Dinara Kasko, a Ukrainian chef, creates stunning works of edible art using her architectural design skills. In fact, these cakes are simply just too beautiful to eat. But then again, would you really want such a master baker’s work to go to waste?
And you might be surprised to learn that it wasn’t actually cookery that this accomplished baker studied at college. No, Kasko was actually an architecture and design student who worked for an architectural firm after graduation. She has, however, maintained a deep passion for baking ever since her teens. And so after her first child was born, she seized the opportunity to start creating some tasty masterpieces.
You’d be forgiven for wincing just a little when sticking a knife into one of these creations, though. But once carved, you would surely find something delicious. That’s because these cakes are just as good inside as out: dig in and you’ll find scrumptious layers of sponge, mousse, meringue and delicious exotic fruits.
But exactly how does Kasko manage to pull these extraordinary creations out of her oven? Well, unfortunately it’s just about as complicated as it looks. First, she uses a computer program called 3DMAX to create the designs. Then, she prints out a three-dimensional model using a special printer, and from this she creates her detailed cake molds.
Each mouth-watering finish has its own process, too. To create designs that look like glass, for example, Kasko uses isomalt – a kind of sugar alcohol that in some ways is actually healthier than real sugar. And, more importantly, it offers this stunning glass-like finish.
And to get that lovely super-shiny sheen, Kasko uses a technique called mirror glazing. The magic formula contains gelatin, cold water and sugar, and it can make even a simple carrot cake look like it comes from a different planet.
In an August 2016 interview with So Good magazine, moreover, Kasko explained some of the thought processes that go into her work. “The main elements are the geometric primitives: triangle, circle and rectangle,” she said. “My main colors are black, white and red. I like minimalism; ultimately, this simplicity is beautiful.”
“I’ve used geometric constructing principles such as triangulation, the Voronoi diagram and biomimicry [to make the cakes],” Kasko continued. Sound complicated? Yup, it sounds extremely complicated, but thankfully she explained it for the non-architects out there. Well, sort of; it may help if you have a master’s degree in mathematics…
“Triangulation is a partitioning of a geometric object into tetrahedrons,” she said. “The Voronoi diagram is a partitioning of a plane into cells based on a mathematical algorithm.” Who knew so much math could ever be involved in cake making?
Biomimicry, on the other hand, is “using the models, systems, and elements of nature, macro elements in general. It can be anything, fragmentation of expanding shells in a spiral, herb structure, or the form that bubbles make.” Wow.
Even if you don’t understand the math and science that goes into making the cakes, though, there’s no denying that they’re wonderful to look at. The use of shapes and color is stunning – not to mention that they’re also certain to make virtually anyone hungry for dessert.
And just from looking at these awe-inspiring shots, it probably isn’t a surprise to anyone that Kasko is also a trained photographer, too. Indeed, she utilises her skills to show off her cakes as colorful, carefully presented works of art, posting the resulting images to her Instagram page.
In fact, Kasko’s Instagram now has close to 150,000 followers, and so people are beginning to sit up and take notice of her work. Furthermore, comments left for her about her cakes are almost always glowing with superlative – and richly deserved – praise.
And companies are beginning to take an interest in her work, too. “Silikomart liked some of my molds, and decided to put them into mass production.” Kasko told So Good. “The Bubbles mold will be available for sale in September .”
What’s more, Kasko’s very excited about the ways in which technology and baking are starting to intersect. “Nowadays with the help of 3D modeling and 3D printing, pastry chefs are open to new interesting possibilities,” she added to the website.
And she’s emphatically exploring all those interesting possibilities. One of her impressive works as a chef is a chocolate mousse cake that looks like concrete and is based on “simple geometrical figures” but is nevertheless “gentle and delicious” on the inside.
In fact, Kasko takes the time to ensure that all her cakes are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Plunge a knife across her creations, and you’ll also find careful layers of complimentary shapes and colors, stacked creams and fillings.
And Kasko’s creations could become even more exquisite and inventive in the future, as she has been traveling to France – the land of perfect patisserie – and rubbing shoulders with some learned chefs. In particular, in Versailles she met up with Nicolas Boussin and Angelo Musa for a pastry workshop and learned “so much new information, new textures, tastes [and] decorations” as a result.
And this is, believe it or not, only the beginning of Kasko’s cake adventures. “I have many unrealized ideas and a great desire to experiment,” she told So Good. “I don’t want to imitate others; I want to create something new.”
And she certainly is doing so already, because you’ll probably never see cakes so geometrically perfect again in your life. Who knew that complex mathematics, beautiful architecture and colorful cooking could ever be such a perfect combination?