Anywho, here's a cake I made last weekend for my neighbor Liz. Her son was graduating from high school and she wanted a cake that incorporated a bunch of things: his high school graduation, the fact that he was a goal keeper on his soccer team and his acceptance to college. That's a tall order! I thought about making a soccer field but just couldn't "see" it with everything else she wanted on the cake. Then one morning during a brutal run, it came to me: a book! I presented my idea to Liz and she loved the concept. Filling the pages was a bit harder than I anticipated and wished I could have thought of some more things to decorate the "college" side, but my creative bone was just dry! I used a big art book I picked up at a rummage sale a few years ago (Paintings of the Musée d'Orsay) as my muse. I really wanted to try and accurately capture the way the book looked open, with the gaping spine and arched headband (yes, I admit it, I'm a nerd for knowing what this part of a book is called.) Carving it was tricky, but I took my time and went really slow. Boy did I make a big mess though(check out the slide show below for photos)!
I used a bit of a tromp d'oeil technique to give the impression that one side of the book was smaller than the other (the left side) and was really tickled with how well I was able to illustrate that.Overall I was very pleased with how the cake came out. Oh, and in case you're curious, the cake consisted of 2 layers of devil's food and one of vanilla bean cake, with dark chocolate ganache filling and crumb coated with vanilla Italian buttercream.
Here's a little slideshow of the cake's progression to being completed.