Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tasting and Choosing

Mr. O and I recently wrapped up a whirlwind forty-eight hours of wedding recon in Pittsburgh, and other than my decidedly unsuccessful hair "trial," it was actually a really productive trip! Most exciting (to me)? After eating approximately ten slices of cake apiece in two days, lapsing into several brief sugar comas, and having one really rockin' cake-and-coffee-fueled Bon Jovi car jam session, we picked our bakery!

I obsessively scoured the Internet for highly-rated wedding cake vendors, and narrowed our choices down to three: Pastries a la Carte, Autumn's Cakes, and Signature Desserts.

Gotta put your game face on before cake tastings.

At Pastries a la Carte, we sampled two flavors: vanilla-almond cake with raspberry filling, and dark chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling.

The cakes were pretty and the bakers really friendly, but we both felt pretty "meh" about the actual consistency and flavor of the cakes, and crossed it off the short list.

Autumn's Cakes is pretty far out of the city--almost a forty-five minute drive, in fact--and we thought we were headed to an actual pastry shop for our meeting. Turns out she runs her business out of her home, which is in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere, which led to us creepily hesitating in her driveway for, like, ten minutes, convinced our GPS had led us astray. It hadn't, though, and we tasted yellow cake with chocolate buttercream filling and red velvet cake with cream cheese filling.

OOOOOMMMMMGGGGGG. This cake was unreal. I seriously would have behaved like a wild animal and licked the plate clean if I were alone in a room with it. Autumn also told us that in addition to straight-up wedding cakes, she could also do tiers of cupcakes, cake buffets, or various combinations of all three, all in different flavor/filling combinations. Veeeeery tempting.

Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the actual cakes here. I blame the sugar coma.

Finally, at Signature Desserts, we sampled vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream/chocolate chip filling and vanilla cake with a filling of fresh strawberries & Bavarian cream. Their cakes were really good, although definitely not as scrumptious as Autumn's. However, they offered an extravagant dessert buffet option that really appealed to my dessert-fiend self. For about the same price as a standard-size wedding cake, we could get a smaller wedding cake, eight dozen (!!!) cookies, and six other desserts of our choosing, including cheesecakes, pies, and tarts.

So ultimately, the decision came down to this: outrageously tasty or impressive variety?

It wasn't much of a contest. We polled some of our friends and family, and their opinions all coincided with our gut instinct: go with deliciousness. So Autumn's Cakes it is! I cannot wait to devour another slice of that yellow cake/chocolate frosting combo at the wedding.

Oh, and the price is over a hundred dollars less than I'd budgeted for. I'm so excited I may need to do another air guitar solo to Livin' on a Prayer.

What mattered most to you when you chose your bakery?

1 comment: