I was recently contracted by a friend to make a cake for her boyfriend’s birthday.  See, he’s got a mistress, Claudia– his Ducati.  And here we go… First, let’s talk flavors– he likes mango, so I tweaked my yellow cake recipe and added mango puree.  When that didn’t work, I took some drastic measures & tried again.  This time, the yellow cake was light, fruity & full of flavor.  Yes, I used some flavor from the store, along with the puree.  But the smell and the taste was what I was looking for.  I did a stabilized whipped cream butter cream filling and a passion fruit flavored butter cream frosting on the outside.  Made 2 tires out of chocolate cake & chocolate butter cream. Now, the heavy lifting begins. Armed with a bunch of recent photos of the bike which my friend took in secret with her iPhone, and my trusty “sketch kit” (parchment & a sharpie), I drew a rough outline of the bike’s body on the back of the sheet cake pan:

Phase I

Next came the carving.  Do you know how hard it is to carve out a friggin’ motorcycle from cake?  OMG.  Since my friend’s boyfriend and his friends are serious bike enthusiasts, I knew it had to be amazing, not comical.  I added some details with molded krispy treats and covered the whole thing in black fondant.  I really wanted to take my time and get all the bumps, ridges, textures and color patches correct.  Thankfully the bike is almost all black, but then this meant that I had to get the details or it was just a lumpy black cake. For anyone attempting to make a fancy, custom cake on their own, I highly recommend buying pre-made fondant & gum paste.  I have made both from scratch a total of 1 time each.  I totally understand why that stuff is so expensive.  JEESH.  So pay the $16 – $27 and buy it, pre-made & if you’re doing a massive cover in 1 color, for god’s sake, buy it in the shade you need.  Let me tell you, making black tinted fondant is next to impossible.  Ironically, Duff’s fondant is mighty tasty– but it’s pricey.  I bought the big bucket of black fondant at my local cake supply specialty store and the red fondant I splurged and bought Duff’s red fondant.  Yum… And normally I don’t give a whole lot of praise to Duff.

Phase II

It took me roughly 6 hours to perfect Claudia, and I could have spent another 6 adding more detail (you’d be surprised how much you can do with silver edible paint, gum paste and red fondant accents) but we were late to the party & needed to go.  When we arrived, we snuck the cake in & waited.  Boy, was it worth the wait.  Her boyfriend loved it.  It was amazing to see how happy he was– at one point he was jubilantly yelling something about eating his red clutch.  Talk about major awesome girlfriend points– ladies, just seeing how well this went over makes me believe that guys can appreciate a fancy cake just as much as we do. So here she is, in all her glory, Claudia.



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