Gothic Wedding Cake

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our final for Advanced Pastry was a three or four tier wedding cake. The first week we worked on learning to make flowers for the cake. Then we had one more week of prep and this week was the week to put it all together. I, of course, didn't want to do the same thing everyone else was doing. I just always want to be different. I don't like "competing" by definition. I don't want to be "better" than anyone else, I just want to be different. It's funny. As children and teenagers, the worst thing in the world is to be different. As adults, at least in my case, I have learned to embrace uniqueness. It's what sets me apart. It is what makes people go, "Wow!" I like doing things people don't expect. I like thinking "outside of the box."

With that in mind, I didn't want to do a classic white wedding cake. I had seen a photo of a gothic cake that was my base inspiration. Of course, mine ended up not being very similar at all as it evolved, but this cake was the one that I looked at originally and got the wheels turning.

When I was at work at Doing Dishes Pottery Studio, a photo cube caught my eye.

People paint the cube, then we glue the metal photo holder into the top once it is fired. My brain started churning. "What if I just used the metal part as the cake topper." I began to sketch a plan for my cake. This was the original sketch.

I went on to think as I got more and more into it, "What if I mold something around the topper to look like a tree??" The cake continued to evolve. I love how this happens. My mind just churns and churns and eventually something wonderful comes out of it. I make lists upon lists. I edit, cross out, and crumple up sketches and notes. I plan like crazy. It usually works and this was no exception.

Thomas Hill from Marion Crane and Digital Kill Productions, and incidentally my husband's best friend, came through for us and willingly went with us to take our photos in a Gothic Wedding Photo Shoot for the photos on the top of the cake. Jaime Yeoman also helped out with the makeup and the actual shoot and the cake wouldn't have been the same without them!!!

Wednesday I put the whole cake together. First I put the cake topper on the cake and added the "roots" of the tree. To make the topper I used a mixture of modeling paste and modeling chocolate kneaded together with black food coloring powder. It took several tries to come up with the right ratio, but once I did, I was able to keep making small amounts as I needed it to make the flowers, leaves, and trees. Then I piped the wrought iron fence on the bottom tier with black royal icing and the web on the top tier, and piped a simple border on all tiers. I added the second tree and the leaves, spiders, and flowers. I finished up adding accents of luster dust here and there, and finally added the photos to the tree.

I was so extremely happy with how the cake turned out that I was thrilled when I learned that one of the guys from the photography department at the Art Institute volunteered to take professional photos of all the cakes.

*If you click on the photos, they will come up larger so you can see more detail.

These are the other photos that were on the top of the cake. Some of them were edited to be black and white with only the purple remaining.

I love that these say Husband and Wife:

And just for fun, here are additional photos from the shoot that didn't make it onto the cake.

Here is Marc rear naked choking one of the headstones. He's in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


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