If art is something beautiful created with imagination and skill, these fondant wonders more than fit the bill.
‘Stef’s Brownies’ began when Stef’s partner taught him how to make brownies in order to add to his juice bar winter menu. The brownies soon became a hit and Stef began to exlore other aspects of baking, namely cake decorating.
Experimenting with pre-made, fondant decorations, Stef soon discovered the joys of creating beautiful and unusual cakes.
Eventually, he was approached by a friend who wanted a cake for a charity event but with a caveat – all of the decorations had to be made by hand. Having never done this, it was a challenge to say the least, but one Stef embraced, thus beginning his journey into the art of fondant.
Cake designs are copyrighted in order to protect each maker’s brand, and bakers can be sued for breach of copywrite if they replicate another’s design. They are able to interpret the design but there must be at least seven distinct differences in order to make it a new creation. So, if a client wants a themed cake (a Disney character for example), it has to be an interpretation rather than a replica. While Stef accepts specific commissions, his favourite projects are when the client gives him the freedom to let his imagination go wild.
He also firmly believes that cakes should be as individual as the recipient, and he has an innate ability to listen to, and interpret what a client is after. That, combined with an imagination that knows no bounds, means that the end result is always personal and thoughtful.
One of his biggest and most ambitious projects early on was the Enchanted Forest cake, commissioned for a 30th birthday celebration. Using new materials and methods, Stef wanted to push himelf out of his comfort zone, and that he did, with the result being an almost 20” high, four tier cake with a plethora of forest-like decorations.
As Stef says, “When you’re entrusted with total freedom on the design of the cake the possibilities are endless. Flower wires were used for the first time, in addition to mini spotlights and hidden flickering fairy lights operated by remote control.”
Wait, what? Mini spotlights and fairy lights IN A CAKE??
Yes – you can have fairy lights in a cake; you can also have audio, and it’s all operated with the flick of a switch. Check out Stef’s website to see videos of how this all works..
In addition to the lights, playing with hues of colours, layering and height provided depth and dimension for the Enchanted Forest cake. Much attention was given to everything including the fold of leaves, the curve of the vines etc.
Another ambitious project was a birthday cake where the client wanted something very specific – a lion and her child’s Mini Cooper toy car. As a means to blend the two objects together, Stef chose a ‘Safari’ theme and modelled the car from photos of the toy car.
From a rocket themed cake with a talking cube that does the ’10, 9, 8…’ countdown at the press of a button – with the rocket itself being constructed and attached in such a way that it could be removed to be kept as a souvenir, to a cake that literally looks like a box of pop corn, nothing appears to be impossible in Stef’s confectionary world.