(1310-10-08) Wedding Cake Visit
Summary: Arrangements need to be made, in regards to a wedding cake for the upcoming feast of marriage between Sebastien Basilisque and his betrothed Evelyne de Somerville.
RL Date: 08-12/10/2018
Related: Match-related stuff between Sebastien and Evelyne.
evelyne sebastien audrialla 

Bakery — Market Promenade

L'Agnacites hold with the truism the expression of art through food is a holy calling, and such a shrine pays homage to the creative spark. Gourmands worship at a marble altar groaning under a sinful array of glistening pastries and thin cakes. Offerings stacked in neat rows behind glass gleam bright as a raj's jewels: ripe cranberries and pomegranate seeds under clear glaze, clouds of pearly cream, ruby strawberries and pale jade grapes. Pale gold custard tarts and honey-drenched buns sit next to delicate finger-cakes dusted in cocoa and curls of shaved chocolate. Fruits of the season laboriously contrived into visual illusions transform humble apples into ladies' purses with aid of crepes, or create the famed dome of Marsilikos from apricots and oranges.

Senses besieged from every direction find no relief. Colourful cream-filled macarons whet the visual appetite as the scent of fresh-baked breads stir out from the ovens from the pre-dawn hours until mid-afternoon. Seating is sparse, merely a few wooden benches to the front. The long, narrow shop is dominated by display cases and the odd bottle of fruit wine and sherry mounted upon a shelf for an afternoon aperitif. Plain white walls graced by sconces overflowing in seasonal flowers hardly detract from the baked goods for sale, and the narrow shopfront windows allow light to pour in.

With a certain event drawing closer, it has been only a question of time, when Evelyne de Somerville would finally pay the bakery a visit. A place, she has not yet had the chance to check out personally, in the duration of her stay at Marsilikos. But here she is today, entering the baker’s shop with the slightly optimistic gleam of a soon-to-be-bride in her eyes. In her company, the darkly handsome presence of Sébastien Basilisque, whom she just made a cheerful remark towards. Evelyne’s blonde hair is done in a fashionable way, long tresses twirled and tamed into a courtly do, and her dress of white and green is a slight contrast to the attire of her intended.

Coming to a halt, as the door falls shut behind them, Evelyne lets her gaze wander over the delicacies and sweet temptations. “Now, this all looks very promising,” she states, and then looks up, to catch the attention of an attendant.

The many children of the Malet family serve as such attendants, golden haired lads and lasses too young to work the bakery ovens but old enough to run orders and attend the patrons of the illustrious shop. “Good morning my lord and lovely lady,” says one of the young ladies on duty, a girl in a dusty rose gown with her hair in braided plaits. “What delicious treat can we provide today?” She inquired with a smile.

Sebastien has a more grim expression than his bride. He is even dragging his feet a bit like a child who really doesn’t want to visit that healer but mother promised a candy, so he goes. The Vicomte holds his hands deeply drowning inside the pockets of his leather trousers when he enters the shop and looks around. “Looks delicious,” he agrees with a lady at his side and then the man of a medium height looks down at the girl who greets them. He offers her a nod but doesn’t say anything. Instead, he raises his gaze to Evelyne. This is her job to handle the matter and he is here only to eat, and taste something sweet. As to stress this out, he takes out one of the hands and rubs his abdomen idly.

“Ah. Hello.” The young lady’s gaze brightens, and so does her smile as she looks at the young attendant. “My name is Evelyne de Somerville, and this here is Lord Sebastien Basilisque. We are here on a certain business… Is Mademoiselle Audrialla available, perchance? Could you please find her and bring her here - if she is here, that is?” Words keep spilling from her mouth in a good natured chatter, until a sideways glance brings her verbal avalanche to a stop. “But first…!” Her hand is extended, reaching for the lower arm of the young girl in a gentle gesture. “Please!”, Evelyne leans in to murmur something into the ear of the girl, and another pointed glance towards Sebastien accompanies her words. “I bet you have a treat here, something sweet that will cheer him up and lighten his somber mood…?”

The child has been brought up to be used to illustrious clientele and so she bobs a curtsey as they are named. “Aunt Audri is in the back piping the eclairs,” she says cheerfully. “I'd be happy to fetch her for you, my lady.” She pauses at the whisper and nods as she thinks. “Pralines? Almonds with a caramelized sugar? Some of them are coated in chocolate”

Sebastien looks over the offers. A very small and polite smile arches his lips. “Yes, almonds and caramel does sound quite good. But I was more hoping we will get some slices of different cakes to taste? Just to be sure that we pick the best one. Or would you prefer to choose a few different cakes? We could have some options for our guests to choose from, what do you think?” The man glances at his bride to be. But then he looks back at the girl and nods, “But give us those almonds while we wait.”

“Yes. Something with almonds and chocolate sounds just right,” Evelyne responds, smiling towards the girl and then giving Sebastien a look. “Just a little something to lighten up your mood a little, my lord. To get you into the right mood for the task at hand.” She won’t object to a similar treat being handed to her, but she will wait with her reply for the Vicomte, until the girl is off to fetch Mademoiselle Audrialla. “We shall taste of various cakes. I believe, she would have some samples ready.”

