Friday, June 27, 2008

A Wedding Cake for the Bride of Dracula


For the past three weeks, I've been in an advanced cakes class at culinary school. It's been quite an enjoyable class, except for this week, when I was freaking out about our final wedding cake. We had a short 4-day week, which means we lost a day of production time, not to mention it's summer in Florida, and therefore humid as a sauna in Hell. The humidity wreaked havoc on our (or at least my) gumpaste (which wouldn't dry) and fondant (which tended to get sticky), not to mention my royal icing, which started out a perfect consistency, but slowly absorbed moisture from the air and became gooey and runny. I suppose the end result is, if I can make a presentable wedding cake in 80% humidity, I can do it anywhere.

We were allowed to design our own cakes and themes, provided the cake met certain requirements- it had to have at least two tiers, a handmade topper, covered in fondant, and needed royal icing filigree, a pastillage* component and gumpaste** flowers or fruit.
Since I loooove Halloween and all that spooky stuff, I decided to create a Gothic wedding cake. It was two tiers, a six and a ten inch. The tiers were covered in purple fondant, which I airbrushed so the color faded from purple to black. I then piped the whole tiers in royal icing spiderwebs. The tiers are separated with pastillage, which was hidden with purple and black "dead" gumpaste roses. The whole cake was covered in a swag of lavender fondant, and was topped with a skull and spider that I moulded from fondant and airbrushed. The skull turned out super-adorable, kind of doofy and loveable, and we decided he needed a name. We named him Elliot. It seemed to fit. His spider friend's name was Lenore.


There was more I would have done had time permitted (I wanted to put edible glitter on the spiderwebs), but on the whole, I was really happy with it. I wanted to do something creepy, but elegant, and I think I achieved that. (The Chair of the Pastry Program said it was "elegant, but bizarre" and laughingly suggested that the school offered free counseling, if I felt like I needed to talk about anything.)
*Pastillage is a dough made from powdered sugar, glucose and gelatin that can be rolled out and cut into shapes and then dried. It dries very hard. It's good for cake toppers and also for making separators for the tiers. It's basically the same stuff that Necco wafers and candy cigarettes are made of, only unflavored.
**Gumpaste is a dough made from powdered sugar, glucose and gum tragacanth. It's used mostly for moulding flowers and fruit on cakes. It dries firm, but not hard. It's technically edible, but it doesn't taste too great, plus with the amount of touching required to make flowers, I wouldn't recommend eating it.

14 comments:

Jenna said...

LOVE the new blog!! I miss my cake. I wish it was in my kitchen.

A.Cook said...

Hey! Excited to start reading your blog along with Jenna's...I can live a vicarious pastry chef-in-training's life through you two!

laura kate said...

that is the coolest creepy cake ever.

you are so making mine whenever i finally bag me a man :)

Jack said...

OMG! I wanna eat your cake!

Jes said...

That is the most amazing cake ever!!!! I LOVE IT!

palbuddin said...

!!! You are amazing, lady. I could have cried when I saw that goth cake. Truely you have a gift!

Mark by Chocolate said...

Very nice. You have good decorating skills.

Simone (junglefrog) said...

That cake just looks absolutely fantastic!! I just discovered your blog through foodbuzz!!
Simone

Holly said...

What a bad ass cake...if only I could get married again (better not wish that on myself)...Halloween is my favorite holiday of all and I cannot wait to get to work on my own dark creations! Great work!

curiousdomestic said...

Wow. That's some crazy cake. Really creative and beautiful.

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