In my previous cake-related post, I was pretty frustrated with the entire cake designing process. Since we were only about a month and some change out from the wedding date at that point, panic had officially set in. Must...find...baker...NOW!
I consulted various wedding vendor directories for my area, and frantically sent out emails/inquiry forms to about a dozen, hoping that they would be available on my date! After sending out the S.O.S.'s, I sat back on the couch for a moment of respite. About 20 minutes later, my phone rang. It was one of the bakers, returning my inquiry...talk about a quick response! She was very sweet on the phone, and we set up a meeting for later on in the week.
On the day of the tasting, Justin, my mom, and I met up at The East Lake Cafe, which is where Cakes by Nomeda is located. The cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch, so when Nomeda met us at the door, we had the restaurant to ourselves. We sat down around the table, and she presented us each with a plate full of FOURTEEN different cake samples!
I instantly began to drool at the impending deliciousness.
Nomeda makes both American and European cakes. At first, I was confused; I had no idea about this! But, once we started to taste them, we could detect the difference in texture between the two. You are most likely familiar with American cakes (I think...). However, in comparison, the European cakes were denser and had a smoother texture to them. Both were delicious though! I'm sure you are curious to know the different flavors we tasted! They are as follows, starting at the top and working clockwise around the plate:
Chocolate with toffee creme
Chocolate kahlua creme
Vanilla with vanilla buttercream
Signature cake (it features nuts as a layer; you can choose pecans, macadamia nuts, etc.)
European chocolate cake
Hummingbird cake (a spice cake with pineapple and pecans)
Champagne cake with strawberry creme
We worked our way around the plate, eating half of each sample so that we could go back a second time to re-try any that we liked. We instantly eliminated the berry creme-related flavors, as the three of us all tend to gravitate towards the richer flavors (I'm a fiend for chocolate). All of us enjoyed the hummingbird flavor; it was one of the most unique cake flavors I have ever had, but it was absolutely to die for! It reminded me of coffee cake almost (it features pecans, pineapple, and banana; it is a southern cake). Although, it did come with a higher price tag per slice than some of the other flavors. After finishing the samples, we each shared which flavor was our favorite. Justin quickly stated that the amaretto was his, and my mom liked the chocolate kahlua creme. I was stuck between the hummingbird cake and the chocolate toffee creme. Thankfully, the cake flavor only has to be solidified a week or two before the wedding, so we had time to think about it at this point before making decisions!
After tasting the cake, it was time to discuss the design! We paged through Nomeda's HUGE book of previous cakes; there were so many lovely cakes that she has made in the past! At that point, I pulled out my design inspiration picture, along with my cake topper:
I took a deep breath, expecting a similar response to the previous baker. Instead, I was met with excitement! Nomeda informed us that she has had 2 years of training in specialty lacework for cakes, and that creating a design similar to my inspiration would be an awesome challenge for her! After inspecting the design, she told us that she would make the lace design itself out of fondant, instead of piping it on the cake. When it is time to cut the cake, the lace can be pulled off easily. Awesome! We decided that the lace work should be in white, and the cake itself should be a beige/champagne colored fondant to match the tree on our cake topper. I know, some of you may be thinking, "yuck...fondant tastes awful," but guess what? Nomeda imports white chocolate fondant from Switzerland. It is rolled out to be only about as thick as a few sheets of paper, and it tastes good! Typically, bakeries use a sugar fondant which is thicker, tougher, and might not be pleasant to taste. I was so happy to hear that the fondant on our cake would be edible!
Then came the issue of pricing. I was on pins and needles to hear the quote, because after pricing out the previous bakeries, I was starting to realize how incredibly expensive wedding cakes can be! However, I was incredibly surprised (in a good way!)! Nomeda charges a very reasonable price per serving for her cakes, and she DOESN'T charge any extra fees for her design work. SCORE! On the way home from our meeting, my mom and I stopped by Publix to price out the same size of cake, just for a comparison. Guess what...the same size cake at Publix would have been around $100 more (and you have to select your design from a book)! I couldn't believe it.
So...as you can probably deduce...our deposit was in the mail ASAP! I am really looking forward to working with Nomeda, and I can't wait to see how the cake turns out on the wedding day!
Did you taste any unique cake types/flavors at your tastings? What flavor(s) are you hoping to select/did you select?