December is the time of year for indulgence, right? In that case we're right on track thinking about cake, cake, cake. For today's Little Black Book interview we're chatting to the lovely Arianna from Wildflower Cakes in London. Arianna has provided some amazing bakes for us at recent shoots (which you can see here) and we really wanted her to let us in on her secrets. So over to her!
ARIANNA, HELLO! TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WILDFLOWER CAKES AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?
Hello! I was brought up doing lots of baking and experimenting in cake decorating with my mum and grandma. I only considered it as a career after I had left university and felt a bit lost. I started reading a lot of decorating and cake blogs and decided to study patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu, it was a wonderful experience. I then worked for many high-end cake companies in London before starting my own. I wanted to make sure I was confident in my skills and knew what to do if things went wrong!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF CAKES?
I love flowers and nature, so the focal point of my designs is usually the sugar flowers. I adore modern, simplicity and believe less is more. A cake that has been beautifully executed with flawless icing and delicate sugar flowers is always going to be a show-stopper. I am definitely partial to metallics and usually can't resist adding a bit of gold or silver on there.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR NEW DESIGNS?
Quite a variety of places, I find Pinterest is a great place to be inspired. I often look at art, textures, patterns, colour palettes and real flowers.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR NEW FLAVOURS, AND DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITES?
I am a massive chocoholic and love anything with chocolate. My recent favourite is a cake I made for my Dad inspired by the "cherry ripe" chocolate bar, which isn't sold in this country but is very popular in Australia where he was born. It had a rich chocolate sponge, a coconut sponge and roasted cherry buttercream. I don't usually get to eat the cakes I make, so this was a proper treat!
WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT BAKING?
I enjoy reading classics, Jane Eyre being my favourite. I have a long list that I'm working my way through. I also really enjoy eating out, I used to be a very picky eater and I'm now super adventurous and always try to order something that I have never tried before.
WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR COUPLES WHO AREN'T REALLY SURE WHAT KIND OF CAKE THEY WANT, HOW DO YOU START, AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?
I think the best way to start is to book a consultation and bring along a Pinterest/mood board you have put together of the ideas you have for your whole day. The cake maker can then see your personal taste, an idea of colours and the feel you are looking for, to then put together a design.
It's useful for the cake decorator to know how many people you are looking to serve to calculate how many tiers you will need. It is also important to consider where the cake will be displayed in the room, as some are designed to have a front angle and sit well against a wall, while some will sit beautifully in the centre of the room and look good from all angles. The taste is very important, so make sure to try a variety of samples.
ANY TIPS FOR COUPLES WHO WANT THEIR CAKE TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON A BUDGET?
You could consider having faux tiers to boost the height of your cake, which usually comes with a small reduction in price compared to having the whole thing as real cake. Displaying the cake on a high pedestal cake stand will also create more height and impact, most cake makers have these available to rent for the day. It looks beautiful to style the table the cake will be on, even just some candles or flowers surrounding can really add to making the cake a focal point.
Check out more of Arianna's gorgeous cakes on her website and prepare to drool.