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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Groom's Cake....Made By A Man - For A Man

I know I've mentioned this before but.....NOBODY gets invited to as many birthday parties, weddings, baptism's or anniversaries as a baker.

When the baker gets his / her invite its almost always in person, reason being......the person issuing this audible invitation will most likely hop scotch an awkward silence and them throw the following question into the ring......

"So how much do you think it would cost me to get a cake for this event?"

When deep down, what they're actually trying to say is something more like.......

"Hey Brah, won't you do a solid and comp mas familia something for the sweet tooth?"

Often times a baker realizes this is their plight in life and if they don't want Karma Angels to drop Hate Bombs in their direction, maybe it would be best for all, if said baker learned how to work cakes expenses into their weekly tithe.

Wedding cakes are a little different.

Wedding cakes have higher ingredient cost.

Wedding cakes require more labor hours.

Wedding cakes need to be transported to their destination in the same fashion that Pa Ingall's delivered nitroglycerin with his buck board.

Wedding cakes are often times attached to 2 items that freak me out.....brides, and their mothers.

You've never been scrutinized until you set up a wedding cake.

No Lie - Popeye......I would rather move a piano.

In the few instances where I have been part of a "Cake Set Up" I've been chastized for talking to a little boy who was bored out of his mind. The pip squeak was forced to stay bundled up in his tux even though the wedding had been over for a couple of hours.

While the kid sat coloring tanks or helicopters I asked him what army the vehicles belonged to and his grandmother screamed at me in front of all the guests.....

"Hired help shall not interact with the wedding party!"

Geesh....she told me.

Then there was the time when I delivered a wedding cake into the church of our bakeries receptionist. Her father was (and is) the Office Manager of where I work to this day.

The deal was though, that my Office Manager is divorced, and his first wife didn't know who I was, but as I carried the cake towards the church kitchen, she took one look at me, assumed I was a hood, and sought out help because she thought I was STEALING her daughters wedding cake.

Sigh.

The one cake I actually do like to make however is a GROOM'S CAKE.

Not everybody is familiar with them, but if my trend reports are accurate....they should be main stream pretty soon.

Grooms Cakes are not just an "American Thing". but more specifically a "Southern" thing.

I think I've Blogged in the past how I spent quite a few of my summers in Dallas Texas during my youth.

My Uncle was a man of means, and I think...knowing that I didn't have a father, he took it upon himself to become a strong male presence in my life.

He taught me concepts like "Competition" and phrases like "Attack-Attack-Attack" and "Time Kills Deals."

As I've traveled in my adult life, I've noticed that many peoples perception of "Today's South" is less than flattering, but I disagree. I love the south and feel quite at home there.

But anyway, Grooms Cakes started down there.

Legend dictates that southern men felt it was emasculating to be seen in the presence of white-fluffy-floral delicacies.

So in turn, these gentlemen put together a "Guy's Cake".

Tradtionally, the requirements of what makes up an authentic grooms cake is simple.

It needs to be brown -

It needs to have booze -

Simple enough huh?

I have a recipe that I have been making for family members, and people who reside on the inner circle of KleckoNation and it's primary ingredients are.......

Black Strap Molasses

Cayenne Pepper

Black Pepper

Walnuts

Butter Milk

Jack Daniels Whiskey

This is it. This is what a guys guy wants.

It's funny because I've talked to my women friends who know more (much more) about conventional cake baking, and every-single-one of them are so intrigued by the Groom's Cake concept, and it's so cute....LOL

Hennessy thinks it should be rum-mango-jalepeno, and Ode swears to the Almighty that there should be some precious little fruit chunks...perhaps apricot.

LOL-LOL, I love girls....they crack me up.

I shouldn't lovingly pick on my friends though, I've done a lot of internet research on this topic and some very large concepts are getting it wrong too.

Recently I went on the web site of one of the highest end grocery store / bakeries in my state and they were offering up all kinds of "Foppish" flavor combonations.

I think the most masculine one I could find was Chocolate-Cherry...EWWWWW.

Another mistake that is common, is that many commercial bakers will offer a version that is akin to your typical Charles Dickens Fruit Cake.

This couldn't be farther from what originated from the south.

