Desserts these days have become much more than the last course for your meal. Those sweet little creations of heavenly proportions have become a part of a highly creative and burgeoning industry. One of those leaders in the art of cake and cupcake creations is the United Kingdom’s own Ms. Elizabeth Solaru. Read on to learn how Elizabeth creates these edible works of art, her inspiration behind her book entitled Opulencia, and which famous celebrities have employed her services.
Elizabeth, you really create some visual, edible masterpieces, how did you learn your techniques?
Thank you very much. I am constantly learning and try to take as many classes as I can. When I started out, there was no such thing as the internet or YouTube, so I had to travel to the US to learn from some of the best. Two of my favourite teachers are Colette Peters and Ron Ben Israel.
When a customer requests your services, how do you develop your vision?
We try to get as detailed a brief as possible during the consultation process. We ask about client likes, dislikes, colours, theme, influences, decor, etc., to get an overall vision and impression. Then we put some ideas on paper and keep perfecting them until we get it right.
What has been your most eccentric or most challenging type of cake you have been asked to do, and have you designed any masterpieces for any celebrities?
We do work with some celebrities, high net worth individuals and royal families. They, however, rely on our discretion as it’s not fair for them to have their most private celebrations spoken about. We did our largest cake to date in January for a wedding where Mariah Carey and Elton John were just two of the wedding singers. The cake went viral for its sheer size and opulence.
What was your inspiration behind your book Opulencia?
I wrote OPULENCIA to celebrate ten years of running my cake business. It’s a mostly inspirational book that features some of my favourite cakes over the years. It also features some tutorials and most importantly what to do say if you split your buttercream or ganache.
With your masterpieces displayed online, and in your book, you have some exceptional photography. I see that you take great pride in this medium; do you have a photography background?
Far from it. I am a hopeless photographer, and most of the photos are from photographer friends whose work I greatly admire. I do have an eye for the shots that work, and instinctively I can tell a good photograph from a bad one. I have taken some lessons, and I am hopeful that one day I may photograph my cakes as well.
With your website garnering a worldwide presence, what parts of the world have you traveled to?
I’ve been truly blessed to travel to many parts of the world, including Singapore, Italy, the USA, Dubai, Prague, Budapest, and Slovakia. It’s been an eye-opener, and I love the fact that through cake, I’ve met so many amazing cake artists and made some really good friends. I, of course, get to try the most delicious cuisine imaginable, especially the breads, cheeses, and pastries.
Does traveling allow you to embrace new cultures that you can incorporate into your cakes?
I LOVE to travel and would love to go to parts of the Middle East, Russia, Korea, Japan, Egypt, and China. Mainly for the history and cuisine as I am curious about different cookery and baking and decorating styles.
Travel is the ultimate way of embracing new cultures and experiences. I find that people, no matter where they live have the same shared values of food and hospitality. I love discovering new flavours and authentic ways of cooking and eating.
What inspires you, Ms. Elizabeth?
Regarding cake design, I am inspired by so many things including colour, art, culture, fashion, jewelry, and nature. Art comes in so many different forms, and it is so expressive, in fact, I see it everywhere. Business wise, I am inspired by people like Oprah, a perfect example of resilience, Her Majesty, the Queen, who is duty personified and Ellen DeGeneres, who shows us how we can make the world a little kinder day by day. Lastly, I am inspired by my parents who taught me the meaning of hard work and determination.
Describe Elizabeth Solaru in 3 words, and why did you choose these words?
Gosh, I think I am resilient, curious and creative. Resilient because it takes a lot of guts to change careers a few times (I started my career as a Microbiologist, then became a Headhunter and now a cake maker). Curious because I am willing to try new things and creative because of my cakes.
For more information about Elizabeth Solaru and her opulent confections, visit www.elizabethcakeemporium.com.