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My Adventure with Wall-E

Posted on September 12, 2017 at 4:15 PM

This past weekend I worked on recreating Wall-E, the title character for the movie produced by Pixar for Walt Disney Pictures. The client wanted an off the menu flavor, opting for a chocolate cake filled with peanut butter mousse, kind of like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, yum!

From the moment I took the order I knew it will be a challenge. First, the cake needed to be lifted off the board to give the illusion that Wall-e was standing on it's own wheels. Second, the head. The huge, off to the back and sides, with the big lens eyes needed to be supported by a skinny little neck. How am I going to do this?!?!?! 

I started to get anxious as the days drew closer to the event date. I still had not figure out how I was going to pull this off. The week of had finally arrived so I couldn't waste any more time. On Monday I drew up the plans for the structure and asked Papa Sweet to build it for me. It stood 2 inches off the cake board base, in my eyes it felt like 2 stories high, ugh! my precious cake was going to be sitting up so high off the board, I thought. 

By Friday the cake was baked and I had printed out some still images of Wall-e from the film. He looked rusty, dirty so I thought I can create this look by using my airbrush gun and painting rust by hand.

Saturday I made the peanut butter mousse. I used creamy peanut butter, whipped cream, and cream cheese, it tasted divine. Why wasn't this flavor on my menu?! 

I started to tort and frost the 4 layers of chocolate cake, and covered in yellow buttercup fondant. Now it was time to know the truth, will the support Papa Sweets build would hold the heavy cake? I could only place it and hope for the best...and guess what? it worked! I was so excited! One down, two more battles to go. 

Then I made the head, arms and wheels using RKT (rice krispies treats). I molded it into the shape I wanted, proportionally to the body, frosted it and covered in fondant. RKT is not that heavy, since the cereal is mostly air. However, once you add the frosting and fondant, the pieces become really heavy in need of support and really strong "glue" to hold it together. You can just put a little edible glue and hope it will hold, I needed to take out the big guns, aka. royal icing, and support dowels. 

First thing I stock to the main body were the wheels, since they are resting on the cake board, that was easy peasy. Then I added the arms. I could feel how the "hand" was weighing down the whole thing so I added some temporary support as it dried. 

Finally, it was time for the head. Sunday morning at 3 am. Eastern Standard Time, I place the big head, with those big lens eyes on top of that skinny "neck". Wall-e looked extra sad and it wasn't his big droopy eyes. The head was tilting down as if he was looking for something that feel on the grown. I tried adjusting the head to be at eye level and then.....CRACK! the head split in two pieces right in between the eyes. The horror!!!

It was way past a decent bed time, I was exhausted and all I could do was look at the decapitated robot. My mind was so overwhelmed with sleep that I couldn't think straight. How will I fix this now? and what if I make another head and splits in two AGAIN?! 

I grabbed the last few pieces of RKT left and started sculpting the head once again. I dediced to make it a bit smaller this time to compensate for the extra weight of the frosting and fondant. I stock the eyes that I was able to salvage to the new head and tried once again. 

It was a miracle! the head stood all on its own and it looked secure with no chance of cracks. I was so happy I almost forgot that I was dead tired. So I grabbed the finished cake, put it in the fridge for the next few hours before pick up and went to bed feeling accomplished. 

The next day, the client picked up, had their party and later reached out to me and told me that I had "killed it", if only I could've said that his cake almost killed me :D

Categories: Cake Stories, Inspiration

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