I Make Realistic Treats That Look Inedible At First But Are Actually Delicious
LOVE creating "Trompe l'oeil" foods - A trick of the eye, delicious treats that look like other things. I particularly love making them look like something found in nature. I hope you enjoy my explorations of food artistry!
#1 Oranges Or Cheesecakes?
These delightful little confections are orange and pine nut cheesecakes filled with marmalade! I used marzipan that I colored naturally to match the skin of an orange. I haven't posted this recipe yet, but I am excited to do so!
#2 Blue Crabs
This big blue crab bun is colored richly with butterfly pea powder. I sculpted it in honor of the rare blue crabs and lobsters that are a result of a genetic defect which are sometimes found off the Pacific coast! The buns are flavored with red clover blossoms and come with huckleberry curd dipping sauce. I haven't posted this recipe yet but will be posting it soon at my blog.
#3 Chip Roses
These lovely roses are actually root vegetable chips stuck into a plant-based "cheese" made of pine nuts!
#4 Sea Urchin Tea Cakes
Those pretty little purple sea urchins, in reality, are delicious cakes! I made my favorite chocolate cake recipe (with a special sea-based secret ingredient), then made homemade berry fondant and decorated them by hand. I also made the ceramic urchin tea set too - but that's out of clay, not cake.
#5 Moss Cake
This is probably my signature recipe, a cake that looks like it is made out of moss! In reality, it's a stinging nettle and lemon cake with grapefruit and fir buttercream icing (and small layers of matcha genoise, but I didn't feel like they added much to the experience of the cake).
#6 Swallowtail Fairy Cake
Those beautiful swallowtail butterflies are entirely edible! I made them out of wafer paper painted with saffron tea, and butterfly pea tea then used chocolate to add the black designs. Sticking them on a rice noodle allowed me to get the feeling of flying around this delicious rhubarb, wild rose, and elderflower cake worthy of the fairies!
#7 Frosted Branch Tea
I grew sugar crystals on a fir branch to make a lovely winter tea!
#8 Creepy Bones
These bones look like some ancient magic buried in deep woods, but they are actually perfectly edible. I used a long pretzel base, then sculpted candy cap mushroom caramel* around them, coated them in white chocolate, carved mysterious runes into their surface, and aged them with both cocoa powder and matcha powder. Pretty realistic, right? * Candy cap mushrooms have an incredible maple flavor that is delicious in candies and desserts!
#9 Art Nouveau Lantern
This beautiful art nouveau-inspired lantern is made from absinthe flavored cookies and crushed candy glass.
#10 Labradorite Dessert
Doesn't that look just like a big piece of my favorite gem, labradorite? It's a delicious gelatin-based dessert made from green tea with a hint of wild ginger!
#11 Rose Tarts
I made a whole tasting menu of wild rose treats last spring, but my favorites were the edible wild rose tarts with lime and rose curd and apple swirls!
#12 Cyanotype Cookies
I wanted to capture the beauty of cyanotypes (the first mode of photography!) so I made chocolate juniper cookies topped with homemade fondant and I used natural food powders to get those rich blue colors.
#13 Succulent Terrarium
This summery trifle was designed to look like a terrarium for summertime succulents! There are a surprising amount of vegetables in this cake too - from chocolate zucchini cake to avocado mousse to spinach cake. You wouldn't guess that from the taste, though: it's a rich and delicious chocolate dessert. My friends were amazed to hear how veggie-packed this treat was after tasting it!
#14 Edible Geodes
These beautiful, sparkly geodes are entirely edible and colored naturally with fruits and vegetables! How cool is that??
#15 Amanita Forest Dessert
I absolutely love the mysterious amanita mushrooms that pop up in dark woods in the fall and winter. This dessert is dedicated to them: grown-up crisp rice treats with whiskey, chocolate, and help hearts form the base (with a dusting of pistachio "moss.") The cookies themselves are soft beet cookies with beet icing and pearl sugar. Delicious!
#16 Tree Slice Pancakes
I used two foraged flours - acorn and curly dock - to make two pancake batters to make these beautiful pancakes that look like tree slices! (You could also use regular flour and buckwheat to get the same effect.)
#17 Phoenix Eggs
These balsamic-marinaded quail eggs are delicious on spicy harissa goat cheese and a root vegetable nest! I haven't posted the recipe yet, but it will be at my blog eventually!
#18 Pink Oyster Mushrooms In A Greenhouse
I actually based this delicious dessert on my real mini greenhouse that I grow oyster mushrooms in! The greenhouse is spiced gingerbread and sugar, the mycelium brick is delicious pistachio torrone with a secret ingredient that makes it extra delicious, and the mushrooms are pink peppercorn and dragonfruit marzipan that I hand-sculpted to look like pink oyster mushrooms.
#19 Ammonite Cake
This fossil-inspired cake is made from Chaga*-infused chocolate crepes and Chaga-infused chocolate ganache, then frosted in coconut German Chocolate frosting. I was inspired by looking at real ammonite fossils at a gem show and seeing how similar their crystal interiors looked to coconut frosting. This is also a preview of something I have yet to post. *Chaga is a medicinal fungus with many benefits that grows on birch trees and has a pleasant vanilla-rootbeer like flavor. I got mine from a sustainable source since Chaga is often over-harvested.
These sweet little pinecones are sculpted out of pine nut chocolate marzipan and almond slices! I even added pine nuts to the interior, so they look realistic also when sliced in half.
#21 Spring Bulbs
A delicious appetizer of roasted garlic and chestnuts in puff pastry sitting atop flavorful acorn mole "mud" with toasted breadcrumb "dirt." A little green onion is the perfect finishing touch for these sprouts.
#22 Chocolate Truffle Truffles With Truffles
Since chocolate truffles are named after the fungi truffles that have marbled interiors and lumpy exteriors, I decided to make chocolate truffles that looked like fungi truffles. I even used black truffles to flavor the ganache.
#23 Pirate Coins
I designed my pirate coins and made little casting molds to make them out of chocolate! I also flavored mine with nettle seed salt to make them more gourmet, but that's entirely optional. A little edible gold luster dust really brought these coins to life!
#24 Winter Moth Onigiri
Delicious savory onigiri topped with ethereal moths made out of edible wafer paper and mozzarella.
#25 Fossil Cookies And Amber Candies
The beauty of amber and fascination with fossils inspired this combination of confections!
#26 Savory Mushroom Log
I was inspired by the Yule traditions of "Buche de Noel" or yule log cake to create this savory version, complete with a wild mushroom and goat cheese filling wrapped up in a savory buckwheat cake and buckwheat cracker bark. Some pickled peppers make the perfect Amanita mushrooms on top!
#27 Cicadas And Lapis Lazuli
These are fir and matcha shortbread cookies with blueberry icing, topped with edible cicada sculptures.
#28 Sandwich Cake
This may look at first like a beautiful birthday cake, but in reality, it's a savory cake filled with pizza-inspired flavors!
#29 Malachite Cheesecakes
I made these plant-based mint cheesecakes in honor of the stone malachite. Can you see the resemblance?
#30 Wasp Nest Buns
These Chinese-inspired pastry buns are filled with a rich poppyseed filling inspired by my Eastern European heritage. I love the way the flaky layers of pastry do look like mini wasp nests! I haven't posted this recipe yet, so consider it a preview.
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