Sometimes, I think to myself that cake icing must be some kind of art. Scratch that, it IS a unique kind of art – a beautiful one, really… Wikipedia defines art as a creative activity that expresses imaginative or technical skill. It produces a product, an object.
It means that cake icing is an amazing art – a magic product if you will. And how could it not be? From the way the caterer dances between a mix of visualization and cutting and layering and plastering and sculpting.
She knows just what she wants, the cake’s got to have four layers. So, she cuts into the cake delicately with a cake knife – to prevent it from falling apart – and gently dusts cake particles off with a napkin. Before long, she’s got four pretty layers sitting before her.
Now, each layer has to be separated with a thin coat of icing. She has something colorful in mind, so she selects the colors for each coat. Then, she mixes the colors with the plain icing.
The deliberate intention to separate these layers with different colors is so much like an artist. Come to think of it, a caterer must be some kind of artist. I know this from the way she sprinkles orange coloring into the plain icing.
She takes another bowl and mixes in some blue coloring with the plain icing as well. She scrutinizes the end result to ensure that the icing is the exact shade she wants, the same way an artist checks his colors when painting. When she is finally satisfied, she pastes thin veils of icing between each layer, and is soon done in record time.
Now that the layers are set in place and she’s got one regal and beautiful cake, she turns to the next mission – which is the molding of icing against the cake. Because she wants a smooth blend of blue and white, she will have to mix two different bowls – for white and blue icing. The art riot begins earnestly and she settles for a soft shade of blue – like the early morning sky.
The sculpting begins. She first plasters the white icing against the body of the cake. In no time, the cake is completely wrapped in white – a calming sight.
Then, she begins to wrap the blue around the white at the base of the cake. When she sculpts icing against the cake, she reminds me of a sculptor at work, curving and denting shapes into his masterpiece.
As she works, she twirls the cake around. It’s like a sort of dance between a woman and her lover – the cake being the woman. The twirling is accompanied with a fast whizz of the palette as the base of the cake changes color. It’s now a glorious blend of white and blue, splattered with white streaks and circles – like a stubborn mix of paint that refuses to stay. It might sound chaotic, but have you ever seen heaven splattered with chocolate and glazed doughnuts? That’s exactly how this looks – beautiful.
She gets that over with and proceeds to add loops at the top and bottom of the cake. She’s not even halfway done, but the cake has already brightened up – it now looks like a ray of sunshine..
But like every other artist makes mistakes, a caterer also does. She splatters a glob of blue onto the cake and desperately wipes it off. With a little blending, the surface is as good as new, but now streaked with the lightest shade of blue. She then spruces the top and bottom up with chocolate and smarties – because there can never be too much of sugar anyway…
The cake looks very good now, but it still lacks a little something – it has no personal touch yet. So, she carves in a “Happy Birthday Darling” with skillful hands. In the blink of an eye, the deed is done and there’s a piece of art sitting where the cake was.
The artist lets out her first real smile in hours and stands to admire the work from afar. Ah…Yes… It is no “Starry Night,” but maybe… Just maybe it can compete with the Mona Lisa.
- Featured Image – Blue Lace Cakes.
- Image 1 – Cakes by Carrie.
- Image 2 – Completely Delicious.
- Image 3 – Crafty.
- Image 4 – Crafty/ FeltMagnet.
- Image 5 – Pastries by Randolph.
- Image 6 – Tessa’s Bakery.