Wednesday, June 1, 2011

French Inspired Wedding Custom #4 - The Wedding Cake

During the Middle Ages in France, wedding guests would bring small cakes to the wedding and stack them in a pile, as high as possible, in the center of a table. If the bride and groom could kiss over them without knocking them over, it was thought to symbolize a lifetime of good luck and prosperity. The traditional French wedding celebration cake, known as croquembouche or, as it may be called today, "la pièce montée," was invented by a French chef at the end of the 17th century.

The croquembouche is made of small, creme-filled pastry puffs (called "choux" in French) piled in a pyramid and covered in a caramel glaze and spun sugar. The sugar is what gives the dessert it's name as croquembouche loosely translates to "crunch in the mouth."  The croquembouche can be decorated with almost anything that the baker chooses and may be covered with icing, chocolate, nuts, candies, flowers - anything that fits the occasion.

 Croquembouche with white roses, violet roses and violet ribbon.

Croquembouche with traditional "Bride and Groom" cake topper.

MDD was home for Memorial Day.  We've decided that we have to get a traditional French Croquembouche recipe and try our baking skills!  What do you think?  I'm thinking we should give it a try - not for the actual wedding of course - but just for fun. I'll let you know if we get adventurous and try it!

Au revoir!

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