Monday, November 16, 2009

Mixed media

Wine bottle Birthday Cake - top view

The endless rain has started in Vancouver, and while I do love cozy days listening to the pitter-patter, walking to and from the bus stop is somewhat soggier than usual with wet autumn leaves still lining the streets. I tend to hibernate during the cold months but when asked to create a wine bottle themed birthday cake this week, the artistic challenge was quite invigorating!

Wine bottle Birthday Cake - the label

I had a bit of déjà vu because this cake was for another 60 year old who lives far away, just like the Tree cake. In order to make life easier, the more elements which I can create ahead of time, the better and so, the fondant grapes, gumpaste wine label and bottle cap, white chocolate scrolls, and faux-wood chocolate box panels were all done in advance.


The most rewarding but time-consuming element was undoubtedly, the wine label. Having recently attended a Compressed Italics calligraphy workshop by Martin Jackson (who I secretly wish I could be), I was eager to practice this hand and experiment with my calligraphic tools on dried gumpaste. Using Wilton colour paste mixed with vodka for ink, my Speedball C2 nib flowed quite nicely whereas the pointed nib was more tricky since it tended to scrape into the gumpaste and get clogged.

Wine bottle Birthday Cake - the bottle

The cake itself was built from a 10 x 15 x 3 inch slab of chocolate cake layered with whipped dark chocolate raspberry ganache. This was divided into the 6 x 15 x 3 inch box and the remaining section was carved into the life-sized wine bottle which was covered with black rolled fondant and stacked on top of the box. I never think of myself as particularly skilled at doing highly realistic cakes but this was quite a lovely outcome!

13 comments:

GradStudent said...

wow! I've been lurking and reading your blog and admiring your cakes for some time now.

Your cakes are beautiful, and I can hardly believe that some of those things are even possible?!

Thank you for sharing your gift (and your hard work!) with the blog-o-sphere.

Oana said...

We loved the cake! Amazing work, and sooo tasty too.

julie said...

wow this is awesome!

Alicia said...

Great cake! Fantastic work!

Sarah said...

When i saw this on Food Gawker, I thought it was actually a wine bottle. =)

Marc said...

i made a cake like this for my dad and does not even come close to what you have done here. great work!

Reid said...

I second Sarah! I came here by way of food gawker and I thought it was a real wine bottle at first! Just shows how great your skills truly are:)

Marit said...

I have followed your blog for quite some time, and you cakes are just amazing. But this one just took my breath away! It's not just an amazing cake, it's a piece of art!

Christina and Jacob said...

I really thought those were real wood curls and a real bottle set on top of the cake. That is so amazing. You are so talented. Bravo!

B said...

that wood panel for the box...that is way amazing. If u get a chance do share the technique.

Wonderful as usual

Sugar Siren said...

This cake is amazing!!! You say your cakes aren't that realistic, I have to disagree this is very realistic indeed.

I love your calligraphy work it is wonderful. I also second B I would love to know how you got the great wood grain on the chocolate panels of the box.

Charmaine said...

Sugar Siren: Wood grainers are commonly found at hardware stores (typically used for faux finishes). I dragged it through dark chocolate first, then finished with milk chocolate. Hope that helps!

Sugar Siren said...

Thank you so much Charmaine.