There are many traditions that surround wedding. One of them concerns wedding cake, well, the top tier, to be more precise. It says, that the top tier of wedding cake should be eaten on the first wedding anniversary. But why do couples do it and how actually can you preserve the top tier of your wedding cake?
The tradition to make wedding cakes goes back to the Roman Empire. The first special cakes were baked exactly there. But the tradition to preserve the top tier actually started in the 19th century in England. It was believed, that the couple doing so would be lucky throughout the marriage. However, at that time the top tier was saved to be served on the baptism of couple's first child. And since the child was born almost immediately after marriage, preserving a cake, that was a heavily brandy soaked fruit affair, was no big deal.
Today the tradition is slightly changed: couples eat the top tier of the wedding cake on their first wedding anniversary or on the day when their first child is christened, whatever comes first. At the same time modern cakes are backed of other, more delicious but harder preserved ingredients, that's why keeping them at room temperature is impossible. Bakeries share the best way how to preserve the top tier of the wedding cake and never lose its genuine taste and flavor.
The bride should choose a person who will be totally responsible for the top tier, since she won't have time for that. The top tier should be carefully removed and transported to house. Then the cake is put into a box and frozen for two hours. It will make the icing harden.
When the decoration is frozen, it's time to wrap the cake into plastic wrap or wax paper. The cake needs enough of protection, otherwise it will taste the freezer. Then the cake is put back into the storage box or a container and again wrapped a couple of times by plastic wrap. Now the cake can be stored in freezer all the time.
Never wrap the cake in aluminum foil, it can cause your freezer burn. And there's nothing worse than the cake tasting your burnt freezer.
There are some advice on the storage of the cake. It's better not to keep the cake in a frost-free freezer. Constant defrosting will draw the moisture out of the cake and after defrosting it will taste terrible. And if you're planning to move within a year, keep the cake at your parent's house, where it will never be defrosted till the anniversary day.
Now how should you defrost the cake? Take it out of freezer 24 hours before the anniversary day and remove all the wrap. Let it defrost in fridge. Two or three hours before the event, take the cake out of fridge and let it stand at room temperature. The cake will taste like at the wedding day.
Although freezing the cake sounds like a good idea, sometimes even cold temperatures won't help you preserve the treat till your wedding anniversary. Remember, that the more delicate ingredients of your cake, the drier it will become after freezing. White cake, fresh fruit cake and cakes with whipped cream fillings are not suitable for freezing, because they don't have a long shelf life. Chocolate, hazelnut, carrot and almond cake are well preserved by freezing. If you're not sure about the shelf life of your wedding cake, consult the bakery that provided you with the cake.
Although freezing the top tier of the cake sounds like a good idea, many couples don't do it at all. They order a small cake with the same flavor for their first anniversary. This way you can remember how your wedding cake tasted and there's no need to worry about the preservation of the top tier.
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