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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
emelle's catering ltd. opened its doors to greet our first guests in may of 1999. with a new, cool, contemporary and polished look, we quickly became the neighborhood's favorite place to stop for breakfast and lunch. our first guests, now turned regulars, have become dependant on emelle's to set the precedent for remarkable service and delicious cuisine.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too Part II

Alternative Wedding Desserts and Treats
Last week we offered tips on ordering the wedding cake of your dreams, but in recent years many brides having been moving away from having the traditional wedding cake. If you like many other modern brides are looking for new dessert ideas to show off your unique personality and style, look no further. We have a few ideas:

These miniatures are quickly becoming the popular alternative to the traditional wedding cake. They can be easily plated in tiers to resemble a wedding cake, but are far easier to serve to your guests as they are already individually portioned. Cupcakes are less expensive and can allow for a variety of flavours and designs rather than an entire cake in one flavour. Kiss Wedding has some beautiful cupcakes to spark your imagination.

French Macarons
Like cupcakes, making entire cakes or towers out of yummy French Macarons is quickly becoming a popular trend among modern brides. They too can offer a great variety of flavours and fillings to please any crowd. As My Riviera Wedding points out they can also make fantastic party favours for your guests.
Ice Cream Sandwiches
These are a great idea for any summer wedding. Like cupcakes they can easily be made into individual portions in a variety of different cookie and ice cream flavours. Try having a sandwich bar where guests can build their own individual sandwiches with their favourite cookie and ice cream. Check out Chez Wedd for some cool ideas.
Ice Cream or Candy Shops
Set up a miniature goodie shop, grazing station or sundae bar with a variety of different treats. Ice cream or gelato with different sauces, candy toppings and whipped cream or a Willy Wonka themed candy shop are all fun ideas. The key to having one of these stations at your reception is to have a wide variety of desserts and treats so you can please the entire crowd. Style Me Pretty has great ideas to make your guests feel like kids in a candy store!

Nothing is quite as homey and welcoming as warm apple pie, we say. If you are having a casual and intimate wedding in a backyard or on a farm, serving a variety of tasty homemade pies is the way to go. Apple, blueberry, strawberry & rhubarb, lemon meringue, key lime, pecan and banana cream are all classic favourites that are simple, will please everyone and won’t break your budget. We love A Million Little Details idea of making individual pies and crisps in mason jars that can be easily served at the wedding reception or can be sent home with guests as party favours.
Think of chewy cinnamon buns, sweet baklava, creamy éclairs and crispy cannoli. Doing tiered display of these delectable pastries and several others will put a smile on any wedding guest’s face. If you are looking for a more awe-inspiring pastry display try croquembouche. Traditionally made with cream puffs, this gravity-defying French favourite is built using a paper cone, then coated with caramel or chocolate drizzle. Wedaholic has great ideas for incorporating different flavours into your croquembouche wedding cake and tips on how to serve it properly.
Pudding and Mousses
This is an area of dessert where you can really creative with serving and presentation. Rather than serving pudding or mousses in traditional bowls, try chilled wine glasses, champagne flutes, espresso cups, sake cups, chocolate shells or even edible chocolate spoons. And you can get just as creative with the fillings. Dark chocolate, white chocolate, mocha, lemon, lime or berry mousses are simple to make and even easier to eat. Classic desserts such as rice pudding, tiramisu and parfaits are other fun options for your guests. If you have an ample budget you could even try individual crème caramel, crème brulee or flan. The Daily Olive suggests individual shot glasses of each dessert, so everyone can try a bit of each.

Carnival Fare
This is a great option for the fun and playful couple. Try setting up individual stands serving cotton candy, caramel apples, mini donuts and churros. If you are looking to fancy things up but still keep the fun try frozen bananas dipped in different gourmet chocolates or deep-fried chocolate bars served with a variety of ports and cognacs. Popsicles and snow cones can easily be made adult by adding your favourite fruit liqueur, but are still as fun to eat as when you were a kid. Martha Stewart has a sweet and stylish carnival stand to inspire you.
For the coffee lover who is having a late fall or winter wedding, this warm and toasty dessert alternative is bound make any guest feel welcomed. Try hiring a professional barista who can whip up a variety of coffee infusions with fresh milks, creams, sugars, syrups and liqueurs. You could even expand upon coffee by serving specialty teas, hot chocolate or hot apple cider. Of course you will need some tasty treats for dipping, such as biscotti, sugar cookies, shortbread, madeleines or mini donuts. These yummy cookies along with monogrammed pouches of your favourite coffee beans would make great personalized party favours. Visit Weddingstar for simple and sweet coffee bar ideas.
When it comes to your own wedding reception you shouldn’t feel that you are limited to only having wedding cake as your dessert. You are only limited by your imagination.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

