Updated: Jan 9, 2021
My husband is an avid PS4 player. Mind you, I'm not a huge fan of playing video games (although I did enjoy our Super Nintendo game system growing up!), however I knew creating an edible PS4 masterpiece would be sure to wow for his birthday this year! Featured in this post is and edible game system, game, camo controller and cord from the system to the wall. Total man hours was in excess of 24, not including curing and setting time for the fondant sculpted pieces.
The key in preparing a carved cake is preparation.
Plan the pieces you can make ahead of time and that may need to dry and set (game, controller form, plug), and manage your time accordingly. The letters and board were also done ahead of time. I airbrushed the board with a mixture of silver and black to achieve a light grey/camo affect, as I thought a stark white canvass or other rich background would take away from the focal points on the board.
The cake itself was rather simple. It's extremely important, though, to achieve consistent shapes and sizes when creating this stacked effect. I traced his game system, and used this as a template when carving the actual cake. In between the layers is a rectangle consisting of 3 trimmed cake boards glued together with buttercream and pressed in fondant around the edges in order to create the signature indented look of the system. I covered the separate cakes in one large piece of fondant, however paneling also would have been an effective method, and would have achieved sharp edges. Clean buttercream lines and a level surface are key to creating a flat, finished look on your custom carved cake. To achieve the "shiny" effect on the fondant of the left side of the game system, paint with a mixture of equal parts corn syrup and alcohol (the alcohol evaporates and "dries" the corn syrup). Still wet to the touch but it will be set and will retain its shine.
The remote was far and away the biggest time spend. I researched several methods for the remote, including carving out of modeling chocolate and covering in fondant and making completely out of fondant. I decided to merge the two ideas, and after downloading an image of the PS4 remote and creating a template, I sculpted the remote out of fondant, added structural pieces like the joystick ports and flat round pieces where the shape and directional keys would go, and then covered the remote in marbled camo fondant. The embellishments, while tedious, were my favorite part of the creation! For the plug I used an extruder to create the cord. I measured and worked off of a real plug to achieve accurate dimensions. Be sure to set your cord how it will appear on your board, as once it starts to dry changing the position will cause cracking. Let all pieces dry on a flat baking pan lined with
Pricing the Cake
Options to price this cake to sell are on a per hour basis, or per piece (i.e. controller, plug, game, etc.,) of which I would recommend a combination of both. Pricing per piece allows you to manage and acquiesce a customer's budget, providing a quality product and options, instead of rushing through the project to save on "time" and ultimately, quality. For example, you could provide the customer with the game system and the controller. I price the cake itself on a per serving basis, and then a per piece basis (piece again referring to fondant controller, game, etc), based on man hours. These methods can be applied to any game system.
While custom cake creations are a labor of love, if you are in business, you have to make money. Be sure you are covering your costs, including your time. My golden rule is, I would prefer not to take a job rather than take a job and not get paid my worth and work. Thanks for stopping by and keep on caking and creating!