Who can doubt that the most looked forward to event of any formal wedding is the cutting and eating of the wedding cake. However, Indians have taken the traditional Indian wedding cake presentation to the next level higher than most wedding planners have in Western culture.
Typically, Indians look not only to the traditional Indian wedding cake as a pastry delight of which to part-take, but part of the elaborate wedding decorations and a wedding's spectacular highlight. (1)
But first, let us examine what makes the traditional Indian wedding cake so very special.
The Traditional Indian Wedding Cake and Its Ingredients
Actually, there is no basic difference between the ingredients used in the West and the ones traditionally used by Indians.
However, many Indians delight in having a wedding cake made up of banana chocolate. Others prefer pineapple and assorted fruit including mango. Many Indians also prefer to go by whatever regional specialty is traditional such as from the Punjab region or Deli. However, typically, the most distinguishing characteristics of the traditional Indian wedding cake points to its very intricate design.
Having said that, the ingredients must then lend themselves to being finely sculptured by even finer tools and instruments without losing their firmness and desired palatable consistency. (2)
White chocolate and butter cream is a primary decorative ingredient. However, other decorations are sculpted with edible gold used as trimming.
Another primary ingredient is the use of marzipan or almond paste; used to form magnificent elephants, which are objects of worship for many Indians. In other wedding occasions, the national bird of Indian, which is the peacock, has its feathers painted with colored chocolate.
Wedding Themes and A Kaleidescope of Colors
At a time when some Western wedding cakes display the boorish, dull cartoon characters of The Simpsons or Spiderman, Indians are world-renown for their splendid themes. While not adhering to any one particular theme, the traditional Indian wedding cake will many times match a particular wedding theme, such as the magnificent TajMajal or Maharajah themes. Generally designed with a white-based frosting and edible gold leaves and trimming, TajMajal themes have also proved to be very popular with western wedding planners.
When Indian wedding cakes are not sculpted in white for a Maharajah theme, they excel in bright, bold and vibrant colors. Burnt orange and/or red color designs come to the forefront as primary colors. However, blue-colored cakes are also used as in the design of peacock or elephants contrasting blue and white frosting or trimming schemes.
Exotic, romantic, splendid and lingering are words which well describe the traditional Indian wedding cake. Beauty, bold colors, artistic splendor is its trademark to a rapidly growing popularity with Western brides.
Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez, May, 2012
Photos: courtesy of the below stated