Couples are looking beyond cake for the reception. Dessert buffets and stations are increasingly popular options, either in place of or in addition to the traditional wedding cake.
For example, Bettie’s Cakes in Saratoga Springs gets requests for a buffet of mini cupcakes in five to six different flavors. The bakery offers over 50 flavors for couples to choose from.
“They’re cute and fun,” said head baker Melissa Vohnoutka. “A lot of brides do not want to be traditional — they want to do something untraditional and fun,” she said.
Candy tables and make-it-yourself ice cream sundae stations are other nontraditional options.
The following recipes are from Nicole Smith of Scotia.
14 ounces wrapped caramels
2⁄3 cup evaporated milk
1 box chocolate cake mix (not pudding)
1⁄2 cup melted butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 pan. In microwave glass bowl, mix unwrapped caramels and 1⁄3 cup of evaporated milk. Microwave until melted, stir well. In a large bowl, combine other 1⁄3 cup evaporated milk, cake mix, and butter. Stir with a fork until the dough is crumbly yet holds together. Press half the dough into the pan. Mix half of the walnuts into the remaining dough. Bake 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread caramel over entire pan. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, nuts, and other half of dough. Bake 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool completely in the freezer.
Kransekake (Norwegian wedding cake)
18 ounces almond paste
18 ounces powdered sugar
3-4 egg whites
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar for kneading
11⁄2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vinegar
Powdered sugar, butter, fine bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with softened butter, and dust with finely ground bread crumbs. Mix almond paste and powdered sugar. Add egg whites and mix well. Place bowl in hot water and knead dough until it is lukewarm. Turn out on board sprinkled with 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar. Let rest 10 minutes.
Knead 2 to 3 minutes, dusting your hands and the counter with the confectioners sugar instead of flour. Divide the dough into 18 pieces and roll each into a ball, slanting the palm of your hand downward toward the edge so that it “peaks” up in the center, kind of like a small hat, then turning the ends toward each other to form a ring (think tortellini). Bake the rings for 20 minutes, then cool on tray — do not remove the rings from the tray until cool. Mix the frosting ingredients and drizzle on top of each ring, placing rings on top of one another. u
Chocolate Wine Tarts
11⁄2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg beaten
1 cup ground pecans
1⁄2 cup softened butter
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sherry
1 6-ounce package chocolate chips.
Pecan halves for decoration
Sift flour and powdered sugar together. Beat egg, add pecans, butter, sugar, sherry and 1⁄2 cup chocolate chips that have been melted. Blend. Drop walnut size dough balls into mini muffin cups. Press to sides to make a shell. Bake 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Cool. Melt remaining 1⁄2 cup chips and drop in center, top with a nut. Chill 5 minutes to set. Makes 31⁄2 dozen.