I’m always sifting through the myriad of trends, styles, patterns and colorways to create new looks and reinvent cake and dessert bar design for my clients. My latest obsession has me circling around how to display my confections (and decorate the tables they’re on), so I wanted to show you a collection of my favorite new items: Cloches.
These etched cake cloches are available in a couple of different sizes, and present a uniquely customizeable option: Adjustable height. Displayed with cakes inside, a stack of fresh fruit, or even a flower arrangement they would lend a great look to a vintage, victorian, or French-style table.
Two different widths of this style are available at Comfort House, so think about purchasing five or six and adjusting the heights to create a cohesive look.
If you want to change up the look of your antique-inspired table, add a little something from your local antique lighting store:
This oversize bell jar is one of many designs available from antique lighting shops on the web. We found this one at the Victorian Trading Company, and love it! Traditionally these are mounted on a wrought-iron fixture with the opening at the top, and slid over a soft light bulb.
Some are so large that a two-tier cake will fit underneath comfortably. Instead of having flower centerpieces on your tables, consider doing centerpiece cakes for each table, and protecting them under a gorgeous piece like this. At the end of the evening each table can remove the jar and cut their own cake.
When the night is through you can re-use this bell jar cloche in your garden to cover small plants during cold weather, or seedlings that need protection from birds and deer to grow. If like me you love to garden but frequently have to travel, these are great for keeping your plant soil damp for the three or four days you’re out of town.
The next cloches are more modern, but lend a little tradition to an otherwise contemporary table:
These petite stands from Z Gallerie hold a 6″ round cake, but I think they’d look amazing holding an elaborately decorated version of something on the table. For example, say you are offering cupcakes. We would make one large cupcake with sugar flowers and maybe a sugar butterfly, and place it up on one of these pedastals to decorate the area and “advertise” the sweets on the table.
If you’re having lavender French macarons, we might create a small pyramid of pale purple macarons, wrap it with a few threads of spun sugar, then add tiny white sugar orange blossoms to the stack. Voila! A mini macaron croquembouche.
Have fun shopping for your own cloches, but take a few words of wisdom along for the ride:
- If you plan to have guests lifting the lids themselves, make sure you leave a space near the base of the stand to allow a guest to set it down safely (or simply remove all the lids before service).
- Try to buy stands with a heavy base. Cloches placed on a spindly, tall stand are top heavy, and can tipple over easily with the added weight of a cake.
- If you are using a stand and cloche, make sure to communicate the dimensions to your pastry chef to ensure a clean fit. We love it when a client gives us their stands and covers so we can be sure a cake fits and is set up properly at the site.
- Never place any cake or confection in direct sun. If a cloche is over something edible and the sun hits it, you’ll have a humid, warm environment inside the cloche and your cake will become sticky (or worse, simply melt and fall).