'Ace of Cakes' can sculpt whatever you want out of batter

Coming to the Pittsburgh area for public appearances in May is another maker of cakes -- actually, the "Ace of Cakes" from that Food Network show, Duff Goldman.

Duff Goldman, host of Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," in front his nearly 6-foot-tall Super Bowl cake, which he served this year in Miami.
Click photo for larger image.

Ace of Cakes at Giant Eagle

Check out Duff Goldman at one of his Giant Eagle Market District store appearances on May 19:

10 a.m. to noon at Shadyside (5550 Centre Ave.)
2 to 4 p.m. at Bethel Park (South Hills Village Square Mall).

Mr. Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, is well known for his crazily one-of-a-kind creations, which start at $500 and can be made into "anything you can possibly think of ... Seriously. We love a challenge."

For Asbury Park, N.J.'s recent 110th anniversary celebration, the shop made a replica of the city's Carousel House with a rotating carousel and horses inside.

For tonight's season finale of the Food Network's top-rated prime-time show (10 p.m., to be repeated into May), Mr. Duff serves at the Super Bowl XLI gala in Miami "the Super Cake" -- a 6-foot-tall cake modeled after a football field complete with team logos and helmets, sideline benches, players and coaches and a three-dimensional Lombardi trophy.

And, as the 32-year-old celebrity chef told the Rocky Mountain News earlier this month, his cakes aren't just visual spectacles. "We definitely are very, very insane about our flavors. Yes, they have to look awesome, but yes, they have to taste really good. People expect a wedding cake to taste like garbage, so I'm trying to change that."

In addition to being owner and baker, the soul-patched "Chef Duff" is sculptor and plays bass in the indie instrumental band "so I had to ..."

The bakery's Web site is www.charmcitycakes.com.

We like this part of the FAQ section, in answer to, "I have a question about decorating/cake making":

"We wish we could answer every question in stupendously personalized detail. However, due to the insano crazy number of e-mails we get, that's simply not possible and we can't answer questions about decorating.

"If you're looking for cake technique info, check out the books 'Cakewalk' by Margaret Braun, 'Cakes to Dream On' by Colette Peters, and Larry Powell's 'Big Book of Cake Decorating.'"

"The Web forums at www.sugarbuzz.us and www.cakecentral.com are also wonderful resources."

This is the "Fist of Rock" cake, one of many you can marvel at on Charm City Cakes' online gallery at www.charmcitycakes.com.
Click photo for larger image.

Bob Batz Jr. can be reached at bbatz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1930.


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