coconut cake with mango frosting
Release the Kraken!
THERE. I've said it. And every time I say that, I see THIS in my head (I noticed it making the rounds on Facebook awhile back, and I've thought about it ever since).
This cake was for a former co-worker of mine, Karyn, who is also an amazing artist. She just finished a lovely book, Tiny Shells of Abaco, which she wrote and photographed.
When Karyn contacted me about this cake, she also provided a beautiful color palette, which I tried my best to match---blue-green, chartreuse and orange. You can't really tell from the picture, but Anthony and I airbrushed the cake in teals, blues and greens to give it an underwater feeling. And how creepy is that kraken head? Before we put the eyes in it was even scarier---a deep sea death's head. The doomed ship (which the kraken is about to break in half with his mighty tentacle!) is made from krispies and covered in fondant, just like the kraken head. We worked ahead of time to make the ship in order to insure that the mast would stay securely upright. Until the kraken gets through smashing and bashing it, that is.
Karyn had also requested a mango frosting that was NOT a buttercream. Buttercream is our go-to frosting at Layers Custom Cakes, so I had to put my thinking cap on for this one. What I ended up making was a mango pastry cream with a bit of butter added to it to create more stability. Technically, it's a classic French concoction that we learned to make in pastry school. It's called Mousseline, a pastry cream with enough added butter to turn it into a lighter buttercream. It doesn't taste like butter at all, though, especially since I added so much delicious mango puree to it.