How Hyper-Realistic Cakes Are Sculpted and Decorated at Cake Power — How To Make It


– We are visiting Kate
Sullivan today at Cake Power and she makes hyper-realistic cakes, breaking the norm by
making edible sculptures. I’m thinking right away this is something that requires time and a lot of patience. I don’t have a ton of patience, not really known for my patience. Hopefully Kate will help me to create something that doesn’t look like cake. Let’s give it a shot. (upbeat music) So today, we’re gonna make a polar bear coming up out of the water, just the head peeking out of the ice. – I love anything animal related. And I see that we have some polar bears for inspiration here. So where did Cake Power get its start? – Well I’d been working in
magazines for a really long time, and I would have a friend who was working at a food magazine and on deadline, and be like, you know
those cakes you’re making all the time, in your spare time? Could you do one for inside this magazine, I’m working on? And it was really organic. The first cake I ever did for publication was for Time Out magazine
and they rented a full page. And then I kind of thought, maybe I should quit my day job. (laughs) (energetic music) I’m gonna attach this cake to this cake with the ganache.
– Ganache. – Were gonna use these as a
guide to cut out the cake. So I wouldn’t say this is a great first cake, but–
– Oh good. – once you’re doing it for a while, it doesn’t have a lot
of internal structure. – I feel like now is
a good time to mention that my artistic ability
is just second grade level. That’s what you’re working with. – I love second graders.
(Katie laughs) It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be really great. – Do you still wanna eat cake scraps or are you totally over it? – I’ve had enough (laughs) – I did a very short,
pastry stint in restaurants and I thought I like
struck gold at the time. And then after a week, I just didn’t even wanna look at sugar. – Yeah. And again, like keeping
the board… (laughs) – Cause it’s hard to not be eating all these cake scraps right now. What would surprise people the most about the hyper-realistic cake verses a traditional, besides
as I’m starting to see (Kate laughs) the amount of work and
time that goes into it. – I think the biggest surprise is when we cut into it and then it’s actually delicious that is always like, “Oh, I didn’t expect
it to also taste good.” – Right it’s important. It should be.
– It’s huge. This is cake and butter cream. So I wanna start, the head
actually comes out like this. (fun music) – Right now, my bear head
shape is that of a primate. (Kate laughs) (fun music) I could not make French
macarons for the life of me. And all the cooks, they were like, “Oh are you making Mickey Mouse heads again?” Cause they were all
stuck together and flat and it was a huge source
of frustration. How long does it
generally take to complete a cake, start to finish? – I feel like this is
kind of a two-day cake. So there’s baking and
making all the ingredients, and then there’s letting everything set up in the refrigerator. There’s a lot of steps involved. – Right. – Everything is dependent upon
the cake being cold enough. So now based on the difference between when we originally cut
it, like it’s so solid. You know.
– It is. – It’s really stable.
– Huge difference.. Right. But, you know it’s cake. Someone’s gonna eat it. It’s all good. (celebration music) – And then you’re pretty much there. We’re gonna start looking at
where we want your eyes to be. And make a little space for them. And where the eyebrows are and start building that up.
– Okay. This is the part I feared. The fine detail. This is where all the artistry comes in that I lack. – But I think you’re
gonna surprise yourself. I think it’s looking really good. – I think I’m surprising
you right now. – I’m just going to start right in. – Okay. – And put a thin coat of
ganache over the whole thing. (fun music) – This is turning into like
a Pinterest fail. Do we have to turn these
towards the camera? (laughs) I’m like… Yup, mmhm. We’re still on that same path. (festive music) Elephant. (Kate laughs and gasps) – [In background]
It does look like an elephant. – That is a great elephant,
so here’s the thing. Maybe you’re making an elephant. – We’re done. – Cause that is awesome. (Festive music) This highly technical tool
of toothpicks taped together, is pretty handy for making fur. And we’ll start on the back. – This looks like I’m using toothpicks. That looks like fur? – I kind of like at
parties, when you serve stuff like this, there’s always someone who wants to bite the ear off. (Katie laughs) And there’s always someone else who’s very disturbed by that. Alright so, ears, eyes, – I’ll take the craziest ones. Wow, it’s just the whole thing just comes to life with the eyes. Oh my gosh, I’m gonna leave it like that. Go back. You’re beautiful. – So this is the powdered food color and I’m gonna add some lemon extract to make it into sort of a
syrupy kind of consistency. – This smells so good. – It does, right?
– I love lemon. – I think this is my favorite part, like when I can really
see it coming together. It’s sort of, it’s a finishing touches. – The payoff – Yeah, you can sort of see that. – Once the eyes went in,
really, it sort of came to life. – I think you’re really gonna like it when the nose goes on also. – I’ve never paid this close attention to a polar bear’s nose.
(Kate laughs) He just got so friendly. What a difference in these final details. (fun music) (Katie making a showy noise) (Kate laughs) – So how do you think I did? – Like I feel like this
is a great character. – I love it.
– I love him. – It was a really, really fun process. I just, I really hope people realize how much work goes into
making one single cake. It’s just, it’s such
attentiveness to detail. It’s unbelievable to me. – Well I think you did a great job. And I like how you did the
whole interspecies thing, (Katie laughs) your elephant, and then the otter– – It morphed into a few
different animals along the way. – That was good. – But it sort of resembles
a polar bear. – It does, no it does. – Thank you so, so much. This was awesome. (upbeat music) I’m gonna take a bit out
of my little friend here. But if you enjoyed this episode and you’d like to see more, click here. – And the idea is you,
like the more surface area, the better, right? Because it means that, that air’s getting trapped in the candy. So– – How come mine’s not as nice as yours? Yeah.

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