Cakes that tell a story+tips from Rai!
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Most of us may know about the sport- cricket and also some famous players who play it but have you seen a cake where a famous cricket player is wishing you happy birthday?
Well, my teacher's husband has!
Mr.Sumit had his birthday coming right around the corner and he loved cricket so my teacher asked me if I could make a cake for his birthday and well....I said yes!
Why settle for good when you can make great! I thought that I could have just make a regular cricket cake seen on internet but I did not like that. I wanted to connect to my customer and his liking for the sport, sportman (Rahul Dravid in his case) and make my own design. Even though it would be uphill path, I chose to do something that no one has done before or seen. Now as I look back, it took a lot of creativity, patience and lot of persistence as I failed forward while making all the decorations. The hand of the character would not stand straight due to weight of the bat and constant touching the hand, the glove started to deform and melt away as I would adjust the hand...phew..it took lot of blood(not literally, food colours), sweat and tears to make this character pop up...
Steps to creating a cake which tells a story
1. What customer wants - Cake dream
Before you begin sketching your cake you have to first list down everything that you and your customer wants in this cake. It would include particular flavours, likings of something, personality, decorations and more! I like to understand my customer, see their personal photos, talk to them or message them and learn about them. As I analyse my findings, I get few ideas and directions to proceed to sketching...
My findings were -
Mr Sumit is turning 41. He loves cricket and is a big Rahul Dravid fan. They have two kids. They like chocolate(which kid doesn't). So it would be a
- A chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream
- Cricket themed cake - research what elements compose of Cricket for decorations
- Rahul Dravid has to feature somehow (Mr.Sumit's favourite cricket player) - research on Dravid.
- Some Rworld originality and creativity - shall I feature Dravid or Mr Sumit or his family on the pitch or stadium....thinking and evaluating...my skills are not so much to make 4-5 characters...I need to simplify the design so it looks neat, yet tell the story.
2. Visualisation - Sketching the cake
This is a crucial part in creating a cake which is unique and different. The cake had many elements and sketching the cake before making and baking the cake helped me stay organised and in order.
I made 2-3 sketches and then decide on one at the end as I liked the clean look and strong first impression.
I did borrow few elements from my other sketches to complete the look of this cake.
My final sketch-
3. Planning the cake
Planning is very important in making a cake and having checklists for ingredients and decoration makes it so much easier. You should plan at least a couple of days before the day you make and deliver your cake.If you don't have a ingredient then write it down on your shopping list and make sure to get it before you start baking your cake. Since I was using fondant in my cake I needed to make the decorations before
hand so they could dry.
Making the fondant decorations before saved a lot of time and stress in the future!
4.Making the cake-
Finally time to make the cake! I am not going to write on this a lot since there is not much to making a cake but I want to give you some quick tips which you should go through before making your cake-
Double check your ingredients before starting.
Don't over-mix the batter
Grease you pans of put parchment paper
Follow the recipe
5. Plan B : Make doubles
Always keep a Plan B while working on Plan A.
When making a cake where you have to deliver it on a particular day. Anything can happen as per my experience. So I make sure to make double the recipe just incase something happens to the original cake. I made three extra cake layers and also some extra buttercream.
Expect the best but prepare for the worst!
6. Slow down to speed up. Make use of your time
Cake making looks fun but is exhausting and tired mind and body can make a mess when it comes to finishing it good. So while the cake bakes or cools, I prefer to read a book or complete my HW and stay hydrated and have a snack! While making a cake there are some pretty long breaks - while it's baking, cooling etc....
Make use of your time and be productive while you have your break.
If you don't want to do anything during these baking breaks then just sit around with a good book and some lemonade and enjoy!
Hard work comes with it's own little rewards!
7. Assemble the cake
Just like making the cake, assembling the cake is also quite easy and so I just wanted to give some more tips on assembling your cake.
Make sure cakes have chilled for at least 30 minutes
Add support straws to larger cakes for structural support
Crumb coat and chill
Keep the surface you are working on neat and clean
Always keep skewers, straws on hand for supporting any element temporarily.
Keep the tools on hand to put the decorations on cake to keep the cake neat. Our hands can shake and smudge the smooth buttercream while placing some decorations.
8. Tell your story!
Breathe....stand back and see magic happen...this stage is most exciting and most dangerous to mess it up too...Add your decorations and visualize the story you are trying to tell through the cake. Place your decorations just like your sketch for an incredible side by side comparison!
Stay calm, cool and optimistic and be impromptu creative problem solver!
Before you deliver to share your cake make sure you have photos and video of your original master piece!
10. Deliver with class!
If you are suppose to deliver your cake to someone else then having a cake box or carrier will make you delivery much easier.
I branded my box with a Rworld sticker and that made it personalised and professional.
The moment of truth!
The final cake and it's story-
The story of my cake is Rahul Dravid (famous cricket player) wishing Mr.Sumit happy birthday my jumping out of the cake! Stumps ,cricket balls, bats and empire hats are around the cake to represent cricket.
My sketch and my cake-
Dreams become reality when you are persistent, creative and open-minded!
I hope this post inspired you to be original and unique and to tell your story!