Kintsugi Cake and the Art of Imperfect Things

Sometimes imperfect things can be even more beautiful than perfect ones.  Take a look at the Japanese art of pottery repair known as Kintsugi, for example.  Broken pottery is fixed with lacquer mixed with gold or silver dust, oftentimes leaving a more visually interesting piece.

This cake mimics the beautiful pattern of a kintsugi pot.  It’s a vanilla butter cake with three layers of banana custard and two layers of semisweet chocolate ganache.  The icing is vanilla buttercream.  A thin layer of fondant veils the three layers, contrasting nicely with the yellow cake.  If I were to make this cake again, I think that I would opt for using an icing glaze instead of fondant.  The yellow lines have a chunkier look than what I was aiming for.  I’d love to make this cake again and decorate it with an icing pattern similar to the markings on Mille-feuille pastries.

I think that the perceived flawed elements in a person’s life have the potential to be transformed and overpowered.  In a way, we are given the chance to show our true colors and turn those flaws into gold.  Obviously, this cake has given me some New Year’s resolution food for thought!







Chocolate Vanilla Red Velvet Cookie Cake

Clear out your fridge and make way for cake, it’s holiday time!  I’ve been fighting a constant battle in my fridge for the last few days.  Cakes are a commitment… if that stray can of soda gets a little too close, it might bump the cake and cause chaos.  Cake surgery is no fun!  I’m pleased to report that this cake survived the tumultuous battle ground.

Intended to please a large crowd, I designed it as a twist on the Neapolitan flavor combination.  I replaced strawberry with red velvet to add holiday color.  In between each cake layer I piped a thick layer of vanilla buttercream and an equally thick layer of rich semisweet ganache.  The cake is topped with semisweet chocolate sauce.  I added marbled sugar cookies with edible gold leaf to match the red cake.

Once that cake-shaped-space frees up in the fridge, it fills up fast.  Best to fill the void (in the fridge, and in your life) with more cake!