Award-winning cake sculptor Natalie Sideserf combines exceptional sculpting techniques with meaningful concepts to create edible works of art. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Natalie shifted her focus from sculpting with traditional media to cake. Complex sculptures, thought-provoking designs, and Natalie's passion to entertain has lead to her world-wide recognition.
Today, Natalie shows us how she made her Texas T-Bone Steak Cake- just in time for your summer BBQs!
Originally from Cleveland, I moved to Austin in 2011 to start my career in cake. Within the first week I learned two very important things about Texas: Barbecue is an art and Texans are a proud bunch. This inspired me to create a grilled t-bone steak cake shaped like Texas. Just in time for Summer, y'all!
Choose Your Done-ness
First, bake one 10” layer of vanilla cake and color the batter to your favorite degree of doneness. I prefer a medium rare steak, so I went with a pink hue. Next, print out a line drawing of the shape you'd like your cake to be (in this case Texas), cut it out, and use it as a template to carve the cake.
Smooth, Smooth, Smooth
Grab your Sugar Smoothers and use them to cover your cake in chocolate ganache. Sugar Smoothers work really well and are so fun to use that I've been guilty of smoothing for hours. Over-smoothing is a time-killer, so now it's time to chill... your cake in the refrigerator.
Shape and Texture
After 15 minutes or so, take your cake out of the fridge and cover it in tan-colored fondant. This is one of those rare designs where imperfections and rounded edges add to the realism of the cake. Use your Sugar Shapers to add organic lines and texture. Firm Sugar Shapers are great for deep/heavy lines and soft Sugar Shapers create subtle lines. Variety is key, so experiment with all of your Sugar Shaper tip options.
Add the bone by using the small end of the Soft Mini-Tip Bone Chisel tool to raise and carve the fondant. The rounded end allowed me to carve aggressively without worrying about tearing the fondant. Use the larger end to sculpt the diagonal grill marks.
Grill Lines, Meat Tones, and Charred Edges
Hand-paint the cake with a variety of gel food color: brown, tan, black, white, red, orange, and yellow. Most gel colors are translucent, but if you add white they will turn opaque for when you want a solid layer of color. Paint dark colors in the crevices and highlights on the raised areas.
Mix black food color with granulated sugar to enhance grill marks, and crush clear rock candy to look like sea salt. Last, use scissors to cut the cake board around the cake and lift it onto a grate (like mine) or block of wood.
That's it! You've now got a mouth-watering slab of juicy... cake. Perfect for this year's BBQ block party!
A steak-shaped cake doesn't have to be in the shape of Texas to work aesthetically. What about a heart shaped steak cake for your loved one, or a meat substitute for your favorite vegetarian - assuming he/she is a good sport? Have fun and experiment!