Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The doors

In Grade 4, I watched Poltergeist at a birthday party and could not sleep for three nights, convinced that trees and clowns would attack me. What followed was a solid avoidance of scary movies (as well as TV commercials for scary movies) for many years, until it became my spousal obligation to view The Shining, the 1980 classic directed by Stanley Kubrick.

The doors of The Shining cake

As a result, I was actually quite prepared when asked to create a cake for a major fan of The Shining. I even do a great imitation of Shelley Duvall waving her knife around in a deadly panic. Thankfully, I was essentially given carte blanche in the design and after some reflection, I realized that there were many doors of significance throughout the movie. And what better way to feature doors than on a "cube"-like cake (get it, KUBRICK?)?

The doors of The Shining cake - bathroom & elevators

One of the most memorable scenes is when Jack violently axes his way through the bathroom door. This is actually the same door on which Danny wrote REDRUM in lipstick. I can still hear that freaky growly voice echoing in my head. Behind the doors of Room 237, some of the most disturbing scenes of the movie occurred, reminding us all to never approach strange naked women in bathtubs. Finally, the most vivid image of the movie for me was the torrent of blood rushing out of the distinctive red elevator. I gave the birthday boy a bag of bloody piping gel to squeeze onto the cake right before serving so unfortunately, none is shown in my photos.

The doors of The Shining cake - REDRUM & Room 237

This proved to be a project where the beauty was in the details. Much time was spent reviewing images in order to perfectly match each door knob, door molding, and wall pattern. Serendipitously, the movie was actually on TV the night before the cake was to be ready, and I realized that the apartment wall was actually pink, not white. My favourite item was the top of the cake, representing the memorable bold pattern of the hotel hallway carpet, which was made by piping and flooding royal icing onto a dried fondant square.

The doors of The Shining cake - carpet pattern

Here are the technical details: the cake was 4" x 4" x 6", layers of espresso chocolate cake, dark chocolate mousse, and hazelnut crunch. Every panel was made of dried fondant, later decorated with tiny fondant bits and royal icing details. It was intentionally constructed like this in hopes that the "box" created by the five panels would be lifted off the cake intact and potentially saved for future admiration! I have no clue if this happened but I certainly know that this cake was much loved by both its creator and its recipient.


rlbates said...


Sugar Siren said...

I love, love , love this cake, great Job!!!

Unknown said...

This is one of the most brilliant cakes I have ever seen! Tottally unique and beautifully done x

Joanned said...

That is the most awesome cake!!! I'm a huge Shining fan as well!

sol plante from cake it easy said...

Very creative! Love it! Have you tried a brazilian cake before?

Julie said...

Increible! Te felicito por tu trabajo...

sellwow accounts said...

WoW! amazing. .super love it.=)

Anonymous said...

your details are fantastic! very well made cake.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that Shining cake is incredible!

What an amazingly inventive idea to incorporate the doors and carpet.

Then its also chocolate espresso !!

My wife makes cakes as well - I may just have to borrow that idea - but will give you full credit ;)