Love Their Way | Introducing Charlie and Cake

3rd October 2012

Good Morning Gorgeous Lovers Downunder, we have such a treat for you today, I am pleased to introduce Amy from Charlie and Cake, a Wellington based creative cake company with a….wait for it…Online store!! “Charlie & Cake’s goods are a fusion of French patisserie and American bakery. Tarts are made with pâte sucrée, using the traditional pastry method of creaming the butter by hand. Layer cakes and cupcakes are made with premium Dutch cocoa and chocolate couverture, and biscuits are cut by hand – no big machinery in sight. Charlie & Cake is guided by the seasons in terms of the fruit used in its goods – fresh berries in summer, feijoas as the leaves begin to drop, and rhubarb throughout the chilly winter months. Fruit is straight from the tree, rather than straight from the tin. However, we do ensure the classic flavors, such as vanilla bean and lemon curd are on the menu all year round. There are no preservatives or nasties added to anything on Charlie & Cake’s menu, and everything is baked fresh using handpicked local ingredients. Never one to compromise on quality, Charlie & Cake only use Belgian chocolate with a minimum of 60% cocoa solids, premium vanilla beans, free range eggs, and the richest of butter to ensure flavor and taste that linger long after the last crumb.”

“ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL NAMED CHARLIE WHO LOVED CAKE, CRUMBS AND ALL. CHARLIE AND CAKE, TARTS, MADELEINES, AND ALL THINGS SUGARY WENT HAND IN HAND, AND SHE WOULD WHILE THE HOURS AWAY IN HER TEACUP DREAMING OF ALL HER FAVOURITE FLAVORS.”

WHO? Aimee Gillett from Charlie & Cake Limited (currently designing her own wedding cake for February!)

WHAT? Big cakes for the memorable occasions (wedding cakes, 1st Birthdays, Christenings…) right through to little tea cakes, fruit tarts, & friands for high tea in the comfort of your own home.

WHERE? Based in Wellington and service Wellington city. My wedding cakes have been at weddings from the Auckland all the way south to Wanaka (thank you Air NZ!), and we also created one of Cuisine’s 25th Birthday cakes featured in the magazine earlier in the year which was a very fun project!

WHEN SHOULD COUPLES START THINKING ABOUT THEIR CAKE? If you’re not always thinking about cake like me, then 6 months out for from your wedding is always a good time to start. I also recommend booking in your wedding date with a cake designer in advance as some of the boutique cake designers (like myself) book out over the summer wedding season (at times I wish there was 3 of me!).

WHAT CAKE STYLES ARE POPULAR AT THE MOMENT? Very very elegant cakes with a minimalistic style – the adage less is more runs true here for some brides! In terms of colours, there are always the neutral/pastel palettes being used, and then every now & again you will get a very vivid colored cake – I had a Queenstown wedding cake a few weeks ago and the cake had bright tangerine colored stripes & flowers! A lot of brides are also going back to traditional wedding cake roots and requesting hand piped decorations on the cake – very beautiful and soft, and so so feminine.

WHAT FLAVORS ARE COUPLES ASKING FOR? My clients always ask for my Belgian dark chocolate cake, and sometimes with an accent of berry flavor too. And there is more often than not the request for a top tier of fruit for the couple’s first christening down the track (or to keep the Mother of the bride happy!).

ANYTHING UNUSUAL YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO CREATE? A mongoose cake & a badger themed cake? Not really my speciality.

CANY BUFFETS AND SWEETS TABLES ARE POPULAR RIGHT NOW? ARE YOU FINDING COUPLES ARE OPTING FOR BOTH? Yes very definitely – from the wedding’s I’ve been to recently and what my clients have been doing is having the cake on display in the marquee/venue as a focal point during the reception, and as the band kicks into gear a sweet table often appears with an array of cake stands with all sorts of sins like mini lemon meringue tarts, macarons etc – it looks so pretty!!

ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT CAKES? Google google google…and pile up the wedding magazines on the coffee table, and spend a good few hours researching what styles & flavors may take your fancy. Whether it be a simplistic elegant cake, or a loud and bright fun wedding cake to represent your personalities, there are so many different options, and that’s the beauty of wedding cakes is that they can be tailor made to suit you and your fiancé . One thing to remember is that even if you’re a couple that don’t have big sweet tooths, there will always be plenty of guests that do – so don’t skip the sweet stuff!

ARE THERE ANY UNEXPECTED COSTS COUPLES SHOULD KEEP IN MIND? Hhhmm, not really – as long as you let your cake designer know exactly what you are after & what your budget is she will then be able to build a quote you are happy with before the creativity begins! Bear in mind as well though that generally speaking the more handmade decorations there are on a cake the more expensive it is going to be! A lot of my budget savvy brides ask me to create a ‘blank canvas’ (simple tiered cake) for them so that can decorate with fresh flowers/cake toppers etc, and they always look stunning!

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? I was inspired to become a cake designer whilst living in Europe for years – the cake shops & patisseries in London & Paris blew me away, and I couldn’t think of anything better to do with my time so I enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu during my time in London & still like to keep an eye on everything going on over there! When I’m not in my cake kitchen I love to travel which always exposes you to new ideas/trends/colours and then those ideas can be translated on to a cake canvas – easier said than done sometimes!

ANYTHING YOU WISH YOU’D SEE MORE OF? In NZ…boutique cake shops with a striped awning out the front and a window displays full of cake stands with an assortment of pastries, cakes, petit fours in a rainbow of colours!

TOP TIP?  Eat cake & be merry.

Aimee Gillett – Charlie & Cake 

Here are some gorgeous cake idea’s for you thanks to Style me pretty. Be Inspired.

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