Unique Designer’s Cake will open a new store in downtown Miami at 64 NW 9th St.with a party from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 15th, 2013. To attend the opening, RSVP to email@example.com or call 305-803-5505.
The principals of Unique Designer’s Cake, architects Carolina Montoya and her husband, Luis Fernando Puga, are professionally trained architectural miniature makers who now build miniature cakes.
When the economy failed in 2009, “our phones stopped ringing, and our customers went away,” Montoya says. “My husband and I were laid off and we had to quickly find a new source of income.
“I have always liked to bake. Now I use my knowledge of miniatures to create models of buildings and unusual cakes. A small part of our business continues to be providing designs for architectural miniatures.”
When the economy improved, their former employer, scale model company re.PRESENTATION, Inc., asked them to return.
“We turned them down,” Montoya says. “We still do some architectural model designs for an Atlanta company, Willadsen Scale Models, but 80 percent of our business is cakes, and 20 percent is scale model buildings.”
Scale model cakes
As with a building scale model, model cakes depend on the internal structure, support, and balance provided by AutoCAD programs. “Professional model makers are very strict about everything being straight and well balanced,” says Montoya.
To design cakes, Unique Designer’s Cake uses the full version of the 2013 AutoCAD software as well as Photoshop.
Architectural building scale models and model cakes take time to design. How long depends on the size of the original structure, and the size of building or cake desired.
“We require two weeks’ notice to make a cake,” says Montoya. “We only take the amount of cake orders we can make in a week. The replica of Villa Vecchia, home of Michael Taylor at 4821 Pine Tree Drive on Miami Beach, weighed about 200 pounds, required five people to carry, and fed 500 people. This model took four days to complete and we worked 16 hours a day.”
The Unique Designer’s Cake bakers use conventional round and square pans and then sculpt the baked cake to fit the design. “Sometimes we create our own molds for specific pieces,” Montoya says. “We build the molds with baking silicon, a special material for foods. We buy the material, and build the molds ourselves.”
Other projects they have completed include a recreation of Rangel, a 24-inch square lizard cartoon character that requires texture techniques to make his skin, and gingerbread houses. In 2008 and 2009, Montoya and Puga entered the Coral Gables Museum’s gingerbread house competition and won first prizes each year in the Coral Gables structure and professional categories.
In 2010 and 2011, they entered the national gingerbread contest at historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Each year they were among the nation’s top ten gingerbread cake makers. Their 2010 edible design was the First Family Holiday House a gingerbread house with the president atop the chimney.
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