Oriental Stringwork Chanel Cake

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.

Chanel Cake

I decided on a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream because let’s be honest here – who doesn’t like chocolate?

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

Chanel Cake

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:

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