About the cake: “Persistence of Memory”


Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory Cake 

Well, this morning was our Kare 11 interview. They’d asked me to work on a cake on camera, so with a convention coming up this weekend, I figured this cake would be perfect! This is for the Minnesota Mensa group, meeting this weekend.

This cake underwent a total evolution from the time we initially went over plans with the hospitality chairperson for the event. The initial plan was to do something relatively plain and “autumn-y”. When I found out that it would be on the news, I contacted them for the go-ahead to go nuts with the idea.. and here’s what we ended up with!

Their theme for the weekend is “Back in the Future”. It’s supposed to be all about how the past influences the future… hypotheticals about what life would be like now / in the future if something had happened differently in the past.. that sort of thing.  I immediately thought of Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory”, and decided to theme the cake around that.  I could go into a long explanation of how it’s appropriate – the fluidity of time, the hypotheticals, the idea that the original painting was a visual representation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and how THAT all relates (tee hee!) to the theme.. I’ll spare you. *I* think it’s cool!

Anyway, this started out as a 3 tiered chai cake. Yum. I love my chai cake – I use freshly brewed black tea and good spices in it.. it’s lovely. Wow, I almost had a Martha Stewart moment there.. “It’s a good thing”. Well, it’s a GREAT thing!

I digress so! The tiered were filled and frosted with my chai spiced buttercream, then covered in my basic white fondant – my canvas. I knew I’d just be going crazy with it. Stacked the tiers, then set about painting it. I painted the tiers in royal blue and yellow cake colors as a base, glancing periodically at a Dali print for inspiration. I wasn’t planning to do something exactly like it – 3 round tiers is a TOTALLY different animal than a flat canvas! I knew I’d need to make more branches, cliffs, and hills than were in the original painting. After the painting was done, I added fondant in shades of brown for the cliffs and hills. Not sure I got it as “imperfect” and roughed up as I was aiming for. Oh well.

What next? Well, the “tree” on top, the Mensa logos, and the clock hands were all made ahead of time – The Mensa logos and clock hands from royal icing, the “tree” from pastillage and fondant mixed together and colored for a “marbled”/bark look.

The clocks were rolled out of pale brown and white fondants and applied to the cake. I used black royal icing to stick the clock hands on, then royal icinged on the clock numbers.

I think that’s about it! Should be interesting to hear what they think of the final product!

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