New Cake Classes

New Year, New Classes.

I wanted to release a new range of classes that focus on giving our students a day filled with learning new and essential techniques, but in a visually fun and engaging way.

We have everything covered, from sculpting and painting the prettiest of faces, to forming internal supports and modelling an Alicorn, (Unicorn & Pegagsus cross), from chocolate. 

Our classes are small, with just 4 students on each session, ensuring you get guidance, help and the learning experience required to help you feel confident in your newly learned skills.

 

A little, (ok, a long) catch up!

It's been a while since I have blogged, it's easy to get caught up in the social media frenzy that is Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. However, its always good to have a little old blog ticking away and catching up on all the fun filled antics and projects that swing our way.

The end of 2016 was the start of how we are looking to progress the business, lots of new content videos, mainly in a time-lapse capacity so that in a little over 2 minutes our viewers can see what 9 hours worth of work looks like.

Our first full video project was sculpting The Joker & Harley Quinn out of white chocolate, visually the video looked sensational, as it focuses in on one fixed project, without the view chopping and changing too much.

Take a look at our video below:

Fast forward two months and we received a very interesting email from LadBible, they were looking to source new content and were wanting to capture footage of a cake being made, not just any cake of course, they wanted a cake which was the depiction of the new Millennial era and showcased our social media generation in one tasty treat. How were they going to do this you say? MEMES. Yes, they wanted a Meme cake. The hottest trending meme at the time was 'Salt Bae', and what better to have Salt Bae sprinkle other than past memes.

I'm not going to lie this was one of the most unusual cake I have ever been asked to make, (and I profusely apologies to the generations that know not of this Salty Sprinkling Chef Man), however, I actually had a real blast making him and thought he turned out pretty good.

Cue the Salt Bae movie making footage:

And, She Shall Go To The Ball

The much anticipated real life adaptation of Cinderella has been mystifying us all for months, a glistening glass slipper tempting viewers and making them  yearn to see just a glimpse more of the magic that they knew Disney would deliver.

Cinderella has quickly morphed into the worldwide number one film, and has both adults and children alike captivated by glass slippers, golden carriages and 'that' dress.

Well, of course, what better project for us to have creative control over, than making a cake for the Disney UK Premiere press release. 

We wanted to re-create the glamour and sophistication that the film embodies, with the carriage being one of the most magical scenes in the film, this seemed like the perfect choice.

The finished golden carriage cake.

The most complex part of building this cake, was the construction of the internal supports. With the carriage measuring a huge 120cm we needed to ensure the weight of the cake would be supported and safe through the transportation duration. A little sketching, measuring and mapping out and we finally had a plan set in motion. The cake itself was the center sphere, which measured 15" round. Once the cake was stacked and filled we set about the task of carving it by hand into a ball. Once this was complete the ganaching commenced, this bit was a little harder than first anticipated, trying to make a perfect sphere by eye with a straight edged palette knife was an interesting task.

In the end, the decision was made to colour the ganache directly, rather than covering in fondant. We wanted to ensure they consumer would receive an nice piece of cake, not a mouthful of sugarpaste, and with the ornate work that would have to go onto of the fondant it seemed like too much icing.

Progress images of the Cinderella cake.

A few of the above images show some of the progress we made with the Cinderella cake. We began the most intricate part next, replicating the ornate scroll work and beauty that the carriage is made up from. The decision was made to use chocolate for these details, so bit by bit the details were rolled and formed by hand and layered to build up windows and foliage.

The chocolate had to be coloured, by hand using various sized paint brushes, until finally we could add the antique colouring using an airbrush. The cake we used to make this sculpted piece used over 5kg of sugar, 5kg of flour and over 100 eggs. It really is fit for a Princess and her Prince.

The 'Rocky' road of caking

Last weeks sculpted cake project was a replica of Sly Stallone after his 'Rocky 4' winning fight. I love sculpting and creating features and faces, but faces of an actual person... well, I usually steer clear. This type of work, whether using a pencil, clay or cake, has always been outside of my comfort zone. But, once in a while we have to stretch out a little... Don't we?

I started the concept by drawing a to-scale line drawing, this helps with overall measurements and to ensure the structure is built correctly.

The structure to support him was constructed, and the vanilla sponge and decedent chocolate buttercream we made in preparation. Layers were stacked, then carved down (with a-lotta wastage that I may have snacked on), until a semblance of a torso existed.

Chocolate modelling paste was then wrapped around the cake, ready for more layers of 'muscle' to be added. Now, for me this was the part of the cake making that had its perks. I thoroughly 'researched' the male form, muscles were a must. Images of flexing, twisting and punching were saved and stored on my handy netbook, ready to surround me, I mean, aid me, while I sculpted the body.

Left: To scale line drawing. Right: The initial beginnings of the torso.

Left: To scale line drawing. Right: The initial beginnings of the torso.

There was a lot of too-ing and fro-ing with the muscle positions and shape, a few too many cuppa's sipped while I contemplated what needed to move where. Once I was happy with his body, the task of creating a face began.  I needed to get his head started the day before delivery so that I had a chance to 'walk away', sleep on it, and assess in the morning. It helps me look at shapes and similarities with a fresh eye and see what needs to change to give more of a likeness.

Above: The first stages of his face.

Above: The first stages of his face.

The next morning was spent refining his features, with the addition of his 'stars and stripes' shorts and the iconic flag. Colour was initially added using paint brushes with edible paint. Painting on chocolate is very different to working on fondants, as the oils will cause the paint to bead up.  Over the years I have practiced with varying techniques and materials and found a way to apply intense colour without the worry of beads or diluted colour.

The flag was made using gumpaste, handpainted and then applied to Rocky before the gumpaste dried out too much. The risk of cracking would have been too great if the gumpaste was allowed to dry.

After 10 hours of working on Rocky, he was completed.

All finished, bruises and all.

All finished, bruises and all.

I must say, I really do love him. Although he was a real test and put me way outside of my comfort zone, I am really pleased that had the opportunity to make him.

 

Moral of the story: Sometimes you should do what scares you.