Finding connections and building on them is what inspires my design process and informs why I select specific flavors for one couple and something completely different for another couple...

                                           photo by davidandtammy.com

                                           photo by davidandtammy.com

Once upon a time… there was a bride with a beautiful dress. Layers of lace were caught up at the low back with a broad loopy bow. The bride’s bouquet was red roses wrapped with ivory satin. Red, the color of love and passion, became the provocative inspiration for the inside and the outside of her cake.

Red roses and their delicate aroma instantly connected me to my Italian friend’s organic rose syrup and preserves. I was inspired to marry the essentials: butter, sugar, flour and eggs with the roses. Roses are traditionally Middle Eastern finding their way into Italy via Venice.

                                    photo by davidandtammy.com

                                    photo by davidandtammy.com

Cutting into the cake I wanted the couple to see the rose red stripe of the preserves contrasted against the ivory cake and buttercream. The rose perfume of the syrup set the moment for the slice of cake to swirl into their tastebuds and explode in their mouth. The end result was a sensory experience of sight, smell, texture and taste.

My Italian friend Isabella creates her rose preserves from her own heirloom roses, handed down from her grandmother. Isabella harvests them in one day, layers them in copper pots with spring water for 24 hours, and then cooks them down using organic cane sugar transforming the mix into a rich ruby syrup and preserve.

                                                                            Isabella's syrups in Italy. Taken during one of the food and wine tours I lead there every year for the last 5 years.

                                                                            Isabella's syrups in Italy. Taken during one of the food and wine tours I lead there every year for the last 5 years.

Isabella’s syrup and preserves are so much a part of her- lovely and delicate. I wanted those qualities reflected in this specific cake. I was so excited the day her email arrived confirming my order for cases of syrup and preserves. My vision was becoming a reality: aroma, flavor and vision converged, making the couple’s first bite of cake extraordinary.

“If you buy the best ingredients you have to help them become the best ( dish)…” – Massimo Bottura , Executive chef  at Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy –The World’s  No. 2 restaurant for 2015

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