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In 2016 I was commissioned to create an image to be advertisement for a chocolate festival in Washington state. The theme was “death by chocolate”. My goal was to create a cake and photo that looked both gory and delicious.

I took inspiration from the catacombs of Sicily, which are both beautiful and terrifying. I sculpted the skulls out of clay and I designed and built the cake stand for this project, specifically.

The cake is a dark chocolate caked filled and iced with dark chocolate buttercream. The “blood” is maraschino cherry juice make darker with red gel food coloring and made thicker with corn starch.

Also pictured: ganache, ganache roses, and my favorite French chef’s knife that I still use to this day.

The photo was taken using my Nikon d7100 on foam core poster board, on the floor near the window (where the lighting was best) in our little house in Okinawa, Japan. I created the cake, scene and image while my kids were at school. I had a wonderful time! And I even won a prize!