Brittany-born patissier Eric Lanlard moved to London to work for the Roux brothers and was head of their pastry division in two years. Since then he has whipped up a storm specialising in custom-made cakes for everyone from Madonna, adn the Beckhams to Claudia Schiffer. Confetti gets to chat to this prince of cakes about his love for all things sweet and asks him how ever bride to be can ensure the most fabulous wedding cake ever!
Your cakes are nothing less than awe inspiring. Why do you think people love cakes so much?
I suppose people like cakes because of the pure indulgence – as well as the association with celebration – cake works on the senses – visual and taste at the same time.
What is your first memory of cakes?
My first memory of cakes was as a child visiting the local patisserie every Sunday with my mum. It was a ritual. I was always fascinated by the beautiful boutique patisseries, the service and of course the amazing creations.
When did you make your first wedding cake and who for?
It was for a family friend back in Brittany. I had just finished my apprenticeship and I didn’t’ realise how trick and labour intensive it was going to be. Anyway the cake turned out to be fabulous but it did make me realise that I still had a lot to learn!
The Tower of Desserts
Your clientele has included Madonna, Elton John and more. Do you approach a wedding cake brief in the same way for every client?
Apart from the confidentiality aspect to do with dealing with celebrities – press, paparazzi etc we treat every client the same. As far as I am concerned every bride is a celebrity on her wedding day.
There is now a huge demand for inspirational cakes. Tell us how the cake world has built momentum over the past few years…
Weddings are getting bigger, glitzier and more sophisticated thanks to inspiration from the US and the glossy magazines. Most brides who come to see me will have a theme and the will cake will have to fit with that be it colour, venue, dress design etc. People also want their cake to taste as good as it looks. There is no excuse for serving dry, horrible sponges or average fruit cakes when the average cost of a wedding cake is £700.
The Champagne Design
So, what do people need to remember when thinking about their wedding cake?
They should try and have as much information on possible on the wedding – it will make it easier for the cake maker. Even if they don’t have a fixed idea in mind it’s always helpful to have a budget in mind – it makes it easier for both parties!
What would your wedding cake be like?
Being French –I would have to go for the Croquembouche – it’s a classic.
What are your top wedding cake tips?
1 Remember you will have to look at your wedding pictures for the rest of your life so I would strongly recommend keeping away from novelty designs.
2 It doesn’t have to be expensive nothing beats a lovely iced white cake with fresh flowers.
3 Make sure your sample your cake before you confirm your order.
4 Finally if you are a family member are making the cake yourself make sure you use quality ingredients, follow the recipe and use a reliable food mixer. I would recommend Kenwood.
Cascade of Flowers
Taste, texture and look. What is more important?
I personally think they are all as important as each other if one fails to deliver the overall effect is ruined.
Can you talk us through three of your top designs (Pictured above)?
1 The Tower of Desserts – our signature cake – a combination of up to 8 assorted desserts on display on a chocolate coated stand. It’s perfect to serve as a dessert or as a ‘take home’ gift.
2 The Champagne design – probably our most popular iced cake design – it’s timeless – the row of iced pearls always reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffany.
3 Cascade of Flowers – I know that sugar flowers are not as popular as they used be but the opulence and freshness of these handcrafted flowers make this cake very special – albeit expensive – but it’s definitely worth it!