Sweet Celebration

This was one of the most elaborate concepts and ideas I have ever had.  From the initial idea seeming “Undoable”, to coming to the realization that if I can envision it in my head, I can always find a way to manifest it. The project was simple…. I wanted to make a birthday cake for my girlfriend. Not just any cake, but a piece of edible art that was parallel to who she was and what she meant to me. Now the hard part, how do I go about creating and making this cake? This is where I pushed myself to make something magical. Complexity in Simplicity is what I was after, a mirroring of extremes that when engaged simultaneously, have a powerful effect upon the active participant. If successful, she would be very happy.

In addition, the cake was to be featured in the new Dulcypas Magazine from Spain!  So I began.

Jana Cake logo 12-38-06

Jana Cake 3sg

Flavors: Like with any traditional birthday, one often receives their favorite cake. In this instance, I took several of her favorite sweet flavors and then creatively morphed them into a birthday cake experience just for her.

Caramelized pecan cheesecake mousse

Homemade chocolate infused with cardamom cream

Bisquit de chocolat

Salted mission fig caramel

Dark chocolate paint

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Cake Mold: I don’t like to use the traditional molds available on the market. I have worked with architects and designers in the past to custom design a mold in accordance to the overall concept of the cake. With this cake I sought out the work of Jenya Designs. A design company I discovered in the Northwest with an incredible creative talent for various items. They created the cake mold with a special texture, color and release mechanism for removing the cake.

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Cake Box: This cake could not be delivered in a paper box. I wanted to have a custom cake box that was fluid, organic and beautiful. Once again, Jenya Designs came through with this gorgeous piece of working art. It was made of various natural elements such as wood, handmade paper, metals and fabrics. We worked on various ideas and then they came to me with an innovative idea for opening the box as well as it’s structure, etc. I love working with people as creative as this!

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Jana Cake box opensg

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making chocolate

Chocolate: I always use Amedei Chocolate, I love their purity and incredible flavors that come from every detail being embraced. But this time was different, I wanted to be as hands on with almost every ingredient that was to be used. So I started with raw cocoa beans and made my own chocolate. From roasting to grinding to blending and infusing with her favorite spice, cardamom. It was a liberating experience.

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Sweeteners: In the past year or so, I have been paying intense attention to chemically altered sweeteners. Not only do they have almost no nutritional value, but they are just empty in flavor and not good for us at all. I expanded my reach and explored the world of sweetness. I used raw organic sugar cane in it’s entirety, raw honey and honeycomb, demerara sugar, maple syrup and other pure sweeteners. This is something I will continue to explore from now on!


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Chocolate Birds Nest, a simple and natural form of decor inspired by the wonderful photography of Amelia Fletcher. Her photography touches on various emotions in her portraits and nature work. I wanted to add a special feel to finalize the cake and with the unexpected inspiration of her work, I was able to deliver the perfect touch. Thanks Amelia!

JC Inside

Form and Function: The idea and construction of the cake, was to be able to taste every flavor, no matter how small or big a piece was cut from any of the 5 pieces. The 5 pieces though separate, still make up one uniform cohesive cake. After all, we are all made up of different personalities, ideas and perspectives, and we still remain as one. This project has taught me to always follow your creativity and most of all, never underestimate the power of giving.

For Jana….

Jana water

*All Photography by Roberto Cortez