Indonesia Shared

8.12.09

Art work you can eat: Pastry chef with no formal training creates amazing cakes

Here are some tasty works of art that not only look good they taste good - that's because these incredible creations are in fact cakes.

They are the work of American pastry chef Mike McCarey who has never had any formal training in art and design.

He has had to invent and discover new ways to work with icing and, in particular, chocolate in order to create his pieces.

Each of his cakes is designed for a particular order and no two cakes are alike.

Not surprisingly, his company, based in Seattle, USA is called Mike's Amazing Cakes
.

Money in the bank: Here are some tasty works of art that not only look good - they taste good too

He set up his business in 1995 after spending two years at cookery school in Denver, Colorado, and then working his way around the US as a pastry chef for various hotels, restaurants, bakeries and caterers.

He says his cake art is guided by two principles - that the concept being presented should be as accurate and true to life as possible and that it should have as unique a perspective as he can conjure up.

He said: 'I realised I liked working with cake and that it has a large span of abilities.' 

Although he did not have any formal training with cake or art he says he got his degree from 'The School of Hard Knocks'.

His first Amazing Cake was a head of a Cartoon Cow.

He said his most challenging cake was one he made for the Disney company.
It was a replica of the Grand California Hotel in Disney Land.



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The cake was 10 feet long and had an amazing number of details.

He added: 'The thing that made this cake so difficult was the arches and the angles of the arches.

'It was definitely a feat to have accomplished such great architecture on the cake and capture it in the form of all edible ingredients.'  


One of the greatest experiences learned while making cakes for Mike is the many possibilities he has found that modelling chocolate poses.

He said he can find a way to make modeling chocolate work where and when it is needed on the cake.

He added: 'I can get so many details out of always discovering new techniques with it.

'We have found the way we apply modeling chocolate at the shop gives us a unique advantage when it come to making and sculpting cakes.'  But he has no doubt about the trickiest part of his job.

He explained: 'It is not making the cakes, it is defying gravity. Gravity is one of the biggest obstacles, if not the biggest one of them all.'

Who's a clever boy? Clients wanting one of Mike?s cakes, which use only natural ingredients, contact him with an idea of what is wanted and in return he prepares sketches which can be honed until a design is agreed

His cakes can be made with a range of different flavourings and styles including chocolate, lemon, vanilla, coconut, poppy seed and pecan.

The fillings include peanut butter, lemon curd and caramel
.

Clients wanting one of Mike?s cakes, which use only natural ingredients, contact him with an idea of what is wanted and in return he prepares sketches which can be honed until a design is agreed on.

As well as wedding cakes, he bakes them for all sorts of occasions with prices totally dependent on size and design time.

His celebrity clients have included Hollywood star Dustin Hoffman and golfing legend Arnold Palmer.

He has also made cakes for corporate clients such as Microsoft, coffee giant Starbucks and America's Smithsonian Institute.

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