovations, Chef Amit Wadhera, Executive Chef, The Park New Delhi, explains, “The best thing about this trend is that it has allowed chefs to showcase their creativity like never before. Besides 3D effects, smoke machines are also used to lend a smoky effect. There are also musical and lighting effects which can be orchestrated.” Taking it to the next level is the innovative use of levitation techniques and hydraulics that allow one to rotate, float or raise a cake in the air. 

No piece of cake 

While the results might be awe-inspiring, the actual execution of this technique is challenging! Chef Deepak Barua, Executive Chef, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport, explains, “The biggest challenge is the availability and cost of the equipment. Projection mapping—another upcoming trend where images and videos are projected onto a cake—and 3D printers are expensive and require specialised and trained staff to operate them.”  

Besides these concerns, natural factors, like the weather, too, can affect the final outcome. Rachel Goenka, Founder and CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company, elucidates, “Weather plays a big role when it comes to photo cakes. Here, pictures are digitally printed on rice paper, which partially dissolves when it comes in contact with water. Humidity or high temperatures can increase the chances of condensation that cause the colours to bleed into each other.” That’s not the end of it—transporting these delicate cakes is another issue. Wadhera opines, “These cakes can’t be transferred to the venue in its finished state. They have to be assembled at the venue itself. This can be risky as it requires temperature-controlled or refrigerated vehicles to transport the ingredients. You also have to be careful while loading and unloading them from the vehicle.” 

Despite the many challenges that these breathtaking creations pose, one can’t deny the impact these creations have on their audience.    

Know your cake and eat it too 

  • A 3D cake is no different from a normal cake except that the former features some kind of 3D artwork and is made with the help of technology while the latter is made in a more traditional fashion. 
  • A photo or digitally printed cake is one wherein an image is printed with edible materials and ink on an icing sheet (also known as a frosting sheet or sugar sheet), which is then placed on the cake. 
  • A 3D printed cake is crafted by way of a more technical process that uses 3D printing software and special moulds. 
  • Three-dimensional cake-toppers are made with the help of 3D printers and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) laser-cut machines. When made manually, they are made with fondant. 

Photos Courtesy: iStock

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