Yes! I have a thing for eyes!
M.C. Escher is one of my favorite artists. His work was so unique and innovative. I would have loved to have met him. This mezzotint of the eye is amazing as is all his work.
Cake design is also innovative in the fact that over the years it seems to have no boundaries. The merging of art in cake is a brilliant way to indulge both visual arts and edible arts. I chose M.C. Escher's EYE, for my cake because of the way it draws me in, that eerie feeling of death but with that undoubted look of life.
Join me in the tribute to a man with a vision.
Step 1: Supplies
- Baking pan ( 11" x 14" ) or smaller if you like.
- Photo of subject
- Rolling pin and mat
- Cake batter
- Powder sugar or cornstarch
- Pastry bag
- Fondant cutter
- Fondant ( I use boxed for some cakes and homemade if I have time. )
- Isomalt ( optional - If you want a gloss hard shelled eye view my other instructable edible eye for details )
- Powdered and gel food color in White & Black
- Paint brushes or Makeup brushes ( wash and dry them, only use for food contact )
- Vodka ( for painting with gels )
- little plastic cup and bowl ( helps to mix in and for marking eyeball )
- Cake board
- White Icing ( used to base cake and to form shape )
- Sculpting tools ( for food contact )
- Wafer paper ( for eyelashes ) optional
- Sharp tiny scissors ( for cutting eyelashes ) optional
Step 2: Let Us Bake Cake.
- Preheat oven for your cake recipe, butter and flour the pan.
- Mix your cake batter.
- Tap to remove air bubbles.
- Bake as directed ( don't over bake )
- When done let cool completely.
- Trim the top ,so cake will sit flat.
- I flip my cake face down.
Moving on. Don't eat all the cake yet.
Step 3: Ice & Fondant It!
Now that the cake is cool, apply your icing with a spatula.
This step is just to give the fondant something to stick to.
Now on your rolling mat or table, sprinkle powder sugar or cornstarch and begin rolling out fondant in a rectangle shape. It helps to use your ruler to measure the top and sides so you know just how wide and long your fondant will need to be. This thickness should be about 1/8" thick.
Please don't stress it’s just cake, the key here is to try it and you will get the hang of it.
Some of my friend’s dislike fondant all together so I will put down a thicker layer of icing when they are going to be eating the cake.
When you have placed the fondant on the cake take your hand or a plastic smoother and rub the top and sides down, this will get it smooth.
Well getting ready for the fun stuff.
Step 4: Building Up Your Design.
Getting the Art.
I found the image on M.C. Escher.
Next create some kind of grid on the image, this helps with placement of your subject. Measure and shape for the eye. Now put some icing in a pastry bag and no tip, pipe the area of the eye.
Smooth your icing with the small spatula just a little to help soften the overlap areas.
Next roll out another piece of fondant a little bigger than the iced eye pattern, place it on top and form with your hand.
The eye will now start to take shape. Always refer to the image.
Step 5: Marking the Eye.
The shape is formed. We now want to take our appropriate bowl and cup, to create the impression of the iris and the pupil.
You will see, I take a small brush and apply a little food color to the lip and press on the eye where the pupil will go. Makes painting much easier.
Just a note for those who live in the Kansas City area, I stopped by a little shop called Sweet Supply Shoppe in Overland Park, Ks. I needed powdered food color quick just happened to be in the area I was very impressed with the store and the amount of items they had. So awesome.
Step 6: Painting the Iris and Pupil.
I must say it was a challenge painting this. For the most part because, when you are attempting to recreate a master piece, you just don't want it to suck so bad,knowing that people have something to compare it to . Well anyway I loved doing it very much.
If you are afraid to attempt the skull, don't be. The vodka is used to blend and remove color. you could design your image on wafer paper, it is thin enough to trace, cut and apply. Freehand was the best way for me.
After you finish the eye, let it sit a bit to dry. You can then dust very softly with a cornstarch, not powdered sugar.
Hope you are liking so far.
Step 7: Finish the Eye.
So the eye ball is based. Hope you’re not bugging out!!!
Start with strips of fondant, roll a little thicker on one side. Fold over the thicker edge this helps form the creases of the eye. Place a little vodka on the edges to stick everything together. Then with your fingers start pressing and hand-sculpting the rest of the folds. I placed 2 at the top and one on the bottom.
You can see in the picture that you can press the base fondant as well to create the blend.
Take black color and fill in shadow areas.
If I ever do this cake again I will use a larger blush makeup brush w/ powdered black to give a more penciled or printed look. Oh well, always room to improve.
Just keep layering the color until you get close to your project image.
Step 8: Adding the Lashes.
So you can paint on the lashes but that wouldn't give me the dimensional look I was going for. I tried fondant, didn’t like that at all, nor did I like gum-paste, then it hit me, let’s use wafer paper.
It does come in colors, but I only have white, so just take gel color and brush it on. Let the color dry really well then simply roll up on to a small rolling pin or dowel. With the tiny scissors and right at the edge, begin cutting edible lashes.
Yep edible, one of my favorite things.
If you need to curl more just use the paint brush to roll them on. You could paint both sides, but no need for this.
Be prepared to have some time for this. Almost as time consuming as the stitches on the Hocus Pocus Spell Book cake.
Use your tiny brush and place a little vodka (very little) on the lash line of the eye, begin applying the lashes. Ta-da
Well friends and Mr. Escher here it is my tribute hope you enjoyed. Peace! The Juliart
Third Prize in the
Cake Decorating Contest