Maid of Gingerbread Alternative Wedding Cakes – Q&A with Emily
Maid of Gingerbread Alternative Wedding Cakes
I have a really sweet tooth and all sugar treats at weddings make me happy and keep me going on the dancefloor! I was recently fortunate enough to sample Maid of Gingerbread Alternative Wedding Cakes / Centrepieces (not quite a cake but makes a perfect replacement for the traditional sponge!) and interview her about her amazing and unique gingerbread centrepieces. Check out what she has to say here.
How did you get started?
I’ve always baked for fun, for friends and family, but I got started with building things out of gingerbread when I rediscovered my mum’s gingerbread house templates and started experimenting with building lots of different things. Then I decided to give it a go professionally and have been building weird and wonderful gingerbread things ever since.
Where are you based?
In Hackney, East London. I work in a newly converted studio-kitchen surrounded by lots of other creative studios. It’s such a great area, I really love it here.
Do you have a best selling styles of Gingerbread or are they all bespoke?
Everything I do is totally bespoke and I try not to repeat any designs. Even if people ask for a replica of a previous piece of work I make sure it’s still personalised to them so the finished thing is slightly different.
Do you have a cake that is unique to your brand?
Actually I haven’t yet found anyone else who does exactly what I do so I think that it’s all pretty unique, especially my modern techniques with construction and icing.
What is the most popular filling?
This isn’t really relevant as I rarely do cakes. So I’d have to say lots of pic ‘n’ mix sweets, as they’re the filling for my edible piñatas!
What’s your favourite sweet treat?
I guess I should say gingerbread (!) and it is amazing how much I still love it after all these years, but one of my favourite sweets treats is a slice of good Battenberg cake. Actually anything almondy or nutty – I’m a massive fan of frangipane and praline.
Can you describe your style and what inspires your designs?
My style is pretty modern and colourful, particularly in comparison to traditional Christmas gingerbread houses. I try to create totally new designs and love modern architecture so that’s definitely a big influence. I tend to get inspiration from all sorts of places, including surface design, street art, coal covers (like manhole covers, but smaller) and tile patterns.
Do you offer tasting sessions?
Yes, depending on the size of the project we can either have a tasting in person or I can send out samples by post.
What is your most frequently asked question when a potential client contacts you for a Gingerbread design?
One of the most frequent questions is “can we have a gingerbread house?” and the answer is of course yes, but if you can have literally anything you want made out of biscuit, why would you go for a traditional house design?! I spend a lot of time helping couples expand their imaginations until we come up with a design that truly represents them and their day.
On average how many days do you spend designing, baking, and decorating?
This varies hugely depending on the scale of the project (one building took over 2 months to design and make!), but usually a half to full day designing and making the templates, a day to bake and one to three days constructing and decorating. A highly decorative wedding centrepiece will be around a week’s work altogether.
Have you noticed any trends for 2018?
Excitingly, couples seem to be really embracing the idea of going totally non-traditional when it comes to their cake and I’ve had some really great conversations so far this year, including a gingerbread centrepiece incorporating lots of lighting and moving parts!
Do you ever help couples with positioning the cake in the venue and give lighting advice so it’s viewed a certain way?
Yes, I’ll get details about the set up either from the couple or speak directly with the venue to make sure it’s in the best position for those ‘cake cutting/gingerbread smashing’ photos.
How do you deliver your centrepiece’s to the venue?
Depending on the scale of the centrepiece I’ll either arrange for it to be delivered/collected or will travel with it and set up personally at the venue.
How does the design process work for bespoke creations?
It always starts with an in-depth chat with the couple to find out as much as I can about their style, likes and dislikes and plans for the wedding day. I then come up with a few different design options based on our discussion and send over an initial design proposal so they can have time to go through and chat about it. Once we’ve decided on a final design, I’ll create a 3D cardboard version in order to test the structure, tweak anything that needs changing, and then use that to make templates for all the biscuit components. Throughout the process the couple can be as involved or as hands-off as they’d like. I’m just as happy working with a really clear idea from the start as I am creating designs from scratch and I just love the process of bringing a couple’s dream centrepiece to life!
If you would like to find out more about Maid in Gingerbread Alternative Wedding Cakes and her amazing designs you can find her website here!
Photos were taken when we met at The Wedding Breakfast Club Brunchfest a retreat for wedding suppliers which was held at the start of the year.