As part of the curriculum for Virginia College’s Pastry Arts program, students have the chance to work on novelty cakes — specialty cakes that are often hand sculpted into custom shapes.
With Halloween just around the corner, chef instructor Jeannie Stephenson from Virginia College in Greensboro took the opportunity to put a scary good twist on a forest-themed cake by incorporating an unusual trend: geode cake. This technique uses sugar or rock candy crystals to make the cake look like rocky mineral formations with colorful crystals inside. In 2016, the geode trend has popped up in all sorts of special occasion cakes, including wedding cakes.
Chef Stephenson’s geode cake depicts a cave beneath a mossy hill complete with a haunted tree and ravens. She used high-ratio white cake and tempered chocolate for the hill and Rice Krispie treats (and wire) for the tree before covering it with rolled fondant. The leaves and ravens are made from fondant and gumpaste, and the ivy is made with royal icing.
The entire cake took more than 25 hours to complete — check out the video to learn more about the process.