The wonderful and very talented Paul Bocuse was here for the opening of The Bocuse Restaurant last block. It was also his 87th birthday! A few friends and I had the great opportunity to make him a birthday cake to present at the student panel discussion that same day. The dean of baking and pastry, Dean Vaccaro,CMB, came up with a design and gave us a basic sketch to work off of. It was our first time covering cake tiers of this size before, and it was nearly impossible to have zero imperfections.
The tools on the top of the cake were made of pure chocolate, painted with colored cocoa butter. Instead of carving the tool shapes out of chocolate we used the gelatin mold technique. By submerging real tools in gelatin and allowing it to set we could cut the gelatin open, take out the tools, and then fill the empty spots with tempered chocolate! Pretty neat!
For the cake topper, the iconic Bocuse "B" was replicated in carved tempered chocolate and sprayed with cocoa butter.
The various fruit and cheese items were hand sculpted with gum paste and then painted with edible color. The letters on the bottom tier and ropes were made with fondant. The toques were made with thinly rolled pastillage that were cut to size, placed on a curved surface to dry, and then glued on with royal icing. For the silhouette on the tallest tier I simply cut out the shape with rolled out gum paste and added black fondant shadows.
Assembling the cake was a little more difficult than expected.. We couldn't stack the tiers until the stage was set up because most of the tiers couldn't fit through a normal door way without being turned on it's side!
We were very pleased with the results and it was such a great experience we will never forget!!!