Life is too short to do something that bores you, so when I read about Cristina and her love of baking I knew we were on to a good thing! Her passion is creating beautiful sweet treats, and her wedding cakes shine with that desire to create something unique and altogether delicious!
A Little Bit Fancee is her business, and Cristina’s creations include wedding cakes, cakes for special occasions and sweet treats for the dessert table. All created with fun, passion and a flair for great design and delivering a unique and perfect cake that’s just as you imagined it to be. And how could you not love a cake drizzled with caramel and topped with macarons – yum!
Let’s dive into the world of sweet treats with Cristina!
What or who influenced you to start on your wedding cake making/design journey?
I have always loved everything about cooking, baking and food. I love to discover new flavours in savoury and sweet. My dad was a huge influence in my cooking. He was never trained or schooled in cooking or baking. I just saw his passion in making and creating and trying everything new. His love for making sweets and pastries started my passion and stirred my sweet tooth!
What is it about ‘sugar art’ that you are passionate about?
Creating something out of sugar is so extremely satisfying. The fact that I can make a flower out of sugar (fondant) or a little figurine makes me smile. But what I truly love is seeing the brides and groom’s response or a mum or dad’s face light up when they present the cake to the birthday boy/girl. Knowing that I was able to help just a tiny bit to make the day more special is what makes my passion really come to light.
Do you have a ‘design style’ you are known for?
I like to create unique, modern and contemporary designs. I always prefer not to recreate another’s design but to understand what the couple’s wedding theme is, personality and tastes are, and combine all these into the design of their wedding cake. It’s a special day and they should have a special and unique cake.
Please give us some tips on choosing the right wedding cake designer for you?
Firstly finding the right cake designer – ask to see previous work, read reviews from past customers and ask questions. Visit their website and review all the information available. Contact them and ask to meet or have a tasting. Ask how the process works. It should never be complicated – A Little Bit Fancee always make it easy – it’s cake! It shouldn’t be hard!
How do you translate the bridal couple’s wishes into a design?
Initially, a computerised image is sent to the couple. This shows the sizing of the cake. After speaking with a couple and once they decide to book in, seeing invitations, colour schemes and sometimes even wedding dresses, I create 3-4 hand drawn sketches incorporating all these things. I also take into account the style of wedding (formal, garden, sit down dinner). The couple then choose a design, or can mix and match a little – say, top tier of design 1 and bottom tier of design 3. We keep working together and the couple are 100% happy.
Do you hand make everything – the cake mixture, frosting, decorations, fondant etc? What are the advantages of doing this?
All my cakes are made from scratch. I prefer to use my trusted recipes and all made with the highest quality chocolate and freshest ingredients. This is also an advantage to the couples as if they would like to keep the top tier, it can also be frozen.
How many hours go into creating the wedding cake? How much time/notice do you need to make a cake for a wedding?
Generally depending on the complexity and design, my process for making a wedding cake takes 5-6 days. Hand made flowers need to be made 2 weeks prior to the wedding date. I always ask for as much notice as possible but due to a busy schedule, we require at least 2 weeks notice on most orders, and 4 or more on large orders (such as wedding cakes or high quantity macaron/cupcake orders).
Do you cater for dietary requirements?
We can offer gluten-free cakes (flavour available: chocolate and vanilla).
What flavours are popular right now?
It’s all about fresh berries right now! My most popular would have to be white mud raspberry swirl with incorporates couverture white chocolate with a fresh raspberry coulis and whole fresh raspberries swirled right through. And also no one can ever go past dark chocolate mud. Everyone loves chocolate!
How can couples arrange for a cake tasting with you?
4 times a year I have a dedicated Cake Tasting Day. The next is on 1 October. Couple get to try 4 cake flavours and matching ganache and buttercreams. I work a little differently to other cake tastings. I like to not fill the cakes and let the couples mix and match buttercream and ganache flavours. This way not only is the design unique to the couple, but the flavour too!
What is a Cake Mail Box?
If you can’t make the Cake Tasting Day, I offer a Cake Mail Box during the same week. It consists of 4 cake flavours and matching ganache/buttercreams for the couple to try. It also includes a special macaron treat! It is express posted out on a Monday to ensure it arrives as quickly and fresh as possible.
In terms of decoration, where is wedding cake design going for 2017?
Naked cakes and buttercream cakes. Incorporating fresh flowers (perhaps the same as your bouquets!) to decorate. Also introducing metallics into these designs (bronze, gold, copper). Adding personal touches such as a custom made acrylic or wooden topper which reads something that the couple always love saying to each other is very cute too.
How do keep your designs fresh?
I’m a Pinterest addict! I love looking at couture fashion and trends. The detailing and textures used is amazing. They are a huge influence in my work and love the challenge of creating it into sugar art.
I see you have Macaron classes. Would these be a great hens party activity?
Absolutely! My macaron classes are a hands on fun way to spend an afternoon and learn how to make these gorgeous french delicacies. This class is suitable for students with no or limited experience and more experienced cooks wanting to expand their recipe collection and learn more advanced techniques. Macarons (often mispronounced macaroon) are renowned as being a difficult product to perfect, but you will be amazed at how simple they can be. Everything is provided, right down to the aprons, and after the class is done, you have access to my Facebook group where you can show off your beautiful macarons or ask questions.
Are you able to put together a dessert table? What is included?
Yes! As well as making cakes and macarons, I also create sugar cookies, cupcakes and mini cupcakes. As well as fondant, sugar cookies can be decorated with royal icing and also made as stacked cookies. The possibilities are endless.
Do you hire items to help create the display for dessert tables?
I have a large range of cake stands, macaron stands and cupcake stands available for hire.
Are you able to provide any sweet treats as bonbonniere for the wedding guests?
Macarons are very popular at the moment. They can be made and then packaged up in either boxes or beautiful clear bag with matching ribbon. Cookies with matching colours to either the cake or even the wedding colour scheme can also be made.
If you could entertain anyone, who would you choose and what food would you like to make for them?
Oh this is a tough one! I would be too nervous to actually entertain anyone who was in the food industry! I’d feel like I was on MasterChef or any of those competition shows!! I think I would choose all my girlfriends who are mums, give them the night off! I’d make a 3 course dinner – beautiful antipasto platter for entrée, a roast lamb for main with gorgeous organic veggies and dessert would have to include something with chocolate, salted caramel and cheesecake…..white chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel sauce drizzle and fresh berries! And wine! Lots of wine! .
What other interests do you have, that you love to do in your spare time?
As well as spending time with my family and catching up with friends for dinner, I love to head out to vintage and antique shops. The Vintage Shed would be my favourite place! I love looking at retro, vintage items and I also love getting my hands dirty. I also create wooden cake stands. It’s a nice change to get out of the kitchen and get into the machines! Sanding and smoothing a slice of wood to create a gorgeous piece is so rewarding.
Thank you Cristina for sharing your story. There’s nothing quite like a perfect cake to add the finishing touch to your wedding meal. To find out more about A Little Bit Fancee visit the website.
*Original Interview from Polka Dot Bride