In their eyes, maybe the only thing worse than making a "Yankee Cake" might be to serve a "Brit Cake"

When Klecko makes a Groom's Cake, it simply isn't open to negotiation.

It is what it is, and that's that.

"But Klecko, my husband is allergic to walnuts and can't have them." or "My fiancee is in a 12 step program so the Jack Daniels isn't going to work."

I really don't want to offend, but that's when I send them to my competitors because.....

Grooms Cake is the one time when Klecko will freely admit that unlike the Christ....I can't be all things to all men. In fact...that's kinda the point. I have in my mind developed the Mona Lisa of all Groom Cake recipes.

What if Da Vinci had been constanly interupted by his admirers with......

"Can you please paint Madame Lisa with a scowl, or devil horns?"

Uncool huh?

women, if you really love your man, than let a man bake that sacred cake the way it was intended to be developed!

According to Groom's Cake lore, when the cake is picked up (90% of the time a woman from the wedding party will get it)after the groom eats a slice, the remainder is to be parceled of in small pieces (perhaps placed in plastic clamshell or wax envelopes) and sent home with unmarried female wedding guests.

When the women gets home, she is supposed to place the cake under her pillow and some kind of Love Fairy or Sprite Trickster is supposed to plug her into the man of her dreams.

I've never been all that fond on forcing men on women...whose kidding who?

The fairer species is better off without us huh?

But all kidding aside, I like to have one area, one arena of baking that can't be jerked with, or negotiated over.

When Klecko puts together a Grooms Cake recipe, I simply wonder what James Garner or Steve McQueen would want.

It's that simple.....

Then I go and bake it. Most of the orders come in the spring and summer months, so often times I like to put the Twins game on while the cake is in the oven....call me goofy, but I think if that grooms cake can be attached to a baseball game, i'm just putting an additional jewel in the grooms crown.

When the cake is baked and cooled off, I simply wrap it in butchers paper, tape it shut, and scribble the following with a permanent marker........

GROOM'S CAKE

MADE FOR A MAN

BY A MAN

Who knows, for some guys.......this cake may be the only masculine influence that will participate in their wedding.

Spring is just around the corner kids......lets get those cakes ordered today!



9 comments:

  1. intriguing indeed, must bake this!

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  2. BREADLAB,
    Do they have anything like this in Holland?

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  3. The Internet ate my comment, so will try again! We had grooms' cake at our wedding, courtesy of my aunt who no doubt was influenced by her mother, my grandma, who grew up in the South - in Texas to be exact. No booze, as I remember, but that's a good idea. Brown cake, for sure, and I believe there were raisins. But go figure - it was baked by a girl!
    Question: when your grooms cake is served, is it part of the reception food, or given as a take home gift? Seems to me there is lore about single women sleeping with grooms cake under their pillows for a vision of the future...........

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    1. I hate when Blogger eats Kim Ode's comments. There is nothing wrong with adding raisins to a Grooms Cake BTW.....as long as they are "Golden" (Klecko grins impishly). One peeps get the grooms cake out of my shop it's up to them, I'll provide them with send home containers, but I've always been a fan of NOT saving cake.

      If you are at an event, and celebrating.....just eat it there and move on with life!

      I'm just answering this way....because YOU asked my opinion!

      Congrats on having a cool auntie, and grandma-ma

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  4. I grew up in Louisiana and we often had red velvet cake as the grooms cake before it was trendy. As a caterer in Dallas years ago I once saw a cake shaped like an armadillo, always chocolate.

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    1. I remember my uncle used to golf at Prestin Trails Country Club in Dallas, a lot of the Old Timers would slam cocktails and chase down armadillo's in their golf carts. Red Velvet.....you are so very right Coco, the south was onto Red Velvet way before the rest of the country.

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  5. The grooms cake is eaten, not taken home, at weddings here in the south - Atlanta to be precise. It frequently is better than the wedding cake because it has some real flavor. Most wedding cakes that I have had taste like sugar and nothing else!

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    1. Mary Berg.....I couldnt agree with you more. Atlanta huh? Another gem of the South, I've been there several times in the spring, and I gotta tell you, it's hotter than July in Minnesota!

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