Brown Wedding Cakes and Desserts
Chocolate Petal Cake
Hidden beneath a gentle flurry of bittersweet chocolate curls are three tiers of mocha spice cake made tender with sour cream. The cake gets a lift from coffee, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove -- each layer is brushed with ginger-infused syrup before it is frosted with chocolate buttercream.
Five tiers of dense double-chocolate brownies are glazed with caramel and trimmed with candied pecans. An acrylic pole keeps the tiers aligned -- pieces of acrylic tubing slipped over the pole separate the tiers. Vanilla ice cream is served alongside. Use a custom-designed acrylic cake stand to support the brownie tiers.
Chocolate Faux Bois
Faux bois, French for "fake wood," is a lovely decorative motif. A wood-graining tool creates the white chocolate markings on bittersweet chocolate panels -- they're then pressed into the chocolate ganache that envelopes the cake. To make the leaves, tempered bittersweet chocolate is brushed onto real lemon leaves, which are peeled off after chilling briefly.
Individual Chocolate-Espresso Charlottes
This elegant dessert has a sweet secret: layers of chocolaty richness nestled in a shell of almond sponge cake. One bite will reveal moist chocolate sponge cake, creamy milk-chocolate ganache, and smooth mocha Bavarian cream.
Sometimes the simplest techniques produce the most striking effects, as is the case with these single tiers topped by cocoa-powder initials (his, hers, and theirs).
This cake dresses (and sweetens) up the standard after-dinner fare: coffee.
Chocolate Chestnut Wedding Cake
Reminiscent of a classical still life painting, the fruit on this cake adds a touch of elegance and old-world style to the simple brown ganache.
Chocolate and Cream Cakes
These small cakes -- one is made with malted dark chocolate, the other with coconut -- can be sliced into thin pieces when the larger cake is cut by the caterer.
Rustic Basketweave in Buttercream
The top and bottom sections of this grand cake display a classic basketweave design, while the thick whorls (made with a petal tip) and braided wreaths (a round tip) of the middle tiers copy the artistry of baskets made by Maine's Wabanaki tribes. Mocha buttercream is also unconventional -- along with a brown satin ribbon around the stand, it gives the cake an autumnal air.
Delicate Dotted Petals
A graphic embellishment is all the more striking against rich, chocolate-brown fondant. These royal icing designs, piped in white and light-brown dots, echo the petal shape of the cake tiers and stand. A pattern was first pinpricked into the fondant and then piped over. The cascading design on the top tier forms an intricate, many-petaled flower -- an understated alternative to a cake topper.
Bakers have been swirling dark and light batters together for more than 100 years. Here, marbleized fondant hints at the cake's interior and covers a layer of buttercream frosting.
This cake was named for a ski resort in Switzerland, the Megeve, and it resembles nothing so much as a mountain -- one, perhaps, of childhood dreams, covered in chocolate curls. Beneath them are disks of vanilla meringue layered with chocolate mousse.
End your celebration with a few oohs (as in diminutive doughnuts) and aahs (as in the delighted response they're sure to evoke) by passing out these traditional breakfast treats as a dessert with coffee service, either skewered on coffee spoons or set in dainty piles. Any way you serve them, guests are sure to circle back for more.
Use these glazed doughnuts as a fun treat for your guests to enjoy -- or take home -- after the meal is over.
Viennese Coffee Float
Try this delightful mix between after-dinner coffee and a root beer float -- it's the stronger, adult version of the childhood favorite.
Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Sparkling Sugar
These sweets are so pretty they can serve as edible decor -- while they last.
Coffee Panna Cotta
This traditional Italian dessert means "cooked cream" and can be prepared in a variety of flavors.
Iced Coffee Frappe with Cotton Candy
Easy to make, this inventive drink is certain to be a hit at your reception.