Dance Manual--Caroso's Il Ballarino

April, 2006

This cake based on Fabritio Caroso's 'Il Ballarino' (1581), and a similar one based on Arbeau's 'Orchesographie' were constructed for the dessert revel at the SCA dance event "Terpsichore at the Tower XII".

The cake was baked in a book shaped cake pan and then iced in buttercream. The page edges on the sides were piped using tip 1D. The top page designs were taken from the online facsimile of the book, resized to fit the cake, and then I had them made into custom edible images at my local cake supply shop. Edible images are made on paperlike frosting sheets with an inkjet type printer, using food color for ink.

The edible images were carefully measured and trimmed to fit the top of the cake, then attached to the top. The edges were deliberately crinkled, and the corners turned up. The book was aged using cappuccino colored edible petal dust mixed with vanilla extract to hand paint the edges of the pages. The cover was dark brown rolled fondant. The top pages were actually a bit more yellow than they look in these pictures, as the flash washed them out.

This cake and the Arbeau one were convincing enough that several people mistook them for real books, and told me that if they hadn't seen the sign warning not to touch them and explaining that they were cakes, they would have tried to turn the pages.

The two books together:

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