Wedding Planning: Cake Tasting

I don’t talk a lot about things outside of running, but Sean & I have another very exciting event coming up at the end of July.  Our wedding!!!  We are super excited and when Sean had to come to San Francisco for a work conference, we felt like it was the perfect time to get in a little wedding planning as well.

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Let me preface this with a little back story.  When I lived in Orlando, I spent 6 years as a wedding planner, planning over 250 weddings.  It was a lot of fun, I worked with so many amazing couples and vendors.  There are times when I miss it, but it was also stressful and took up most of my weekends which can limit the long run/race schedule significantly.

But that being said, one of my favorite parts of course was when I had the opportunity to meet with a cake vendor and get to experience what my couples got to experience when they went to the shop to pick their cake.

Sean & I have picked a very us venue for our reception.  We went to The Plant Cafe at Pier 3 after he proposed for lunch and then again the next day.  When we decided that we were going to get married in San Francisco, I contacted them and they #1 had availability and #2 were surprisingly reasonably priced for where they are located.  They are an organic restaurant that uses 100% organic and local ingredients, including organic produce, free range organic poultry and sustainable seafood.  This is how we like to eat most of the time, although we do on occasion get off track ;).

The only thing I was a bit concerned with was the wedding cake.  I could get my cake from The Plant or I could get it from another cake vendor and pay a cake cutting fee.  Hum…well as long as it was a good cake, I figured that since it went towards our F&B minimum I wanted to go that route.

The Plant Cafe, Pier 3, San Francisco, Organic, Wedding, Wedding Planning

As you’ve probably seen, Sean & I both have a huge sweet tooth and we really love amazing desserts so we had high standards for our cake.  I spoke with my event manager and asked if we did the cake with them, if we could do a tasting.

I’ve been to a number of different cake tastings that are done in a lot of different ways.  Some of the bigger bakeries don’t really give you the option to pick flavors.  Some have it set up with pieces of cake, dollops of filling and buttercreams.  Some make tiny individual cakes.  Our event manager basically just left it up to us as to what flavors we wanted to try, which was a little surprising at first.  I was expecting to get a list of flavors and then maybe if there was something we wanted that wasn’t on the list we could add it in.  They can make both vegan and non vegan cakes.

She did send us a list, after I asked, of different flavors that they had done in the past and again told me that the pastry chef could make anything that we wanted.

So we picked the following, non vegan flavors:

Lemon Raspberry*
Chocolate with Dark Chocolate Ganache & Buttercream Frosting
Peanut Butter & Chocolate*
Almond with Peach Compote & Earl Grey Tea Buttercream
Salted Caramel*
*These were selections that Sean & I picked that were not on the list she sent over

We got to The Plant this week, it was beautiful down by the pier when we got there, and our event manager brought out the cakes.  They were super cute, little mini cakes with a dollop of frosting on the top.

The chef had made 6 for us to try which was even more than I was expecting.

What we tried…
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1)**Peanut Butter Sponge Cake with Raspberry Jam & Peanut Butter Buttercream
2) Chocolate Sponge Cake with Caramel Ganache & Caramel Buttercream and Sea Salt
3) Chocolate Sponge with Whipped Chocolate Ganache & Vanilla Buttercream
4) Almond Sponge Cake with Peach Compote & Earl Grey Buttercream
5) Peanut Butter Sponge Cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache Filling & Chocolate Buttercream
6) Lemon Chiffon Sponge Cake with Raspberry Jam & Lemon Buttercream
**Extra cake that was made because she had the ingredients on hand

And our thoughts…Yum, Yum! Ok well really, we were surprisingly drawn to different flavors than we were expecting.  I love lemon cupcakes and I really thought that was going to be my favorite but I was a little disappointed.  I think it was just a really light lemon flavor and some of the other cakes were so much more vibrant.

A little note, I’m not a huge fan of chocolate so I didn’t really care for the Chocolate Cake with the chocolate ganache.  But the chocolate cake with caramel and the sea salt – Amazing!! Getting the little kick of sea salt at the end is always my favorite part and this did not disappoint at all.

The Peach & Almond cake was good, it was a different type of cake with a different texture, the almonds were more of a rough chop which made it interesting.  The peach compote was the star of this cake.

The cake that was by far our favorite was the Peanut Butter Sponge Cake with the Strawberry Jam & Peanut Butter Buttercream!  I’m so glad that she added this one on at the end because it was truly amazing.  They use an organic peanut butter which gave the cake a nice texture, it was a little oily due to the oil in natural peanut butter, which made the texture almost that of an olive oil cake, which both of us love!!

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So now, we just have to decide if we want to have just one flavor for the cake or 2 since we’ll have 2 tiers.  Decisions, decisions…

Thank you to The Plant for giving us the opportunity to try out some amazing dessert.  It was a lot of fun and I’m really glad we were able to partake in one of the best parts of wedding planning :).

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