I chose to India as the country I would like to represent and my inspiration came from the Taj Mahal. The emperor Shah Jahan had it built as the final resting place for his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal when she died in 1631. It took about 20 years and around 20,000 workers to complete it. In addition approximately 1,000 elephants were used to transport the materials needed for construction. For me it’s one of the greatest acts and expressions of love.
The Taj Mahal in my piece is a cake dummy and the domes and architectural details on it are made from flowerpaste and cake lace. I airbrushed it in iridescent colours so that it would capture different colours in different lights just as the Taj Mahal does.
I made a structure for the elephant which was a huge learning curve as I’d never made a structured cake before. I used cake to make its body while its legs, head, stomach and trunk are all made from RKT. Once I was happy with the shape of the body I covered it in chocolate ganache and then used a 50/50 mixture of modelling chocolate & fondant to cover it all. This was a first for me and I loved its flexibility and how easy it was to blend the seams. The tusks are modelling chocolate and the ears were made from modelling paste.
I’d never done anything like this project before. I’ve done a few small carved cakes but nothing that adventurous and certainly nothing with any kind of structure involved but this is 2ft x 1ft by 2.5ft high and weighs a tonne! I still can’t really believe I’ve actually managed to produce what I had visualised but I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved.