Until recently, the idea of 3D for the majority of the population simply meant an evening at the cinema, but the technology sector had other ideas. 3D printing went from concept to mainstream reality in just a few short years, creating a platform for innovation across many industries including culinary. The world of pastry has gone three dimensional, and the possibilities are endless.
Ukrainian confectioner Dinara Kasko is well-known all over the world for her geometrical cakes that look like pure art. She has combined her architect’s precision, creative imagination and 3D modeling skills in her own unique recipe for success. You can eat her cakes but we doubt you may want to – they are just too beautiful to eat.
The market counts today with some 3D printers specifically manufactured to print food from edible materials, such as Foodini printers. However, Dinara’s cakes are not 3D printed. Only her moulds are.
On Dinara’s Youtube channel, she shares amazing videos which document the process of making her creative cakes. Watching Dinara create her sweet masterpieces – from 3D printing to slicing them with a knife – is a pleasure in itself.
Although Dinara graduated from Kharkov University Architecture School, she found her true passion was pastry. However, she now uses her background in architectural design when she models her silicon cake moulds in Grasshopper or Autocad 3Ds Max program.
Dinara starts by imagining what the cake should look like. She then creates a 3D model on her computer, and prints it on a Ultimaker 3D printer. Once the soft silicon mould is ready, she fills it with cake’s inner ingredients and freezes it. After the cake hardens in the freezer, she gently takes the silicon mould off and decorates the cake with mirror glaze or velour.
The use of silicone moulds is certainly not a new concept in the pastry industry, but the use of 3D printers is starting to revolutionize the way pastry chefs develop their product. For those interested in investing in their own 3D printers for moulds, there are some guidelines to keep in mind. First, the filament being used in the printer needs to be designated as food-safe by the manufacturer to avoid potentially hazardous chemicals. Second, bacterial buildup is a big concern when creating items intended for multiple uses. Because they are printed in layers, there will be natural crevices in the final products, which can lead to bacterial build up. Third, most printed items will also be heat sensitive, so even hot water to clean a mould may warp the design.
Dinara Kasko avoids many of these issues by printing her prototypes in plastic but then casting her molds in silicone, which provides safety and stability in the final product. If investing in a printer seems daunting, Dinara’s moulds are available on her website for purchase.
If the technique behind Dinara’s work is the first thing that catches your attention, the flavours of her cakes are not an afterthought. For example, look at this Cherry cake made for the new issue of SoGood Magazine. It is a chocolate sponge cake with a crispy layer, berry confit with LUXARDO Maraschino, cherry cremaux with Valrhona Manjari, and gluten-free chocolate mousse.