Plaza Food Hall is bringing a new wedding cake concept to the island
Time Out Bahrain staff
With wedding season well and truly in swing, we met up with Paul Gardin, executive chef at the newly-opened Plaza Food Hall, who’s introduced a new wedding cake concept to the island.
If you’re British, when you think of a traditional wedding cake, your mind probably conjures up a three-tier confection of rich, dark fruitcake infused with enough French spirit to ensure it will last an eternity (or at least until the Christening of the couple’s first child), and stiff white icing so solid it could do serious damage if there was a food fight at the reception (trust us on this, we know).
In Bahrain, the preference until now has been for square layers of sponge cake conservatively decorated with sugar paste icing in pretty colours.
But that could be about to change if Paul Gardin gets his way. The Plaza has just introduced some very distinctive looking cakes, from the enormous to the intricate via a traditional French eight-layered wedding cake (which can go up to ten layers).
For weddings, you will find a stunning looking creation, half chocolate, half tumbling soft-paste icing, or a giant silver and white confection (colours optional) which sits on a three-tiered stand that renders it the size of a large child – just make sure it’s positioned well away from little fingers.
Paul said: “We wanted to be able to offer something no-one else has. We have brought the stands in from Italy and then we make the cakes here, specially to fit them. We’ve only been open seven weeks and already people are trusting us to make their wedding cakes, it’s a big responsibility and we wanted to give them the choice of something that’s totally unique for Bahrain.”
The silver and white beast in our picture takes around eight hours to make in total, though it’s done in stages, and uses ten kilos each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs plus cream and flavouring.
The base is so large that the sponges have to be cooked in a series baking trays, since there’s not an oven big enough to fit the whole thing, then cut to fit the stand.
Sponge and cream filling are then arranged maybe three or four layers deep before the whole thing is covered in cream, in Paul’s words ‘like plastering a wall to make sure it’s completely smooth’ and put in a giant fridge to set before the sugar paste icing is applied.
And as to colour and design, it seems the bride’s imagination (let’s face it, how many grooms get involved in this sort of thing, other than Brad Pitt allegedly) is the only limit – oh, and a couple of rules Paul tends to follow, for example you generally don’t use red or black on a wedding cake…black, seriously, do people really need to be told this?
But what if you want something different but don’t actually want a wedding cake that might just outshine the bride? Well, there are plenty of other options.
We were rather taken with the little pink number in our picture and, since we’re not planning nuptials any time soon, we might just have it as a slightly over the top birthday cake. Unlike its huge sisters on the stands, this is actually cake tier atop cake tier so it needs to be a fairly heavy style of cake, Paul tells us chocolate is the most popular and we’d be happy to have that at our party.
Or then there’s the cupcake tower, each cake can be individually decorated with either multi-coloured frosting to match wedding or party colours or tiny sugar figures such as the bride and groom or similar for a wedding.
All weddinged out, we headed for the door but on the way were happy to spot a Formula One-themed offering, a Ferrari racing car cake – wonder if they’ll hand it over if the Italians take podium at the big race?
The new style wedding cakes start at around BD425. Call (17 001 711).