The young shopgirl produces some lovely almond clusters for both- some with and some without chocolate, and then vanished into the back. A moment later the baker herself appeared, gold hair tied into a single plait along her back and gown of deep green slightly faded with white flour. She carries with her a tray of petit fours, tiny tasting cakes with a variety of flavors and centers for examples.

“Blessing of Namaah on your coming wedding,” she pronounces cheerfully as she enters. Her niece gave a briefing. “I am told you wish to try our sampling's for your wedding cake? I'm honored you've come to Malet’s.” Audrialla curtsies as best one can with a tray in their arms.

“Shall we sit and go over what you’re looking for, my lord, my lady? And can I pour some champagne to toast?”

Sebastien accepts the snacks. He throws a couple of those almonds into his mouth and chews slowly. With every bite he makes, the smile grows in his features as the sugar and caramel tickles his tongue. “Delicious.” He admits to Evelyne and he would give the rest of the snacks to her, if she accepts.

Once Audrialla comes in, the Vicomte bows his head, “I heard of your talent, Mademoiselle Audrialla. The whole town is speaking of it! If my bride will find a cake she likes here, then I would ask to prepare not only the cake, but also other snacks for our guests. Even better, if you could attend, am I not right?” He looks at Evelyne.

The man will cheer up even more at the idea of champagne. The nod will be given to that.

“Oh, this is delicious!”, Evelyne sighs after trying some of those almonds, and her eyes brighten when she perceives how her intended’s mood seems to lighten up considerably. Not objecting to him offering up the last few of those treats, she turns her attention then towards the arriving chef patissière. “Mademoiselle Audridalla,” the lady greets, “indeed, we wished to see you about the wedding cake. Thank you for your good wishes, and yes… I plan to bring Naamah’s blessing down upon both myself and my husband to be,” a grin accompanies the words, and a slightly mischievous wink. “But that is another matter. Lord Sebastien is right of course, the wedding cake would be one of the treats we’d ask you to prepare, and we would be honored to have you there personally to oversee that your delicacies are presented the way they should.

Her skirts give a soft whisper, as Evelyne sits down on one of the seats indicated, her head bobbing in a nod to the offer of beverage. “Champagne sounds delightful, and should help in getting our ideas and creativity to flow. Thank you for granting us the time to discuss all of this with you…” Words continue to spill from her as if she were a babbling brook, but Evelyne Somerville does not mind at all. Even more, she seems to be excited if one can trust the faint scent of apples that surrounds her.

As the bride to be gushes on, the pâtissière sets the tray down at the consulting table and has her niece fetch a bottle of champagne from the back. She pours for three and holds her glass up in toast. “May love and happiness follow you the rest of your days, and Companions grant you every joy and blessing.”

Toast made and ceremonial drink performed, she launches into business.

“Traditionally, weddings are celebrated with a croquembouche- a tower of profiterole cream puffs with spun sugar surrounding it. I usually add flowers the couple fancies made of chocolate or marzipan for adornment. But the changing trend is tiered cakes with a delicious filling done in the color of the house. So I have samples here of various cakes with assorted filling- I can make any combination that suits my lord and lady best.”

She pauses a beat and asks, “What flavors do you fancy, so we can know where to begin?”

Sebastien empties the glass of champagne when the toast is made. Then a young vicomte finds his seat beside Evelyne. He politely hears out Audrialla’s suggestions. However, when the woman asks of the tastes, Basilisque lord does not answer. Instead, he gives a small explanation. “You see, we actually should give a lot of attention to the look of the cake as well. The theme of our wedding is black and white. Everybody will come wearing black and white clothes and only the bride here will be purely white.” He gestures to Evelyne and smiles at her. “Then I will be completely black in this case. The guests will have a mixture of those two colors, as I mentioned before. Do you think we have to adjust the cake to the theme or make it stand out?” This question is sent to both women.

The bride-to-be savours her glass of champagne, not hasty at all but taking her time instead. Blue eyes consider the samples and then flick their gaze to Audrialla when she begins to explain about traditional wedding cakes. “A tiered cake,” Evelyne decides after a moment. “I had envisioned a tower of sorts, to, umm…” she coughs, lips curving upwards, “symbolize the steadfast… nature of the match between Somerville and Basilisque. I like the idea about the flowers you mentioned… maybe you could have tiny red apples there instead, and the snake that is in the Basilisque crest, decorating this tower? I daresay, these could be delicious treats, made of marzipan or even sugar. The wedding cake doesn't have to be black and white… but it could be. I like the idea, Sébastien…” And here her hand finds that of her intended and she gives him a smile.

“A swirl,” the baker says, inspired. “Of white vanilla cake and decadent dark chocolate. Or! A tier of each, one light, one dark. A snake coiled round an apple is delectable an image,” she says with a laugh. “I could bathe the cakes in white cream frosting and then pour elegant lines of dark chocolate drapery over it so it has both the colors of bride and groom.” Audri pauses, “And filling? Well a blackberry currant is both tart and sweet. And dark to offset any brighter whites.”

