The wedding cake, along with the bride’s dress, is one of the day’s big reveals. With designs ranging from the classically elegant to those with unconventional shapes and bold colours, the cake is often the pièce de resistance of the meal that guests look forward to seeing.
Chef, cake artist, and managing director of A Simple Bite, Rafael Marshall shared with LoopTT how he got into the business and why wedding cakes have become his sweet spot.
Marshall said that he learnt to make his first cake from one of his friends’ mums as a teenager and that inspiration, along with watching his own mother in the kitchen at home, sparked in him a deep passion for using culinary arts as a way to communicate joy and personal creativity.
After leaving TTHTI, Marshall already had stints at restaurants under his belt and decided to strike out on his own, founding A Simple Bite in 2017. His intention was to focus on bespoke cakes for clients with exquisite taste and a strong sense of what they want to allow his flair for intricate design and using rich flavour combinations to take flight.
Marshall said that the decision to move away from the traditional all-white wedding cake has become quite the trend, with clients being “more open to exploring colour”, bolder hues, in particular.
In keeping with the growing minimalist movement, some clients opt for micro-weddings; thus, micro-cakes have risen in popularity, maintaining all the ornate design that a wedding cake should have, simply downscaled.
The use of pressed flowers–fresh edible flowers compressed to lie against the icing coating–is another unique and interesting trend that makes for simple yet beautiful design.
Textured cakes, the designs for which use fondant, wafer paper or innovative uses of icing to create a three-dimensional or stylish uneven effect, are also in demand at weddings these days.
Earth tones or pastel colours are among the most prominent of contemporary colour palettes, with marble design cakes becoming more popular due to their elegant finish.
Marshall added that while the aesthetics of the cake in regard to dazzling guests with designs and corresponding to unique decor and theme choices is important, as a baker, taste and texture–elements that can’t be posted on Instagram or Pinterest for likes or “inspo”– are of greater importance.
“Even before I got into cake decorating, flavour has always been very important to me,” Marshall said, explaining that hours upon hours spent experimenting with ingredients to achieve a taste that is characteristic of A Simple Bite cakes is the thing that has allowed him to build a satisfied clientele over the years.
“You have to factor in that these cakes are going to be on display for a long period of time,” he said, reminding that oftentimes, wedding cakes spend a lot of time being transported from one destination to the other. “You have to make sure that this cake, wherever it is served, is still going to match the quality that you’d [usually] like to give your clients.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s native flavours also come into play in some of Marshall’s decisions when creating his range of flavours for his cakes: he’s done sorrel cakes before and has used mango and soursop, among other local fruits as the flavour base in for the icing or the cakes themselves.
“Our culture…our love for life–it [surely] does translate through our food and…our cakes,” he said.
Marshall said that as a baker and cake artist, he sees his involvement in the wedding planning and the day itself as a “huge responsibility” to the couple and their guests, as a part of the team that makes sure the day is a success.
“[A wedding] is such a special memory that starts [the couple’s] life together and I feel very honoured to play such a big role in [the day] and the great years to come,” he said.
Follow A Simple Bite on Instagram and Facebook for more samples of Marshall’s extraordinary work; contact the company via 868-325-4051 for bookings.