Macaroons and cupcakes and cake pops, oh my! When it comes to birthday celebrations, what happened to just a simple, traditional birthday cake? It seems that particular notion may have disappeared much like the flame of a birthday candle after it has been blown out. Just as modern technology has changed over time and impacted how we live our lives; the birthday dessert has also evolved into something different. Gone are the days of a plain vanilla cake with a few sprinkles, surrounded by children wearing pointy hats. Instead we have more elaborate birthday cakes featured at more elaborate birthday celebration events.
Every year there are trends that become all the rage in all avenues of food and popular culture. When it comes to the world of desserts, this is true even more so. The amount of dessert bakeries and restaurants that have popped up in the Ottawa-Gatineau region over the past few years has been astonishing. However, it’s important not to discount your local grocery store! They have always been a reliable place to get a cake, cupcake or a variety of other desserts. Realizing the importance of keeping up with trends, many grocery stores have upped the ante when it comes to what their bakery departments offer. Whether it is edible print art, or custom designs and flavours, from Kanata all the way to Gatineau, grocery stores have helped to elevate the regular birthday cake concept.
Television shows such as ‘Cake Boss’ and ‘Cupcake Wars’ have driven home the idea that these confections can be works of art as well as tasty treats. This has only heightened the popularity of these cakes and the events where they are present (pun intended). A popular trend with cakes over the past year was a coloured layered style referred to as ‘ombre’. Essentially this is where a cake has several layers, and each layer is a different shade of the same colour (from darker to lighter).
Another trend related to cakes is the type of icing/frosting that is used for them. Savoury icing is something that may seem strange for a birthday cake or cupcake in Gatineau, but the idea of manipulating flavour profiles where they weren’t traditionally ever played with is not only interesting, but has created very tasty results. Getting cupcakes in Gatineau is a great place to test out these particular savoury icing flavours because they are smaller than cakes; you can test the icing on one cupcake at a time and tweak if necessary. If it doesn’t work, at least you haven’t ruined a whole cake and can start over much faster.