Photo | Lisa Linder
Last year was all about quitting sugar and Spiralizing every vegetable you could get your hands on. But you can’t fail to notice, as you scroll through Instagram, that everyone from Deliciously Ella to Kourtney Kardashian is now #cleaneating (that’s consuming food in the most natural form possible FYI).
But whether you’re already a convert or simply want to accommodate guests with intolerances at your wedding, is it really possible to make sugar-free treats exciting enough for your big day?
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Henrietta Inman, former pastry chef at The Lanesborough London, reveals her top food tips and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes, so you can quite literally have your “clean” wedding cake and eat it.
Why do clean cakes work so well at weddings?
Guests will feel great after eating my clean cakes, rather than heavy and low in energy from the sugar rush and subsequent sugar dip that occurs after eating refined ingredients. Clean cakes are full of fibre from wholegrain flours, good fats, protein from nuts and seeds, and low GI unrefined sweeteners, to keep you fuller for longer without feeling bloated, so the dance floor will be packed all night! Most importantly, the cakes are beautiful to look at, too, leading to very happy guests.
Are there any limitations when it comes to designing a clean celebration cake?
If you’re prepared to experiment a bit in the kitchen there are no limitations. With a good clean sponge recipe (my book has several), you can make multiple tiers, using dowel rods, as you would with any tiered cake. Icings are harder, but certainly achievable. I’ve created a delicious orange frosting recipe, but it could easily be made with lemon or cacao. Icings are also possible with avocado, or whipped coconut milk. To make natural food dyes, strain off the water from boiled red cabbage and add to white icing for blue, and do the same for pink icing with beetroot. ￼
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Which edible flowers are best for look and taste?
I love to use scented geranium flowers as they are so pretty and come in all sorts of shades of pink, red, purple and white. Rose-scented geranium flowers taster like a dream. I also enjoy using roses, which smell so wonderful. The petals taste lovely and are great for making syrups and jams, too, but I wouldn’t recommend eating a whole raw rose! For orange hues, marigolds and nasturtiums are idea, and light scatterings of bellis daisy petals, whether white, light or dark pink, make a great confetti-like finishing touch. Honeysuckle flowers are very pretty and I adore pansies and violas, which come in clouds ranging from yellows and dark reds, to purple and light blues.
How can you decorate a clean cake?
As well as edible flowers, fresh fruit works well as a decoration. Cherries and berries, especially raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, and bunches of redcurrants, are good choices, and freeze-dried raspberry pieces are great for adding hints of hot pink. To decorate the cake’s edges, I might use bee pollen; fruit powder, such as pink-red raspberry powder or gold-yellow sea buckthorn powder; chopped nuts, especially pistachio nuts; and cacao nibs on chocolate cake.
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Which recipes work best for weddings?
For a cake table, I would suggest mixing my raspberry and rose tartlets with blueberry lemon mouse cake. That would give guests a great choice, and also a beautiful table to look at, full of colours and wonderful flowers. For a wedding cake, I think my courgette cake is perfect. It’s a showstopper with layers of courgette, basil and lime sponge, lime cream and raspberry jam. The round sponges can also be cooked in larger cake tins, so this could easily be made into a tiered wedding cake.
Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman, is available to buy now for £9.99 at Amazon.co.uk.