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Here Comes … the Wedding Cake!

All eyes are on the bride and her gown when she walks down the aisle, but once the vows are taken and the festivities underway, another key element is – often quite literally – front and center: the wedding cake.

Thanks to TV shows like “Cake Boss” and online “pinboards” like Pinterest, the demand for unique and intricate cakes for weddings and other occasions has exploded.

In Promise Culinary School’s Baking and Pastry Program, the creation of three-tiered wedding cakes from baking through design is one of most technically and artistically demanding units in the curriculum. The practical exam, alone, takes four days to complete, explained Chef Aaron Vannetta.

“The first step is having an idea,” he said. “I tell the students all the time that there’s a culinary aspect to making a wedding cake, but the art aspect is what you put into it. The cake needs to be good and flavorful – that’s the easy part. But second is what do you do to make it unique.”

During the recent exam, students first baked the tiers and froze them over a weekend. This step, which professional bakers use, makes it easier to apply the fillings and fondant, or gum base, which will serve as the base for flowers and other edible decorations designed by the students.

Baking and pastry students learned the intricacies from cake instructor and chef Garima Bansil, an expert cake designer whose designer cakes for all occasions are in demand throughout Central Jersey.

Under her tutelage, students learned how to


design delicate flowers using templates. Her expert lessons were evident in their creations during the exams.

Not only are the students learning how to design cakes, they are also building their portfolios, Chef Aaron said.

“I encourage them to take photos and make a portfolio of all their work.  They’ll be able to use them after they graduate and start their professional careers,” he said. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”