A walk through the wedding cake process with cake designer Sylvia Weinstock.
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Female Speaker: You've arrived at MagRack and now Inside Weddings.
Millie Martini Bratten: In roman times the wedding cakes was a biscuit made of wheat that symbolized a bountiful harvest. Today wedding cakes are made with a variety of sweet flavors and fillings. The taste is good as they look. Talented bakers turn designers are mixing imagination with dash of color and transforming the traditional white cake into an edible work of art.
Female Speaker: Confectionary creations of all sizes and shapes since a wedding cake is served at the end of the wedding most bakers will tell you it's the cake that guests remember.
Sylvia Weinstock: When you walk into the dinning and the first thing you will see is that wonderful looking decorative cake. It's also the last thing you eat. It crowns the dinner. You need some leaves on this.
Female Speaker: Sylvia Weinstock is one of the many bakers responsible for improving both the look and the taste of the modern wedding cake. She began her business back in the 1980s after years of baking for her family during holiday ski trips.
Sylvia Weinstock: Since the family skied and I don't I stay home and cooked and baked. Three teenagers would not eat all the cakes I could bake, so we start it selling to the local restaurants upstate New York where we would go for dinner.
Female Speaker: She also became friends with some of the best pastry chefs in the New York area who not only showed her their tricks but encouraged her to carve her own niche.
Sylvia Weinstock: One of the bakers in Manhattan said, why don't you learn to do beautifully decorated specialty cakes because they are plenty of people making rolls and breads and crescents and pies and so do something that's different and we latched on to an idea of doing a very beautiful party cake and from there I just grew. Lets put something right here.
Female Speaker: Her trade mark is carefully sculpted sugar flowers that look like the real thing and make a cake almost too pretty to eat. Her designs have grace the tables that dozens of celebrity weddings. Weinstock has become a bit of a celebrity herself. Easily spotted by her large black glasses.
Sylvia Weinstock: And the funny thing about the glasses are when you go into a restaurant it's very popular and you don't have a reservation the matter D always gives us a table, please not sure then he should know us. I saw my name sometimes for fun with grand kids with just the eye glasses. So they knew who is grandma.
Female Speaker: Grandma's cakes don't come cheap. In fact a large one can run thousands of dollars due to the intercut detail work but Weinstock doesn't like to talk about prices.
Sylvia Weinstock: All the art work is done and stored, and they stored in these wonderful boxes.
Female Speaker: She said she is in the business to bake. To meet new people a most importantly to help brides and grooms design the cakes of their dreams.
Sylvia Weinstock: Whenever I go some place or ever I walk, or ever I look, you will see something that would translate into a cake and I mean so easy to say I can make a stack of books for you, I can make the world, the globe and will call the cake to look like a church for a wedding, they will call it look like a scene we have done china patterns I can remember doing a two carved hippopotamuses for a couple who last name is hippo. They were an older, more sophisticated couple who are taking this for the great deal of fun.
Female Speaker: Weinstock estimates that she and her team produce more than a thousand cakes a year. With the cardboard infrastructure to support the cakes she can deliver them from her New York City bakery to any where in the country or the world.
Sylvia Weinstock: I am thinking, you ever get over the tension of flying with the cake. This past a cake that we delivered we delivered you know to the pilot, telling him when he lands not to break cord and to use the whole runway and to go soft because there was a wedding cake in cargo. How many guests are coming?
Female Speaker: Between 125 or 130.
Female Speaker: Like most bakers Weinstock meets her brides soon after they have decided on important details.
Sylvia Weinstock: So we have a 125 guests and we have samples now to taste, chocolate with chocolate mousse they have a yellow cake with I think strawberries, we have a -- Just to know whether I am designing a cake for 200 people. She has to tell me the site I have to know whether its a hotel or a country club because the look of the cake should reflect its surroundings and then we have to know with the menu is, does she is it a luncheon, is it a dinner, is it winter or is it's summer. In a summer time for luncheon she might like a lovely lemon cake with fresh fruit in it. In the winter time she might want a chocolate cake. Sacred she can have two or three flavors within a cake. So we are going to do chocolate layer cake with two fillings of chocolate mousse and one filling of raspberry, will sketch for her.
Female Speaker: Oh! I love it.
Sylvia Weinstock: And she will have tastings and decide what she likes to eat away a cake or serve her guests and then we will see what we could do in terms of a design. And then I would like to know from your florist what are the particular flowers the species that he is using whether he is using.
Female Speaker: According to Weinstock most brides still chose traditional white wedding cake but they can make a personal statement in their choice of decoration.
Female Speaker: I can't imagine cutting up a cake like this.
Sylvia Weinstock: I mean, it will break your heart.
Female Speaker: Yes.
Sylvia Weinstock: I hope so.
Female Speaker: She advices all brides to make sure they are dealing with a reputable baker with a board of health certificates.
Sylvia Weinstock: That's very important that you see where its being baked and also you should sample the cakes, and see if it to your liking, do you want it sweeter do you want it more tart do you want little bit more bitter do you like the combinations that you are getting and you should meet the people that you are working with. And you should go by reliability and reputation.
Female Speaker: How much should your cake cost, depends on the baker prices range from the $50 to $15 a slice.
Sylvia Weinstock: I think you sit down on your budget can you say look I have got a certain amount of money to spend on a wedding what's most important to make is it the food, it is the décor, is it a gown, is it the music what means the most and then you take it from there. There is so much you can do if you have a great deal of money, but that doesn't mean that your wedding is anymore joyous, or your marriage anymore lasting and then the girl you doesn't have that kind of money.
Female Speaker: Weinstock herself got married more than 50 years ago she didn't even have a wedding cake.
Sylvia Weinstock: Can you imagine that no wedding cake so may be that's a -- thing that we now do wedding cakes. Decorating the cake does not take long because all these flowers are made in advance.
Female Speaker: After more than 20 years in the business Weinstock says there is nothing else she would rather be doing.
Sylvia Weinstock: I think the clients are fabulous I meet such interesting people I think the sense of creativity is very pleasing when that cake is boxed and you look at it. I often hope that they will enjoy as much we did making it. And then you want me to make a flower for you, an half piece of sugar dough here I am going to take little piece off, little bit of Crisco which is a lubricant and I am shaping into a tier and I pinch off a side of this as you can see, its still tier shape and then I wrap it. That's the beginning of a rose. I can use it just like this is, its a bud then what we do is a little bit more of Crisco or shortening, vegetable shortening on the table we have a plastic roller and we will now roll it thinly and I will use this cutter which is faster for me and I will then cut out a couple of petals. Now these petals I will put in the palm of my hand and I will press them out filling the edge and pressing them in so that I get a veining and I can stretch it and make it larger and then I take this and wrap it around the edge of the rose out of the bud pressing it into the bud and I can shape it may be I give it another petal and I will do two or three of these petals at a time. You cannot complete a large garden rose in one day what you put on two or three petals and wait until they dry before you add the rest. So that you -- a rose can take you a full five days to do so what we will do is make 100 of one shape and each day add to it so that perhaps at the end of the week we have 100 very large extra roses.
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