Sebastien enjoys his drink. His gaze wanders from one woman to another. A smile dances on his lips but he stays quiet until Evelyne glances at him. Then he offers a shrug an apologetic grin to Audrialla. “Well, it’s up for you to decide, ladies. I am a man and I know how to fill my stomach with tasties, I want it to taste good. Looks? It’s great when it looks nice but… I mean, I will eat it, right? So, I leave it to Evelyne and a professional!” He gestures at Audrialla again but then adds, “But a snake is a must.” And he confirms that statement by sipping his drink again.

“Ah, now that’s an idea,” Evelyne smiles, gaze going distant as she envisions the tiered wedding cake before her inner eye. “White cream frosting with lines of dark chocolate, also the filling of blackberry currant sounds too delicious. The snake wrapping about the apple would be a slightly larger work of marzipan at the top? I find the image so very alluring — and fitting, as… well. It sums it up all so well, a Somerville caught by a Basilisque.” This observation seems to amuse her, and so she giggles. “Yes, the snake is a must, but the apple as well.”, Evelyne agrees with Sébastien, squeezing his hand lightly. “I wonder,” this added towards Audrialla, “Do you have samples of this particular blackberry currant filling, perhaps even worked into a similar cake, so we may get an impression of how it will taste?”

“We have sheets of the marble cake available, and if my lord and lady will give me a moment, I can prepare a mock up. The apple and snake, of course, will have to wait until later. What color is the snake, my lord, a green or black? Forgive me for not knowing your colors.” Audri stands and dusts more flour off her gown. “While I prepare the sample, please try the others to get an idea of the taste. We have a yellow cake with dark chocolate filling, a white cream cake with strawberries, a hazelnut with a chocolate finish, and a sinful chocolate with a hint of bitter sweet coffee. And my personal favorite,” she ends with a wink, “cream cheese and bananas imported from the islands afar.”

Excusing herself with a curtesy,, she goes into the bakery proper.

“White. A white snake on black and blue background is my family’s crest,” Sebastien explains. He doesn’t sound disappointed or upset that Audrialla is not aware of it. Most likely he didn't even expect her to know. He leans back in his seat and extends the legs forward. When the baker leaves, he yawns and turns to his wife-to-be. “A tad overwhelming, I must say. So, my suggestion is that you would pick clothes yourself? I do not have much of a patience for such things, even if I get sweet treats!” The man laughs. He ponders for a second with lips parted as if he would like to explain other, better things, he would like to do. However, he seems not to find proper examples, so he just takes another of the sweets offered.

Evelyne smiles and tilts her head a little to the side, when Sebastien clarifies the color of the snake of his crest, and she waits patiently until he is done, before she adds her own little comment, “The apple would be red, and it is part of the Somerville crest, on a tree of green color upon a field of white. Hence the white icing would look more than appropriate with the darker filling hiding within. To make the snake stand out, hmm, it could perhaps climb up on some sugar ‘greenery’ on the cake; just a thought.” They are left for a moment to nice treats and each other’s company, and Evelyne shakes her head a little in amusement, even if she has to agree, at least in part. “Overwhelming, yes, if you are intimidated with all the possibilities, Sebastien. But I think, the wedding cake will be delicious and a good statement at the same time. As for the dress… I shall deal with that myself, yes. I need to check the purse Papa sent, and I am going to spend it all on a befitting dress, all in white.”

Returning triumphantly a few minutes later, the baker carries a tray with a little cake coated white with buttercream but topped with a rich dark chocolate glazé. She even rolled out a snake in white marzipan wrapped around the base and upward with its head resting against an actual ripe red apple nestled in the coils - a purely visual display if not the end result. “Something perhaps like this? But the apple in marzipan as well colored a lovely red and glossy sugar glaze.”

She sets it down to be admired before cutting a pair of slices out. The scent of fresh blackberry jam escapes as she lays the cake before them. The interior is a swirl of light and dark with the blackberries layered between.

An excited, “Ah!” escapes Evelyne de Somerville, her hands clasping together as she admires the beautiful sample. “Mademoiselle Audrialla! You are a genius! This looks exactly like I envisioned it — even better in fact, as I lack your gift and your creativity. I believe, we are in business. With a wedding cake as this, with apple and snake, we will certainly be the talk of town, won’t we, Sébastien?” She grins and gives her future husband a wink.

“Mademoiselle Audrialla. This big delicious oeuvre of cake should be delivered to the Palace on October 27th. The feast will be celebrated in the Great Hall, as Her Grace has been so generous as to allow us to hold it there. The benefits of being a lady-in-waiting to a Duchesse, even if a temporary one! I trust you have all the information you need, and we will be very happy to have your wedding cake and a number of other sweet delicacies of your making served there.”

Already rising from her seat, Evelyne waits for Sébastien to stand and escort her out. So many more things may still need being arranged. And life of a bride-to-be grows busier, the closer the day of her wedding approaches.

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