Prudence Manolov is an artist. But you don't have to stand at a distance when viewing her work. Not even for the pieces that take her up to 20 hours to create.
She wants you to eat them.
Manolov's most-prized works of art are her specialty cakes, whose sculptural, airbrushed designs and unusual flavors have earned her feature spots on Fox-35 News and at events celebrating everything from marriage to a baby's first insulin spike. She initially honed her sugar-sculpting skills at a cake-decorating class at Michaels, where she discovered fondant and an outlet for her artistic talents. Along with elaborate cake creations, which have taken shapes ranging from footballs to seated mermaids, she and her bakery staff create gourmet cupcakes, cream puffs, cannolis, brownies, and other pastries.
Italian Ice Paradise’s staff showcases its specialty for customers by heaping spoonfuls of the shop’s 12 flavors of italian ice. A row of picnic-style tables outside presents al fresco enjoyment of cups of Italian ice or, alternatively, scoops of Hershey's ice cream topped with hot fudge or sprinkles. In all, the haven for dessert serves 17 flavors of that Hershey’s treat, including strawberry and moose tracks—which are what moose trains run on.
When serving as the centerpiece for an exhibit of fine crystal and china, an ornate cake made in the likeness of a table by Cut the Cake's bakers proved to be deceptively realistic. An inadvertently placed box sank into the cake’s edible wood grain and prompted an emergency visit from cake decorator Julie Manning, whose confectionary talents and keen aesthetic eye enabled her to quickly touch up the damaged buttercream before dawn.
Manning applies the same innovative spirit and attention to detail to each memorable wedding cake she creates, earning Cut the Cake five-star awards from Wedding Wire’s Bride’s Choice Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In addition to brides-to-be and ambassadors from Candyland, her clientele has included icons such as James Brown, Lauryn Hill, and B.B. King.
In addition to cake staples such as vanilla and chocolate, Manning also bakes pieces with nontraditional flavors such as piña colada and chocolate mint with crumbled cookies. For an extra dose of sugar, she can accessorize her confections with one of 21 sweet or fruit-packed fillings.
When clients bite into a slice of cake from B350 Degrees Pastry Shop, they don't just taste gooey chocolate or rich buttercream frosting. They taste the freshness. That's because head pastry chef Ernesto Materan bakes each cake the morning of a special event to ensure it's moist until the last slice is served. He blends together cakes the old-fashioned way, in which he whirrs together butter and flour with handpicked strawberries and rich cocoa to make his signature cake flavors. He specializes in a select number of flavors, including lemon, almond, and red velvet, which he then customizes with his decadent fillings. These can include anything from raspberry jam to dulce de leche or amaretto mousse, all of which play off the crumbly cakes and creamy frostings. He makes his cake beautiful using fondant to create designs, or embraces simplicity with frosting options, such as chocolate ganache or buttercream.
Stainless steel spouts, set into a wall inlaid with aqua mosaic tile, let customers flex their culinary creativity by filling cones and cups with Penguin Frozen Yogurt’s refreshing fro-yo in flavors such as chocolate truffle and Valencia orange. Patrons can then add slices of kiwi and strawberries, candies such as gummy worms and rainbow sprinkles, or slices of almonds and walnuts to finish off their own custom sundaes. Penguin also serves iced coffee topped with whipped cream, and cake pops wrapped in blue frosting to match the shop's color scheme and customers' chilly tongues.