Julia Child had once said that a party without cake is just a meeting. I completely agree. And if it’s to do with a wedding then the newly weds have to cut a wedding cake to seal the deal. Well, this is not my philosophy but a friend’s, a soon-to-be-bride. So in search of the perfect wedding cake, we landed up at the doorsteps of Joonie Tan, the much-loved Pastry Chef at Lavonne, Bangalore.
Like those courageous lot who go chasing their passion, Joonie too left her corporate job in Malaysia to spend her time baking and learning about cake decoration. And on asking her how did Bangalore happen, she smiles and says just one word, “love.” Joonie decided to shift base to India to be closer to her special someone.
Joonie claims that she can create any concept if given the required details. Most of her clients come to her with well thought out ideas in terms of themes, colours, flavours, shapes, etc. but there are also some who come absolutely clueless. “To create the wedding cake I need to first understand the theme, the decorations planned for the venue, the design of the invitation card and other such details. This helps me conceptualise certain elements that I can highlight in the cake,” says Joonie. In a recent wedding held at The Taj West End which had a vintage English theme, she created the wedding cake incorporating pastel shades, edible lace detail and other elements in sync with the theme.
What caught our fancy was Joonie’s modern cake collection. Minimalist in design aesthetics, only a few prominent elements adorn the cake. “I believe less is more. One can create something beautiful using simple features and highlighting certain motifs. I feel it creates a better impact,” advises Joonie. “For example, if you want a floral themed cake, I would suggest we create about three large flowers to adorn the cake and keep the other decorations simple with ruffle icing patterns, edible lace detail or sugar veil. That is enough.”
Joonie’s royal collection is impressive too though she hesitates to suggest it to her customers. “This collection features royal icing with intricate detailing. It is a tedious task and requires much effort to perfectly create each detail. But that is not the concern. The difficulty lies in transporting it to the venue considering the terrible roads in Bangalore,” she says.
On choice of icing, though fondant cakes are most popular amongst her clients, her personal favourite is buttercream icing. “I feel fondant cakes will always be in trend. With it, there’s no end to creating interesting shapes and sizes unlike buttercream icing which even on the slightest touch gets damaged,” says the expert pastry chef.
Also on offer is the traditional fruit cake for those who like to stick to basics. As for the others, there are endless flavours to choose from, the most popular being Lavonne’s signature chocolate, red velvet, and mango basil.
With so many options, we were overwhelmed and confused too. So we asked Joonie what would be her dream wedding cake. Almost caught off-guard, she broke into giggles first and then turned her gaze towards her better half seated at the adjacent table who is also a popular pastry chef, and said, “it has to be something out-of-the-world and never created by anyone before.” And after a few minutes, as though lost in thought, she further added, “I would like a red velvet cake but in pink ombre shade and with buttercream icing.
I wish we were that quick in deciding. Alas! It would take us a few more afternoons to finalise. As for now, here are some quick notes:
Price points: 2000 INR onwards per kilo. Additional charges for the sugar crafts. The cakes are delivered to the venue.
Order time: Minimum 2 weeks in advance.
Lavonne, # 151, 2nd Cross, Domlur 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560071; tel: 97405 44442/ 97405 44443; http://lavonne.in/