As a final note, before we move on from cakes to a more energetic topic, our friends at Konditor & Cook (from whom we’ve had too many birthday cakes than is really healthy) have a great story about an enormous edible portrait…
To celebrate The Queen’s Jubilee in June, Gerhard Jenne, who originally trained in Munich as a pastry chef (konditor) and in London as a cook, decided to create a digital portrait of The Queen for the digital age – using cakes. His vision was a giant portrait made from 3,120 individual cakes, one for each week of The Queen’s reign, with a fruitcake frame measuring a total area of 3.2m by 2.7m. The portrait would be displayed on an easel in Battersea Park as part of the Diamond Jubilee Festival.
Using cross stitch software, Gerhard and his team deconstructed a pixalated image of The Queen into a map of colours and symbols. Each cube-shaped iced cake represented one pixel. Over several days, more than 1,000 eggs, 50kg of butter and 150kg of sugar were used to make the cakes, using Gerhard’s lemon Victoria sponge recipe, which is also used for Konditor & Cook’s legendary Magic Cakes. Before being iced, the cakes were covered in apricot jam and 36kg of marzipan.
‘I’ve never made a portrait out of cakes before so it’s a big challenge to do something on this scale,’ explained Gerhard, before the big day. ‘I’ve made cakes for rock royalty before now, including Mick Jagger and Tina Turner, but this is a first. I hope we can rise to the challenge.’
On the day, as the team constructed the portrait, the fruitcake frame was embellished with diamond-shaped gingerbread biscuits that had been decorated by many of the festival-goers. Unfortunately, the Jubilee downpour prevented the team completing their mission and instead caused a spectacular cake avalanche on one side. However, with only a couple of sections missing, the photo above shows just how close they were. Also, with the help of some hardy spectators the team still managed to sell some of the ‘dry’ cakes, raising funds for the Food Chain charity.
Check out Konditor & Cook’s blog at konditorandcook.com