The principle ?
“Being as beautiful as it is good” is the mantra of designer cakes, which combine art and indulgence. Formerly affiliated with “wedding cakes”, the essential happy endings of American romantic comedies, these majestic cakes surrounded by sugar paste are now used as traditional desserts. And in the age of connected food, they often land on Instagram. Among the stars, we find the “number cake”, the must-have for birthdays, the “rainbow cake” or the “flower cake”, all hashtagged by the millions on social networks.
How do we do it?
Theoretically, nothing could be simpler. To make a designer cake, all you need is a basic cake (often made up of chiffon cake, pound cake, sponge cake or chocolate cake) and a sugar paste and marzipan icing. It is especially this second step that requires the most attention and creativity. Quite technical, it requires having basic equipment (rolling pin, moulds, cling film, etc.) but also other more original elements, such as a ruler, a compass, scissors, and even a can of Coke, to perfect smoothing for icing. The thing to master? The distribution between the sugar paste and the cake. For a 20 cm round cake, count 600 g of sugar paste and 900 g of marzipan. To your stoves!
Is it for the pros?
Discouraged by the technicality of certain recipes? Don’t panic, all these cakes are on the rise and are becoming more democratic to better invest in our kitchens. We thus see several books flourish that accompany budding pastry chefs step by step. YouTube tutorials are also online for beginners, like that of Roxane’s Workshop, which has 2.1 million views. For the more seasoned, there are workshops and even a cake design school, the ECDP, located in the 18th arrondissement in Paris, for professionals and enthusiasts alike (ecolecakedesign.paris ). What to become a pastry chef in the wind.
Sugar paste is to cake design what Beyoncé is to music: an essential! In her book, “Cake Design” (ed. Hachette Cuisine), the blogger Sally François gives her foolproof recipe: “Melt 300 g of marshmallows in a bowl in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water for 1 min. Mix and put back in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Mix with a wooden spatula. Gradually add 400 g of icing sugar. Pour 100 g of icing sugar on the work surface and work the dough until it forms a ball that should not stick to your fingers. Wrap it in cling film. It can be kept for several weeks in the fridge. »
Bastien Blanc-Tailleur has established himself as the pope of cake design on Insta, but many equally attractive accounts abound. Among them, the Israeli pastry chef Adi Klinghofer, creator of the famous “number cake” (@adikosh123), is a reference. Blogger @almonds_and_apricots’ elegant floral cakes aren’t bad either. Even more surprisingly, the pastries are sometimes sculptural, like the @deliciousbysara account and its incredible themed cakes. We will also mention @sugarruffles , and its trompe-l’oeil flowers in marzipan. We are crazy about these cakes!