After an incredible day yesterday in Mike McCarey’s Eiffel Tower class, I returned this morning anxious to start my second class with him. This class is a two-day structures class. Mike is known for his sculpted, 3-dimensional masterpieces which is why he is one of my favorite decorators. I love making cakes that people look at and say “That’s a cake?!” The problem with these types of cakes is that there is a lot of thinking and work that must be done before you even start baking. If you don’t have a strong solid structure in place you are likely to end up with a cake disaster. I have experienced a few of these myself so I was anxious to learn from the best how to keep my cakes standing and in one piece.
I walked in this morning and saw this waiting for us.
You know a class is going to be good when there are power tools in the room.
We spent the morning listening to Mike instruct us on different building materials, tools and the physics of cake.
He showed us how he constructed many of his cakes…
and put together sample structures for us.
After taking pages and pages of notes, lots of photos and trying to absorb this wealth of information, it was our turn to get to work.
Once again our work stations were stocked with everything we needed.
Our project for this class is constructing a 3-dimensional Big Bird cake so today’s work was to build the structure for Big Bird’s body. We used our building pieces and tools to create an internal bone structure for the Sesame Street icon.
This is what Big Bird looks like without his skin. Don’t you love his beak?
Once our stands were complete, and checked for sturdiness, Mike explained the process of stacking cake around such a complicated structure.
Back to my workstation I went and stacked cakes until they filled out my framework.
We finished up the day by shaping body parts and feathers out of modeling chocolate.
Here are some arms and beak pieces.
Tomorrow we will carve our birds then bring them to life. As for now, I am exhausted after this tremendously fun and informative day so I am ready for some shut eye.
Until tomorrow, God Bless and Sweet Dreams.
How can all of those materials be food safe? Just curious. Thanks.
Hi Bridget, thanks for reading my blog. That is a great question. Mike told us that if you are worried about structures being food safe you can paint them with non-toxic paint to seal them off. He recommended the brand Mythic. I have not tried that yet but, in the past, I have just wrapped aluminum foil or plastic wrap around supports that I was a little uncertain about. The paint is probably a better way to go though since the foil or plastic wrap can get in the way when you are trying to slice and serve the cake. I hope that answers your question.
Hey, if you don’t mind me asking what did you guys use on the big bird structure at the bottom of the face (the rounded bottom part). Also I see that bottom of the body is also rounded off what is used there? It looks like modeling chocolate or maybe rice krispy treats? I hope my question makes sense 🙂
Hi Sara, as I recall, we used modeling chocolate for the rounded bottoms (it’s been a few years but I believe that was what it was, Ha!) With other cake structures I’ve done I usually use modeling chocolate, unless it is really large, then I use RKT. Hope that helps.