Colorado Springs bakers are embracing the hyper-realistic cake trend | Food

Taste buds have never been so dazzled.

Welcome to the age of sneaky cakes, where loaves of sourdough bread, pizzas and steaks, once sliced, reveal a sweet cake interior. The trend doesn’t stop at food – how about those folded jeans or that beach ball? I got you! It’s a cake.

If you’ve been anywhere around TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube in the past five years or so, you know hyper-realistic trending bakers around the world have been slipping like syrup on waffles. It’s become a race to cake up the most everyday object or food, and dazzle amazed people who can’t believe that at its heart lies a moist, palatable center. And you know the movement took off when Netflix launched “Is it Cake?”, a new baking contest with a title that says it all.

Amber Willis is fully on board. She was busy baking birthday cakes for her six children and taking orders from friends and other customers when the realistic cake train arrived. Many, many YouTube videos and workout cakes later, the self-taught baker is almost brilliant at creating any outlandish request that comes her way.

“They’re super fun to make,” said Willis, owner and founder of Sweet Tooth Cakes. “I like the tough stuff and seeing how close you can get to the real thing. Those are my favorite orders, especially the food ones.

Which is why you’re not quite sure, walking into her best friend’s kitchen, where Willis often likes to cook, if the juicy breakfast bagel sandwich sitting on the counter, with her fried eggs perfectly peppered, its slices of creamy cheddar cheese, ruffled bacon strips and lightly grilled top, is the real deal. No, totally wrong.

Willis spent four and a half hours perfecting his counterfeit through the use of fondant – a mixture of marshmallows, powdered sugar, corn syrup, white or milk chocolate, and modeling chocolate, a mixture of white and milk chocolate and corn syrup.

There’s also real cake – the bagel is red velvet covered in vanilla cream cheese frosting. But really, it’s almost too gorgeous to cut out.

An impressive array of cooking utensils can be found on the kitchen island where she works the magic, including a mini-torch, which she uses to fry the melty egg and bacon concoctions, and a baking maker. brush with air, which allows it to toast the top of the bagel.

“The exciting part is when we get to burn it all down,” she said.

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She is exacting in her standards, deeming the color of an egg yolk made from dye not quite right on her first attempt, but a much better yellow-orange color on her second go-around.

And sometimes she’ll even painstakingly craft fake sesame seeds from scratch using fondant.

His list of confectionery accomplishments is long and impressive: watermelons, a bowl of hot wings, a bucket of Popeye’s chicken, burgers and fries, a whole turkey, and a Subway sandwich that took two days.

Prices vary widely, depending on how much detail the cake requires, the size, and any special ingredients she has to order. She once made an otter by eating a sandwich cake for $500, but a pizza cake is about $150, depending on thick or thin crust.

Clients regularly tell her to apply for the second season of “Is it Cake?”

“Baking is fine, but decorating is like painting,” Willis said, while wearing a homemade t-shirt emblazoned with the words “Cake it til you make it” in green lettering. It was a draw between this one and her “I like big cakes and I can’t lie” t-shirt.

Cakes in a castle

On the other side of town, inside the history-rich Gothic castle of Miramont, Leah Blake and Stephanie Anderson bustle over a fake Gazette cake in the castle kitchen. Shaped to look like a stack of daily newspapers, the finished product will come with a palette and a chocolate and icing brush cup.

Women have a tight deadline – First Friday Downtown. The three-layered chocolate cake, with its raspberry filling and white chocolate and champagne buttercream frosting, was commissioned to help the Art 1eleven gallery celebrate its Best of the Springs bronze award for the gallery. commercial.

This is the duo’s second cake for the gallery. The first, a painting of a nude woman, was a star at the gallery’s February nude exhibition.

“I love people’s reactions to the things we do,” said Blake, manager of the Miramont tea room. “We always do something new that we’ve never done before, because it’s challenging in the beginning and exciting, we achieved it in the end. It allows our creativity to flow.”

In the sunny kitchen on the second floor, Anderson, the castle’s head baker, carefully pressed long slices of rice paper into the sides of the cake, aided by the simple syrup fake glue, to create the effect of a stack of papers. And an edible printer spat out a Photoshopped front page of The Gazette, complete with gallery photos and headlines celebrating his win.

The ladies, best friends since the age of 7, started making regular cakes ten years ago for birthday parties and other random occasions.

Eventually, their talent turned to the more complicated cakes and studied the process through the free online vocational school known as YouTube. Their tailoring resume now includes a rendition of Han Solo from the “Star Wars” movies, a replica Air Force uniform for an Air Force Academy Christmas party, a bass guitar, and an Audi car.

“The one thing I like to do is the creative stuff,” Anderson said.

And while most realistic pastry chefs rely on fondant to create patterns, these two eschew the substance, citing its non-flavor.

“We want our food to taste good,” Blake said. “It’s our number one priority, and however we can add art to it, it’s our second priority.”

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