Wednesday, June 17, 2009

heat of the moment

The Northeast may be experiencing unusually cool temperatures and rainy weather for the month of June, but there was definitely a warm front moving through the cake shop today, maybe even a heat wave. There were loads of cakes to still be baked so the oven was on all day: 9 hours x 350 degrees = hot and gross. The shop is seriously in its own little microclimate because it's so isolated from the outside in terms of daylight, ventilation, and temperature; from the inside, you really have know idea what time of day or night it is, and what the weather will be like when you finally leave the building. Last week I had gone out after a day of work and the ground and cars were wet. Obviously a rainstorm had passed through and we were completely unaware. Might also be all the dove cooing and Hallmark movies blocking out the sound of the outside world.

The work area is hot as heck but then the cake closet in the back is cool and air-conditioned, so on days like today I try to spend as much time back there as possible [today I went back there to cover cake boards, box some cupcakes, and I took a little longer than necessary when retrieving things from the fridge in there, shhh]. So anyways, this got me thinking of something, for everyone who has told me to think about how one could possibly combine architecture and cake in some way: how to design a bakery using simple sustainable, architectural, and marketing strategies like: use stack effect and place ovens in a vertical space so that the heat rises; because so much heat is generated, capture this heat and recycle it to cool the air conditioned space; have an amazing show-room and taste-test space; and of course the most important, have 2 windows or doors at opposite ends to create cross-ventilation and pull the cake aroma from the kitchen to the unsuspecting future customers. Maybe there's something there.

ok, enough talking, here are the cakes from today. First the appropriately-timed Stanley Cup for a birthday. Started as an 11x15 sheet cake that I had to cut [I cut the barrel base from the cake and used the excess to form the cup at the top], prep, and ice in gray. I had my handy Google Images so I aimed to get some level of detail, then Joan airbrushed it metallic silver so it actually looks pretty cool. We didn't know which team the birthday boy supported, if any, so the fondant birthday tag was inspired by the NHL logo. We laughed that without the top cup part of the trophy, it would just look like a big keg cake. Which actually would have been fine, since it was for a 21st birthday:

I really like the challenge of creating these crazy novelty cakes from simple sheet cakes, I guess it brings out the inner puzzle geek in me because you have to envision how to use every piece and how to make things dimensional. Joan seemed pretty happy with this one, so she gave me another one, let's see if you can guess what it will be:

Any guesses?

Oh man... a golfer ... maybe?

We're going to finish, detail, and accessorize him in the morning. *crossing fingers*

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