Ah, Paris — the City of Lights, the most romantic city in the world, home to world class fashion and cuisine. I happen to have a friend living there now, working as a pastry instructor for Cook’n with Class and hosting dinners for the Paris Eating Club. Previously, she has worked as a pastry chef at the Ojai Valley Inn and appeared on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” (If you ever watched Cupcake Wars and marveled at the super tall Asian girl, that was her.) I follow her on her Facebook fan page, Ivy Eats, where she frequently posts scrumptious-looking photos of the pastries she and students are creating.
It was her frequent postings that made me ask if she had done any wedding cakes since moving to France. Dumb question!
Chef Ivy says that Parisian wedding cakes are traditionally a croquembouche — defined by Wikipedia as type of pastry served as a piled high cone of chocolate, cream-filled profiteroles that can be decorated with sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers or ribbons, and sometimes macarons or ganache. Most Parisian wedding cakes deviate from the traditional American three-tiered variety.
The first two cakes pictured are four tiers and actually quite simple compared to the wedding cakes that have become all the rage lately, thanks to shows like Cake Boss and Ace Of Cakes. I love the first one, actually — its so simple and classy, with its icing mimicking wood grain cake topper of green hydrangeas. The second cake is sea themed, but using different shades of brown — very different.
The next three cakes look more like American-style wedding cakes.
The above cake, Ivy says, was actually made with a French pastry chef friend — who also happened to be the bride. The cake was actually a carrot cake with mascarpone and pineapple filling with fondant made from marshmallows.