I love cake. No, really, I LOVE CAKE. Everything about it is amazing. Probably one of my favourite things about birthday parties is the cake (minus a million children spitting on them when it’s their turn to blow out the candles). I was lucky enough to have an Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book Cake made for me by my Dad for every birthday till I turned 18 when he decided that I’d had enough.
I’ve always loved sweet. Chocolate, pastry, ice cream, lollies, muffins, cupcakes and cakes. So imagine my delight when I become closely acquainted with the Lifestyle FOOD Channel on Foxtel. I actually spend a lot of my day watching the FOOD Channel, but don’t get me wrong, I’m an “eatie” not a “foodie”.
It is through FOOD that I have fallen more in love with cake in the form of Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes. I love these shows, they are incredible. I can’t quite decide which one I like the best, because both bakeries (Carlos Bake Shop and Charm City Cakes respectively) go above and beyond on every order. And what I love most about their cakes is they are all completely edible.
This cake on the left was made for a Tiki-themed birthday party by Buddy and the gang at Carlos Bake Shop. They even got a fire breather to stand behind the big Tiki head and blow fire through his mouth, it was incredible. And the best bit about this cake? EVERYTHING (except the Tiki torches on the side) is edible. All the figurines are made of either rice-kripsy-treats or modelling chocolate.
This “stadium cake” is one of the many unique cakes made by the crew at Charm City Cakes. They specialise in out-of-the-ordinary cakes and have even made a full-size working motorcycle out of cake. Under Duff and Geof, they are the leaders of amazing. People spare no expense to buy one of their cakes. And again, like Buddy’s cakes, they are all mostly edible! You can eat everything you see on this cake.
Both of these amazing bakeries are based in the USA (Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, MD and Carlos Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ). This makes me endlessly sad as I would love to go to these bakeries (unfortunately, Charm City Cakes doesn’t have a front of house attached) and if I ever do make the trek to the US, I am definitely swinging by Hoboken (please don’t tell Ted Mosby).
A few months ago, FOOD started advertising a new cake show, Planet Cake, about a bakery from Sydney. I was really excited because there was (finally) a cake show in Australia. I was also interested because my cousin had a Planet Cake wedding cake a few years ago. There’s only been three episodes and I don’t think I’ll watch any more.
Why, I hear you ask. Because it feels like a let down. I had high hopes and they were dashed. And one thing I haven’t been able to understand is what, exactly, does owner Paris contribute to the business? I haven’t seen her design or even attempt to decorate or make any cakes, so what is it that she actually does other than stress out her staff?
The one thing I do like is that you are told the pricing of the cakes. What I don’t like is there hardly seems to be enough cake to warrant the pricing. With the American shows, they use modelling chocolate and rice-krispy-treats for figures and odd shapes that cake won’t hold; at Planet Cake they use Styrofoam! The last time I checked, you can’t eat that.
This incredible Orang-utan was made by Planet Cake and it truly looks incredible…right up until the point when you realise that the head, the arms and the legs are made out of Styrofoam. Almost half of that cake is inedible. Surely, as a bakery, they could get access to products like modelling chocolate or rice-krispy-treats, but obviously they don’t or if they do, decide not to use them. At least with Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes, if there isn’t enough cake on figurines, they put down slabs of sheet cake as the base. Planet Cake doesn’t do this. Their “cakes” seem to be devoid of cake. And if I was paying $3,000 for a cake, I’m pretty sure I want to have a lot of cake!
I’ve decided to end my brief love affair with Planet Cake. While impressive, you cannot eat the majority of their designs and I just find Paris irritating. In the end, all I really want is some cake.