A merging of technology and the creative arts has given way to alternative methods of cooking and baking from chefs and designers alike. From cakes disguised as polished stone to a collection of tessellated chocolates, desserts are taking on exciting new forms – and they’re almost too pretty to eat.
Ukrainian patisserie chef Dinara Kasko draws on her background as an architect, designer and 3D visualiser to come up with beautifully unconventional desserts. Using silicone moulds created using Autodesk’s 3ds Max software, she builds sleek, architectural edibles that are decorated with precise piping and a very steady hand.
In a world governed by aesthetics, Dinara realised that the appearance of her desserts was as important as their taste. ‘From the moment I got into patisserie I decided to try and add something new to it,’ she says, ‘so I use ideas and inspiration from modern architecture, art, nature and any other objects that surround us.’ Well suited to the current trend of minimalism, Dinara is not over-fanciful with her designs. ‘I prefer plain geometric shapes like cubes, triangles and spheres, and my favourite colours to use are black, red and white, with sharp, straight lines.’
Still studying patisserie, Dinara is continuously looking for new forms, tastes, objects and surfaces to experiment with in her pieces. Find more awe-inspiring desserts on her Instagram or visit her website to discover the method behind her creations.
A postgraduate student at the Royal College of Art, Kia Utzon-Frank disguises her cakes as geometric marble structures. Using a printer that can paint on marzipan and fondant, Kia prints textures onto a sheet of icing before laying it over a conical, spherical and geometric sponge. She then creates a multicoloured gradient effect by layering thin pieces of sponge on top of each other.
‘For the colours I use natural food colouring and fruit juices, but it takes a lot of tests to get the colours or a gradient right.’ As a designer, Kia thinks of cake as just another material that can be used in her creations. If something catches my interest it doesn’t matter what it’s made of. I think there’s a huge freedom in not knowing much about the material I’m throwing myself at, as I then don’t know the “rules” and therefore I am more open to experiment.’
She also enjoys the fact that cake has an extra dimension of taste that can be designed. ‘Usually you don’t eat sculptures, but these ones you do, so I think it’s interesting that the taste can be as big a part of the design as the look.’ Find out more on her website or on Instagram.
Using tessellating 3D-printed moulds, Universal Favourite created a collection of chocolates called The Complements. The studio describes it as a modular system of pair-and-share treats – the chocolates are shaped like small flights of stairs, allowing them to be mixed and matched in many different combinations. The various finishes and colours were designed to correspond with flavours specially developed by Bakedown Cakery in Sydney. Follow the studio on Instagram or visit their website for more.