Let Them Eat Cake!

17 Feb

I am more than likely going to go this event and bringing cake.

The gist of it is to make a 2′-4′, stacked, sculpted cake. It is very much Food Network in nature, complete with a move from the work table to a judging surface.This is a technical challenge. More in line with what kind of engineer you are, coupled with some art skills. 

I am not sure how people are going to do the "historically accurate" cake. What we know as cake, isn’t period.  What we know as frosting, isn’t period. Stacking cakes, isn’t period. There isn’t anything about this whole competition that uses techniques which are "historically accurate". Maybe some of the gumpaste work, if you choose to do any of that would be considered period.

  1. Cake is heavy.
  2. Sugar is heavy.
  3. Structures are heavy.
  4. Cake doesn’t like to be stacked.
  5. Cake sheds like there’s no tomorrow.
  6. Cake doesn’t travel well.

This is going to be a HEAVY structure. Very, very heavy. In looking at period cake, there are a number of late period recipes.  Several of which look very tasty. But not suitable for modern cake sculpture construction. I was thinking I wanted to do a historically accurate cake.  But I am thinking it is going to have to be just for fun. If just because of the cake component alone.

And this is me…explaining things poorly
I want to do a 4" cake base, with a 2-2.5 ft sugar/gingerbread sculpture (that has a chance of being period).  The sculpture would be of an English great hall, with a feast scene. Room would be decorated with banners and weapons, shredded wheat rushes, fireplace, people, feasty type foods and poured sugar glass windows. 

I can see this piece as clear as if it were here next to me.
I can taste the flavors of the cake.
I know how the architecture needs to be constructed.
I can feel how the sugar wants to be worked.

The Voice of Reason(tm), said if I really wanted to do this, do it.  Do it because I want to, not because anyone else wants/expects me to.  Because I want to.  4 small words and actually very selfish.  Not for the ‘good’ of the populace, not for ‘self promotion’, not for a Queen who ‘wants people to make cake’.  But because I want to.

My brain has already wrapped itself around the idea.  It WANTS to do the sculpture part of the piece (cake is just a base to sit on, tasty, but secondary). I want to do this. Not because I ‘could win’. But because it feels like the right thing to do. Part of my soul is standing up and doing the happy dance.* It’s been yelling at me to reconnect with that part of me that does "art" for a long time.

I think this is my deepest, darkest secret. I am one of those crazy, driven artist types. Maybe I should listen to my own advice and "do what brings me great passion and joy". 


Yeah. This is a post about joy. This started out as a post about doing a cake for coronation.  It’s ending with me, learning more about me. Hmmm.  Funny how that works sometimes.

*I feel the same way when I have a blade in my hand or black powder on my clothes. 

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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Projects, Sugar


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