Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How detailed will my cake be?

"When I order a custom cake, how exact a copy of (blank) is it going to be?"  What a great question!  We've been hearing that a lot lately as we move into the Custom Cake season - what are realistic expectations for a cake to look like?  The answer depends largely on the material we're trying to copy as well as the level of detail requested.  Are you looking for an edible shoe or a cake that looks like a shoe? But rather than just tell you the answer, let me show you with cake!

Let's start off with a great example: an Adidas Shoe we made over a year ago.  Because the shoe is meant to sit flat on the floor (as opposed to lifting up at the toe like running shoes) it was easier to replicate the shape.  The leather fabric lent itself well to copying in chocolate, too.  Add a few details and some faux stitching, and voila - an Edible Shoe!  The finished product looked perfect - you almost can't tell which is the shoe and which is the cake!

The real thing - thanks Google!
Adidas Shoe cake
Let's take on animals for our next example.  Ah, animals - you and your detailed fur, feathers, and fins! And let's not forget the coloring.  While I'm sure it's helpful in the wild for camoflauge, it's not so helpful in the bakery.  But never fear, the Dessert Works Decorators are here!  With a little time and a paintbrush, even something like this large-mouth bass can be copied.  Close inspection of the cake shows that it's not perfect - it's definitely closer to a cake than a fish.  But from a distance, even a fishing novice would know what lay on the table!

Large-Mouth Bass image via Google
The Big Bass Cake - someone throw him back in the water!
And now, sigh, the most troubling and trying of materials to reproduce: Wood.  You'd be surprised how many cake requests feature it: Roulette wheels, pianos, bowling alleys, and even cigar boxes! Every type of wood is different, but they all feature very detailed lines and colors.  This is very difficult to reproduce in chocolate, but not impossible.  Take a look at this cigar box.  The cake isn't as perfect a copy as that Adidas shoe above, but it definitely screams cigar box.  We'd classify this as "a cake to look like a cigar box" as opposed to an "edible cigar box."

Wooden Cigar Box Image courtesy of Google
The Dessert Works wooden Cigar Box
Hopefully this has helped to illuminate the bright world of cake decorating a bit.  Remember - with time, good materials, and Dessert Works, NO cake is too crazy or too custom to make!

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