Sugar Stories: Ultra Violet: The Pantone Color of the Year
This weekend we made our first Pantone ultra-violet-inspired wedding cake of the year, and it's a stunner! One of the things that we love best here in the design studio, is collaborating with bold, fearless brides (and grooms) to create something a little unexpected. This wedding cake has some serious wow factor, and was the perfect centerpiece for their passionately purple wedding.
I've always been partial to purple, although it's a bit awkward for grown-ups to admit they have a favorite color, mine would probably be purple. When the Pantone color of the year was announced as Ultra Violet, my initial thoughts took me to that ACE paint commercial, where the lady goes into the hardware store and says, "I'm looking for a puuuurple, but really more of puuuuuuurple, do you know what I mean?"
Because really purple is just one of those colors that is all over the spectrum, from deep and moody to light and feminine. Although this years color of the year is definitely at the moody and bold end of the spectrum, there's a whole host of purples and lilacs within the color family that are also hugely trending, and that is where we took our inspiration for this design.
It was the brides love of anemones that really played a part of the floral arrangement, after months of Pinterest searches, I stumbled upon a sensation photograph by Pharris Photography from a recent event which was styled and coordinated by Darryl Wilson of D'Concierge - Wedding and Events. I knew immediately that this was what the bride was going for and when I presented the photo as an inspiration for the cake, she simply said, "OMG, I LOOOVE it!" Finally, we were on the right track.
The inspiration photo...
It was this gorgeous photo by Pharris Photography of a recent D'Concierge event that provided the inspiration for the cake.
I sketched up a design based on the photo and after a few tweaks (the bride requesting some gold splatters, and a marbled bottom tier in a petal shape). I got the go-ahead on the design. Which in caking terms meant I could now begin the process of making the hundreds of sugar leaves that would adorn the cake.
Sketching the design allows us to refine the details
The inspiration photo was transformed into the cake design during the sketching process and consultation.
The design is a bit unusual in that the focal point of the cake is foliage rather than flowers. There are a few anemones scattered amongst the leaves, but really it is the gold-leaves that take center stage. One thing that was really important for both me and the bride was recreating that flowing, cascade of leaves. In order to do that, I had to wire the entire arrangement separately from the cake, with a large and long dowel wired and taped to the end, which could be pushed down through several layers of the cake in order to support the weight, but allow the leaves to drape effortlessly from the top of the cake. This was no easy feat as I was quite terrified that the leaves might break or that the weight of the leaves might damage the cake, but in the end it all worked out perfectly.
The purple on the cake is really quite bold and little more dramatic than the ultra-violet shade. We started with a base of Satin Ice purple fondant and washed over some darker shades of edible paint. The effect was almost galaxy like, and the slightly different hues picked up the light in different ways. The bottom tier is a marble of purple, lavender, mauve, grey, and white fondant, that was then accented with touches of edible-gold luster and dark purple.
At the Venue...
The cake was bathed in purple light for a very dramatic centerpiece.
The event was in the evening, so the cake was was bathed in purple and pink light, which looked absolutely stunning, but I did ask the venue If I could bring in my studio light during set-up to shoot the cake without the purple light, which they agreed to.
In both settings, the cake looks stunning. I was so thrilled to be asked to design and create this wedding cake and I hope it sets the stage for more Pantone-inspired cakes throughout the year.