In The Kitchens: Royal Wedding Cakes From Last Cake Standing Contenders by Sara Levine in Behind the Scenes, April 17th, 2011
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Last week, three of the talented pastry wizards from Last Cake Standing — Jason, Jörg and Richard — were up in Food Network Kitchens working on a special project. It wasn’t totally top secret, so we’ll spill the beans: They’d been asked by Rachael Ray to come up with over-the-top cakes inspired by the upcoming Royal Wedding.
Each cake artist took a different direction; beyond the Royal Wedding theme, they had free rein to follow their own inspirations. Tomorrow, the guys will present the final creations on the Rachael Ray Show and Rachael will declare a winner. We hear the Royal Couple is planning to serve traditional English fruitcake at the reception, but if Will and Kate happen to catch Rachael’s show and see these beauties, I’m thinking they might reconsider.
Huge, high-end cakes like these are massive projects, and Jason, Jörg and Richard spent hours in the Kitchens, each with an assistant, to work on their detailed masterpieces. Still, the vibe remained relaxed and fun. The guys each took a couple of minutes to chat with us about their royal inspirations as they worked.
Jason’s cake features intricate gold detail work, but it’s not totally classic. “When I came in here this morning, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go traditional or if I wanted to incorporate Will and Kate’s personalities — because you know, we’re best friends,” he joked. “But for the Royal Wedding, the Queen’s really the one calling the shots. So you’ve got to do a little bit of classical in there.” He found inspiration in the blue of Kate’s sapphire engagement ring and “that infamous engagement photo dress.”
Jörg also made sure to incorporate some royal flair into his design: “I was thinking of jewels and gold. I also did a little research and found that dark burgundy red is a very royal color.” He showed us his sketch of the final product with its towering piece de resistance: A fleur de lys (a symbol that connotes royalty) topped with the most royal icon of all, a gold crown. He nodded to old and new: “Prince Charles and his mother are the old royalty. Kate and William, they’re a little bit more hip. They’ll have a lot of young friends there. It’s 2011, it’s not 1901 anymore. We wanted to bring in a little bit of both.”
Richard had extra motivation to depart from tradition: “Believe it or not, I had already created another Royal Wedding cake. I went real classic with that one; I put the Royal Seal on the cake. I did gum paste flowers that looked completely real,” he explained. Rather than replicating that, he went in a new direction, using modern techniques to give a more “relaxed” feel to the cake: “I like that Will and Kate are more relaxed. Like one of us, you know?”
Keep watching Jason, Jörg and Richard on Last Cake Standing tonight at 9pm/8c – all three are still in the running for the show’s $100,000 grand prize. Then, catch Rachael’s show tomorrow (times and channels vary, so check your local listing) to see their completed Royal Wedding cakes.
Planning your own Royal Wedding party? Check out our gallery for lots of menu ideas including British classics and dishes inspired by Will and Kate’s favorites. You could even make your own wedding cake to commemorate the occasion: Browse our gallery of Creative Wedding Cakes for ideas.