Sometimes I get a cake order in, and I instantly know what my cakoration will be. There are other times that I search for inspiration and pull my ideas together from there. Then, there are times where I need to do research.
This… was one of those times. The request was for a Les Miserables cake and I had never seen the musical. I didn’t even know what it was about. I did a quick Wikipedia search and read up on the plot and the characters. Then, I focused the rest of my searches on young Cosette, as this particular character was the one that the birthday girl was most interested in. She was basically a slave to the innkeeper and was forced to clean the inn. I was told that this almost 5-year-old birthday girl would walk around singing Castle on a Cloud . This really narrowed my search down. I started to look on YouTube for young Cosette singing Castle on a Cloud and found many, many versions. There were a few things that ALL of them had in common:
- Cosette wore tattered, dirty clothes
- She had a water bucket
- She had a broom/mop
On the Playbill for Les Miserables, was a sketch of young Cosette with a broom/mop that was bigger than she was. It showed the stone facade of the inn behind her, her hair blowing in the wind, and the wooden water bucket nearby. In the song, Castle on a Cloud , young Cosette sings about a place she dreams about-one with no floors to sweep. It’s her castle on a cloud. In this castle is a soft woman in white who tells her she loves her. There is a room full of toys and lots of little children.
So, to give little Miss Raya her dream birthday cake, I finally knew exactly what I was going to create. I made a 2 story, ‘stone-covered’ inn cake. To the front, was a tattered Cosette with her hair blowing and her arms trying to hold up this larger than life broom/mop. A sad little girl, with dirt upon her face and clothes.
Nearby was a wooden water bucket.
It was a dreary scene-just like all the YouTube videos.
However, there was one detail that wasn’t dreary at all! I created a sparkly white castle for a cake topper-just like the castle in Cosette’s dreams! Under the castle was a ‘cloud’ of cotton candy!!
I left the inside of the castle to the imagination. One could imagine the room full of toys, or the woman saying “Cosette, I love you very much!”, or even the many girls and boys. Inside the castle on the cloud, one could imagine no floors to sweep!
This turned out to be a really fun cake for me… and I was told that Miss Raya was in her glory!
This is what makes it all worth while for me! That reaction was worth all the research and sculpting hours! My attention to detail makes people so happy; but unfortunately, I seldom get to see the reaction of the recipient. This time, lucky for me, Raya’s parents took pictures and shared them with me!
- Note to self: Do not apply cotton candy to a cake until right before the big reveal! There was so much moisture in the air that the fluffy cotton candy basically ‘melted’ into thin, crispy sugar wafers! It didn’t stop Raya from enjoying her Les Miserables cake, though! She loved it just the same.
Happy 5th Birthday, Raya!