Would we have a cake? If so, what kind of cake? A traditionally tiered wedding cake? Something completely un-wedding like? And the real stinker: How would it be decorated?
Actually, answering the first question, to cake or not to cake, was easy. Duh. This is Tori we’re talking about here. We’d have a cake. No questions about it.
What kind? Ok, that was easy, too. Chocolate, of course. Can it truly be considered dessert if it isn’t going to be chocolate?!
What shape? This was a little harder, but we initially settled on a waterfall cake. The kind that is sort of stair stepped in a gentle curve. Frosting flowers and even real flowers, may decorate the "fall" of the cake.
Ok! We're coooking!
Uh oh. Trouble ahead: Decorating the cake. How?
We did not have any specific ideas at this point other than we knew we didn't want a traditional wedding cake. How could we? We wanted a cake with a Halloween theme. It should be scary or eery without being unappetizing (no fake surgeries, for example).
We went to bookstores to look for crafts books on cake decorations, we searched the cooking section for books that would have examples of holiday cake themes, we looked everywhere. Nowhere did we find a thing that was quite right. We had been to a seasonal Halloween store (the kind that opens up in August or September and closes in the first week of November) and found some fun gargoyles that we thought might be good decorations for the party. Now we started wondering if one of them would be a good cake-topper ... sort of in the theme of a plastic Bride and Groom.
They were pretty heavy, though, and we weren't sure they would actually work on top of a cake.
Then we thought of a gargoyle face on each tier of the cake. Or maybe black cats. Not pumpkins, though, not very scary ... and a little too obvious.
We tried talking with the Claremont catering consultant to see if we could just meet with the dessert chef and tell them our general ideas and let them come up with something. Unfortunately, explained the consultant, the chef didn’t speak any English and we would have to explain our ideas to her so she could then convey them to the chef through the hotel translator.
General ideas were not going to cut it!
Then one day we were in the bookstore for something else and we stumbled across a childrens book about drawing. Ed Emberly, whose "how to draw" books I immediately recognized as books I had seen or used when I was a kid, had "written" a Halloween drawing book.
We knew immediately that this was how we our cake would be decorated. Too cool. Here was a book, with step-by-step, graphical guides to creating witches, skeletons, black hissing arched cats, ghosts, haunted houses, etc.
It was perfect. BIG sigh of relief.