When Is Cake No Longer "a Cake"

Decorating By Vkandis Updated 13 Jul 2010 , 10:05pm by deMuralist

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Vkandis Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 7:23pm
post #1 of 13

Maybe this is just me but last night when watching Cake Boss I could not help but think the thing he was making for that deli was not a cake. When I think of cake I think of a sweet baked food. Certainly there was cake in the monstrosity that he was making but given all the cereal treats and modelling chocolate he put on it no longer seemed to be "a cake." For those who did not see it he made a giant sandwich 6 foot long where the bread was made from cereal treats and the meats and cheeses were from modelling chocolate. Only the base contained cake.

Have thought about this before when watching these cake building competitions on Food Network where they have a height requirement and all the height comes from sculpted figures made from modelling chocolate or cereal treats and the only part of the "cake" that is cake is the base.

Now I understand that creating showpieces means some things just cannot be made from cake. However it is hard for me to see something as a cake when the "decorations," made from things other than cake, dwarf the parts of the piece that are made from cake. I guess when I see "a cake" I think it should be primarily cake and not things that people are not going to eat (cereal treats, modelling chocolate, etc.)

Curious what others think.

12 replies
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Kiddiekakes Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:21pm
post #2 of 13

I was just thinking the same thing last night when I watched that episode as well...How can anyone charge per serving for cereal treats?If I were a customer I would be angry if I paid $1000.00 for a cake and most of it was RKT.This is why I try to keep all my embellishments 100% edible.I feel that when the customer is paying me X amount of dollars for a cake they should get just that!

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Yum2010 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:30pm
post #3 of 13

I agree! Call me old fashioned, but I personally like a cake that looks like a cake! I love when they are inspired by different characters or things, but sometimes things get a little out of hand! That's why I don't even watch Ace of cakes anymore!

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Yum2010 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:35pm
post #4 of 13

I can carve a cake to look like a car or a fish or whatever, but I charge so much for it that I rarely get anyone to actually follow through. I figured, it's not something I enjoy, so if they want it, they will pay!! I guess people like Duff have mastered the skill of regular cakes and they got bored, I don't know?

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cutthecake Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:35pm
post #5 of 13

A cake is no longer a cake...when you need a hacksaw to cut it?

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LindaF144a Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:37pm
post #6 of 13

I thought the same thing. I would be really disappointed to get RKT. But they did show them slicing it and there definitely was some serious cake in the slices. It was red velvet cake too.

But I'm with you on the RKT thing.

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kansaslaura Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:49pm
post #7 of 13

Amen sistahs! I just uploaded a cheeseburger cake I did a little over a year ago for my son. It's entirely cake.. and buttercream for that matter! I did use peanut butter fudge with coarse sugar for the fries, and a little bit of fondant for cheese, pickles and onions. If lil ole ME can make one of cake you'd think the big guys could too!!

...I've gotten really bad about uploading photos, sorry! icon_rolleyes.gif

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amysue99 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:50pm
post #8 of 13

I agree. I wouldn't want my customers to have to plow through layer after layer of construction material, fondant, and modeling chocoalte just to get to the actual cake. For that matter, I would never use half of the ideas in some of the cupcake books, becuase they're mostly twinkies, donut holes, marshmallows and candy. Yuck! Who wants an icing-covered twinkie?!

However, I'm sure that the clients on these shows know what they're getting into. They're paying for the novelty and uniqueness and to hear their guests say "Wow! Is that actually a cake?!" We (the cakers) know that the answer is "well, actually, only this small portion here is cake." icon_smile.gif

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kansaslaura Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 8:55pm
post #9 of 13

Maybe the new term should be "Edible Art"

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Vkandis Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 9:00pm
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

Maybe the new term should be "Edible Art"

Have thought of something like this but many of the cakes posted in the photos section certainly fit this bill better than the garish monstrosities created with RKT and modeling chocolate.

Nice burger btw, made me want one---good thing I was planning on grilling some up for dinner.

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BlakesCakes Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 9:45pm
post #11 of 13

I'm pretty comfortable calling it a cake if it's a cake base that has other edible elements used to complete the design.

RKTs are edible and on a side note, can be easily saved and consumed well after the cake is gone. My experience is that they are also MORE expensive than making real cakes because for structure they need to be compacted.

Sometimes weather, structure, or transport conditions dictate using something more dense than cake.

For many of the FN & TLC challenges, the "cakes" they use are NOTHING that they would EVER have the nerve to serve people. They are deliberately underflavored overcooked dense pound cakes that could be used to build sidewalks--dry, dense, easily carved, and very stable--basically barely edible styrofoam. The tasting cakes are the quality cakes.

I think Buddy does a great job using 90% edibles. It's Duff that drives me nuts, making a plywood box, covering it in fondant, putting 3 layers of cake on top, and calling the entire thing a CAKE.

Heck, I can put a cake on a tall cake stand with the BEST of them! icon_lol.gif


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LindaF144a Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 10:01pm
post #12 of 13

BlakesCakes - you are talking about the Joseph the Amazing Coat one aren't you.
We were so disappointed in that cake. I could have done that was exactly what my DD said.

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deMuralist Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 10:05pm
post #13 of 13

I always wonder how the heck they then decide how many servings they have. and do they give their customers a chart to let them know where the cake is.

It is obviously an art to do those things. But even saying it is edible if you are not going to eat it...well, sort of. I don't have a problem with any of it as long as the customer is fully informed. And while I could do it-I actually would have a much easier time than trying to do it with cake-it is cake I am trying to learn to make well and pretty, so I will stick with cake.

edited to add a p.s. I love your signature quote...I used to tell my dd all the time that "a lack of planning on her part did not constitute an emergency on my part". She learned.

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