The cake is a major focal point at any wedding reception. In addition to the rest of the wedding, the cake is an opportunity for the couple to make a statement about their style and personality. It is a reflection of the couple and their combining tastes that should marry well with the décor, location and atmosphere of the reception.
So when it comes to ordering your own wedding cake keep these points in mind and you will be sure to order the perfect cake.
Style & Design
The first decision to make when ordering your wedding cake is to decide on the style and design of cake you want. Layered and tiered cakes are the most common styles available. For a less formal or traditional setting there are single tier, sheet cakes, cupcakes or uniquely shaped cakes such as octagons. Note that if you are having a larger reception, a square or round cake can typically serve a greater number or guests and can be cut and served quickly.
In terms of design, you should ask if your baker has a portfolio or book of the cakes they have done in the past. Pay close attention to the variety in design, creativity and workmanship. Also inquire if they can do a custom-made design based on your own style or ideas. Collaborate and brainstorm with your baker, as it will lead to a cake that best suits your personality and taste.
Flavours & Fillings
Once you have settled on the style and design of your cake, set a date with your baker or caterer for a taste testing. Generally, they can make samples of several different flavours of cake for you to sample. By doing a taste testing you can get an idea of the different flavours and textures of each kind of cake and icing, which will help you in making the final and best decision.
There is a large variety of flavour and filling options out there. Popular cake flavours include classic vanilla or chocolate, marble, lemon, carrot or spice cake, which can be nicely paired with fillings such as white or dark chocolate cream, coffee, lemon, strawberry, raspberry or coconut. In terms of icing, bakers traditionally use fondant, butter cream, cream cheese or white chocolate icing. If you have a favourite flavour of cake, don’t be afraid to ask your baker if they can make it.
If you are having a multi-tiered cake ask your baker or caterer if it is possible to make each tier a different flavour or filling.
When it comes to decorating your wedding cake there are endless options. Again, make sure to take a good look at your baker’s portfolio, this will give you a good indication of their imagination and creativity, but also the level of difficulty that they can handle in terms of decorations.
If you are choosing to decorate your cake with the same colours that are being used in your wedding, make sure to bring in fabric samples for your baker or caterer. This will make it easier for them to match colours and shades, but take note that darker colours are harder to achieve when it comes to recreating the right shade of dye and colouring the icing.
In the past few years, cakes that appear to be made of fabric have become a popular trend. Embroidered and lace appliques, eyelets, French silk, gilded fabrics, draping and damasking are all beautiful options for any wedding cake.

Flowers are always a simple and elegant way to decorate your wedding cake that can easily tie your cake into your wedding theme and décor. When choosing between fresh or confectionary flowers there are a few things to consider. Confectionary flowers which are traditionally made from gum paste are long-lasting, but can lead to a higher-priced cake. The choice of flower and how many will be adorning the cake can easily increase the time and labour involved in making cake, which will be reflected in the final cost. Also note that these flowers will need to be removed as the cake is being served, which could potentially be added to the cake cutting fee.

Fresh flowers are certainly a beautiful and less expensive option for decorating your cake, but choose wisely. If not placed in water certain flowers, such as roses, can wilt easily, so there is a risk of the flowers not looking as fresh during the cake cutting as when they were first arranged on the cake. Also be aware that some fresh flowers may have been treated with pesticides, which can be harmful if ingested. Discuss these different options with your baker or caterer in order to pick ones that will best suit your cake.
Serving Size
Depending on how many guests will be attending your wedding reception and if you plan on serving them wedding cake, will determine the size of cake you will need to order. Prior to meeting with your baker or caterer you should have a solid number of how many guests you will be serving. Your baker or caterer can aid you in determining the number of servings you will need.
When determining the cost of a wedding cake, there are several things to take into consideration. Most bakers will base their basic cake fee by number of servings, in addition to the points discussed above which will also affect the final cost of your cake. A simple wedding cake can start at approximately $1.50 a slice. A basic three tier wedding cake can start at about $5.00 per serving. You can expect more elaborate cakes with fondant icing, intricate detailing and decadent fillings to begin anywhere as high as $10.00 per serving. The number of tiers, shape and any custom designs will all affect the final price of your cake. The more complicated your cake is the higher the cost will be.
Reserving the Date & Deposits
When searching for a baker or caterer to make your cake, make sure you have the date of your wedding set, so you can check their availability. Depending on the complexity and design of the cake you want, you may have to book the baker as early as six months in advance. Once you have found a baker that you like and that is available on your date, phone and make an appointment with them so they may sit down and meet with you. Walk-ins are not recommended as it is very likely that the baker will busy and will not have sufficient time to sit down and discuss the cake with you.
Once you have settled on the final design of your cake, most bakers will require you to pay a deposit to ensure that the bakery will hold the date. Again, depending on how elaborate your cake is will depend on how large the deposit will be. Bakers will generally start deposit rates around $50.00 to $100.00.

Delivery & Set-up
Most bakers and caterers will include the delivery and set-up charge in the base price for any wedding cake if it is being delivered locally. If the reception location is out of town there may be an additional charge. If you have ordered a larger and complex cake, your baker may charge you extra as they may need to send additional staff to ensure that the cake arrives safely. Ask your baker how they will be charging you for delivery, some may charge a flat fee or by distance. Also note that some bakers may charge you a cutting fee for the cake which can be an additional $1.00 per guest.
The Contract
So now that you have finalized all the details with your baker it is time to sign the contract. Go over the it carefully. Make sure that it is as detailed as possible and includes the following points:
·         The size and shape of the cake
·         Number of tiers
·         Flavours and fillings
·         Decorations (type of flower, ornaments, etc.)
·         Cake toppers
·         Cake sketch (Some bakers may provide this if the cake is particularly complex in design)
·         The date, time and location of the wedding
·         Delivery and set-up time
·         Delivery and set-up details such as where the cake is be located and how it will be presented.
·         Cancellation policy
·         Guarantees
·         Damaged Cake policy and plan of action
·         Deposit Fee
·         Delivery and Set-up fees
·         Total price
·         Balance due date