A Mountain of Chocolate to Make a Mountain of Chocolate

chocolate shavings for cake“All you need is love. But a little chocolate every now and then doesn’t hurt.” (Charles M. Schulz)

I’m getting to the end of my art series (“Finally,” you sigh with relief, for perhaps you do not like art at all and are sick of these types of posts!) and I’m running out of both art styles as well as viable cake decorating techniques. I’ve been putting off the photography recreation, because it seemed impossible. But after I baked a delicious chocolate cake last week (so yummy!), I had chocolate on my mind! A little idea took root in a dusty corner of my brain (it’s next to the little-used math section) and I thought, what if I cut up pieces of chocolate? Really, really small? And place them, one by one, in the form of something?

I’d love to report that this was easy as pie, but I cannot lie. I sat for hours and hours, hunched over the table, clutching tweezers in my hand, and glancing up at the real photograph for guidance. I mean, honestly. What kind of crazy person places these teeny tiny dots of chocolate individually? And to what end?

Unfortunately, I still have no answer to that question! But I finished the task, because it is my unfortunate allotment in life to be an obsessive perfectionist.

  close up chocolate photograph cake 2
(Close up view of the bottom right corner of the photograph)

Rather than post lots of photographs showing the progress, they are compiled here. Click to watch the cake come together in less than one minute!

As you can see, the process was simple but time consuming:
1. Choose an appropriate photograph as your muse. I used Ansel Adams’ “Moon and Half Dome.”
2. Cover a cake with fondant in the appropriate background colors
3. Cut up chocolate pieces (I used a cheese grater and, for once, didn’t scrape my knuckles to death!)
4. Using tweezers (because, despite what we learned from M&Ms, chocolate does melt in your hand), carefully place each piece of chocolate.
5. Be prepared to dedicate a significant portion of your life to this, for no really good reason.
6. Use vanilla extract to create a darker background for certain parts of the photograph.
7. Take a photograph of the finished product using a black and white filter (I don’t usually use filters to alter the colors, but in this case, the chocolate was WAY too brown, so it needed to be done!)
8. Rejoice and be glad, for you are finished!

ansel adams cake made of chocolate shavings 2

blocking light for cakeHere’s an inside look at my high-tech photography studio! I made this cake at my parents’ house and used my mom as a human shadow-blocker. Thanks, Mom! 🙂

Check out the other art styles I’ve attempted:
* Renaissance using modeling chocolate (Michelangelo)
* Impressionism using royal icing (Monet)
* Impressionism using Nerds (Monet)
* Post-impressionism using buttercream (Van Gogh)
* Post-impressionism using apples (Cezanne)