As all of you know by now, in real life I am a dentist. I would love to take cake decorating and baking to the next level but I can’t bring myself to leave my stable job environment. There will be a lot of disappointed people, let’s put it that way. My friend has been encouraging me to try to take measured steps and to nudge me along he commissioned this cake for his girlfriend who adores Chanel.
I love it when nobody dictates what to do or how to do it. That meant that I could do whatever I wanted! After much thought, I decided to bring in a few elements of Chanel’s signature style and make it into a cake – quilting, pearls, black and white, flowers and ribbon.
I decided on a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream because let’s be honest here – who doesn’t like chocolate?
Here is the naked cake covered in buttercream. I apologize for my work in progress pictures – I cannot stop work and take out my DSLR and take perfect shots of my progress. Well, I can but I won’t. Plus, the lighting in my kitchen is non-ideal. You will just have to put up with these photos from my iPhone.
Quilting of fondant in progress. I used a stitch fondant roller tool to create the effect. The size of the diamonds is an exact copy of the Chanel Classic bag which I had handy. By the way, I have been using The Mat to roll my fondant and it has been a lifesaver!! I am not very strong and rolling fondant takes a lot out of me and I’m really slow at it. The Mat keeps the fondant from drying out and all in all just a great invention!
Step 1 of oriental stringwork – I started this at 1am in the morning. Everything all fine and dandy at this point when everything is still in one direction!
Here’s the exciting part – flipping the cake upside down! With a small 6 inch cake that I worked on it was not too difficult. Still a little heart stopping though.
Oriental stringwork piped the other way. Topped the intersections with edible pearls. Completed at 3am in the morning.
I made a fantasy flower out of black sugarpaste and used pearls as the heart. I also used the pearls (two sizes) to prop it up at an angle so it looked like there was a stack of pearls holding the flower up. I also wrapped a black ribbon around the bottom. And that’s it!
I would love to do tutorials for all the techniques used but to be honest there are comprehensive ones in YouTube and in books which I will just link below:
1. Fondant Bow
2. Oriental Stringwork
3. Fondant Quilting
4. Fantasy Flower
5. Chocolate Buttercream Recipe
6. Chocolate Cake Recipe
I spent a ridiculous amount of time on this project but it was worth it. The stringwork was extremely delicate – I absolutely adore royal icing work but I think in the future if the cake has to leave the house it probably shouldn’t have any free standing elements like that. If you accidentally break a couple of pieces don’t fret – what I did was I piped drop strings off the side of a silicone baking pan, waited for them to dry for a couple of hours, took them off very very carefully and attached them to the broken portions. Nobody will know.
Also, the receiver loved the cake so much I received a bouquet of flowers at work the next day! I broke it apart and did a ikebana arrangement out of it:
26 thoughts on “Oriental Stringwork Chanel Cake”
Holy cow! That cake is absolutely beautiful!
Thanks for the compliment – I had a lot of fun making it. 🙂
This is amazing! So beautiful! And good job at the flipping of the cake lol
Absolutely beautiful cake!
Thank you 🙂
A very elegant cake! We share the same dream- I would like to take the leap from my day job too. It’s a lot easier to say it then to do it. This was one of my latest cakes for order http://treatmesweeter.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/happy-birthday-sienna/
I have some Mr.Men cupcakes I need to post too- love to hear your thoughts as a fellow cake decorator- always up for some feedback.
I love your flower- what did you use to create it?
The flower is made out of 8 petals cut with a rose petal cutter – 4 small and 4 large and is curled using a ball tool and dried on mini muffin trays. I then stuck them together with royal icing and popped the pearls on. Your blog looks lovely too I’m so excited that you are from Melbourne as well!
This cake looks stunning! I love all the details you put into it.
Thank you! 🙂 It took a lot of time deciding what to put in but I think it turned out the way I wanted it to.
Simple yet elegant, love it!
Thank you 🙂 That was what I was aiming for so I’m glad you felt it turned out that way.
Beautiful cake. i totally feel you,I had the same dilemma too. Over here Cakes do not pay as well too which makes making the decision that much harder
Yes – it’s really hard! I think for now I’m happy to just do it as a hobby. Maybe in a couple of years time I’ll take the leap and go to culinary school for a year or something during my quarter life crisis lol.
I’m sure even Chanel would approve of this cake! The tension between dreams and reality. The adage “follow your dreams” is really easier said than done.
Thanks for dropping by my blog and liking the post on the dark chocolate apricot torte. Looking forward to more of your amazing creations! 😀
Thanks you – I really had a lot of fun making it! Yes, it is easier said than done. A girl can dream though 🙂
Wow, this looks really very Chanel and so beautiful! Very nice photos as well! Great work! 🙂
Thank you – you have a beautiful blog with lovely photos yourself! 🙂
Let me just say that I am in love with this cake. It is seriously calling me right now lol. Delish
Thank you – I’m glad you like it 🙂 It took a long time but it was definitely worth it! 🙂
I love everything you do, but this is just fantastic! It has just the right level of Chanel-ness to be inspired by it and not merely imitating it. If I had your talent, I think I’d be equally torn between my job and pursuing this as a profession! Hope this is just the first of many commissions. 🙂
I don’t know if I will be having more commissions to be honest – I am actually really shy when it comes to talking about wanting to charge for cakes and baked goods in real life. I guess I don’t like to appear pushy? So it’s going to be tricky lol.
That makes complete sense (though it makes me sad!) The idea of marketing yourself is both scary and loathsome, it seems like, at least to me! But to be honest, I think when it comes to your cakes, the high quality of your work and the skill that goes into it speaks for itself, so hopefully that will make the endeavor easier if you ever go for it. I hope you do! 🙂
With all the lovely sweets you’re baking, being a dentist is called “job security.” 😀 I love the final photograph. Awesome.
Thank you! Yes, dentistry is a fairly secure job. Very stressful though.
Another stunning cake. I love it and I love your style. I’ve had a few stabs at stringwork. Here’s one of my cakes with some simple oriental stringwork, painted in gold http://amandapennycakes.com/2013/03/30/the-baking-anaesthetist/ Hope you like it!
Thank you 🙂 I love your story – very inspiring! I hope to run away to culinary school too one day.