What would a pastry chef create if there were no rules or boundaries? That was the question facing Paradox Pastry owner Jenny Peterson ahead of her wedding to Rob Baker last spring.
“I had the basic theme in my head and then pretty much just made it up as I went,” she says. She took inspiration from a few of her favorite things—the backyard in the home the couple had built together, where the wedding would be held, and two artists she loved, Gustav Klimt and Marc Chagall.
The Paradox “sugaristas” baked the three-layer cake, then Peterson went to town.
“I painted the base of the cake in that ethereal Chagall way—dreamy and whimsical—to reflect the tree branches and sky,” she says. “Then I made ‘tiles’ out of gum paste and painted them in bright colors to represent the leaves and the flowers of the yard (à la Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’).” The final touch was flowers from the couple’s garden.
“The theme really was the backyard,” she says. “I love looking at the sky through the trees’ branches and being surrounded by all of the flowers, bushes, and trees we’ve planted since moving in.”
The resulting dessert was a beautiful departure from Charlottesville’s all-white cake trend—and that was part of the point.
“We wanted a cake that was truly original and pushed the boundaries of wedding cake design,” Peterson says. Job well done.