Holy cow! I exclaimed as I thumbed through the pages of Gravity Cakes, a beautiful new cookbook featuring jaw-dropping, how-is-that-even-possible? cakes. The title of Gravity Cakes (the creation of best friends Jakki Friedman, a professional baker, and Francesca Librae, an international reporter), is utterly apropos as these cakes truly seem to defy gravity.
At first glance, the cakes seem impossible for the home baker to attempt, but each of the 45 recipes includes easy to understand step-by-step instructions (including a full color photo for each step), as well as the simple tools needed to, say, suspend an Easter basket spilling pastel candies over a cake. (Seriously, you’ll want to make that cake for Easter, it’s on page 107 under Easy Cakes). There’s a cake for nearly every occasion and holiday - from Valentine’s Day to Christmas, from a scrumptious deep-dish pizza to a sushi meal (pictured below). Surprise Mom this Mother’s Day with an edible blue Tiffany-like box cake into which a string of pearls spill.
Part 1 of the book covers equipment, ingredients, and techniques as well as cake and icing recipes. The bulk of the book is covered in Part 2 where projects can be found in three chapters: Easy Cakes, Medium Cakes, Advanced Cakes. The Waffle with Syrup recipe featured here is in the Easy Cakes section. Read through the instructions below and you will see that, yes, you can actually do it! Other Easy Cakes include a charming English Tea Party - a textured white “linen tablecloth” draped cake that's topped with chocolate dipped strawberries, tea bag, teaspoon, and a clotted cream- and strawberry jam-covered scone - the jam spilling out of a jam jar “suspended” from above. It’s simply stunning!
In the Medium Cakes chapter you’ll move on to fun projects such as a Father’s Day Barbecue (a cute barbecue topped with burgers and a forked hotdog), a bowl of Asian Noodles, and a Mug of Beer. Once you’ve nailed your technique, move on to Advanced Cakes where you’ll love creating projects like a ghoulish Halloween Cauldron, a celebratory bucket of Champagne on Ice, and a festive chimney with Santa’s legs popping out.
Waffle with Syrup
"You’ll love this fun cake topped with fresh fruit and melted chocolate — an easy cake for the ambitious beginner, with a few fondant tricks thrown in!" ~Gravity Cakes
12-inch (30 cm) square cake board
Three 18-gauge wires
Mini display syrup bottle
1 cup (250 mL) dark brown candy coating wafers
1 cup (250 mL) butter icing
8-inch (20 cm) square cake, leveled
20 oz (575 g) cream fondant
2 oz (60 g) dark brown fondant
1 cup (250 mL) mixed berries or chopped fruit, washed and thoroughly dried
Confectioners’ (icing) sugar
Melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) candy wafers, attach the balloon stick to the center of the cake board and let set. Spread a small dollop of icing around the base of the stick. Center the cake over the stick and slide it down the stick. Crumb-coat the cake. Slide the 18-gauge wires down inside the stick and trim the stick and wires to the height of the syrup bottle plus about 7 inches (18 cm) from the top of the cake.
1) Using your hands, roll 6 oz (175 g) cream fondant into a thin 32-inch (80 cm) tube. Cut the tube into four 8-inch (20 cm) lengths.
2) Using water as glue, attach the 4 tubes around the top edges of the cake to form a border, trimming off any excess fondant.
3) Using 1 1⁄2 oz (45 g) cream fondant, roll 2 tubes the same width as the border and long enough to run across the cake inside the border. Attach the tubes across the cake, dividing it into 3 equal sections.
4) Using 1 1⁄2 oz (45 g) cream fondant, roll 6 tubes the same width as the others and long enough to fit crosswise in one of the 3 sections. Attach 2 tubes an equal distance apart in each of the 3 sections, dividing the cake into a grid.
5) Using the rolling pin, roll out the remaining cream fondant into a sheet large enough to cover the entire cake.
6) Slide the sheet down the balloon stick so it drapes over the cake. Using your hands, gently mold the fondant over the grid to emphasize the shape.
7) Use the cake smoother to smooth the sides of the cake. Trim off any excess fondant.
8) Working from the top down, mold the brown fondant around the portion of the stick that will not be covered by the syrup bottle.
9) Arrange the fruit on the cake, surrounding the stick, and on the cake board. Melt the remaining candy wafers and drizzle most of it over the fruit on the cake.
10) Using the pastry brush, paint the fondant on the stick with melted candy. Slide the syrup bottle down the stick. Sprinkle sugar over the entire cake.
If you want to add a second layer of icing to the cake before applying the fondant, you will need an additional 2⁄3 cup (150 mL) icing for this recipe.
To prevent fondant from becoming sticky, dust your work surface with confectioners’ (icing) sugar before working with it.
Check out this amazing Sushi Cake!
Get the book on Amazon.com here!
About the authors:
Jakki Friedman is a passionate and creative pastry chef who runs a baking business in Manchester, England. Over the last 2 years, Jakki has been specializing in gravity cakes for a huge number of clients along with regular demonstrations for people eager to learn her secrets.
Francesca Librae is an international reporter for Express Newspaper Group in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she covers a variety of international showbiz and reports on hard news stories.
Courtesy of Gravity Cakes! Create 45 Amazing Cakes by Jakki Friedman & Francesca Librae © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.