7 Questions With Cake Hero, Melissa Torres
January 18, 2016
For our most recent "Maker Obsession" we interviewed one of our favorite pastry chefs, Cake Hero, Melissa Torres. She garnered our attention with her Marie Antoinette petit fours and won our hearts with the precious anemone creations she made for our bridal presentation. We absolutely love seeing her cooking in our looks from our most recent Spring collection! Check out our interview and masterpieces below and shop the collection here!
When did you get started in the kitchen?
With all the chefs and amazing home cooks in my family, I was content to just eat the all the delicious food made for me while I was growing up, so I'm a late bloomer in that regard. To be honest, I thought talent in the kitchen had skipped me completely! It wasn't until my mid twenties that I bought a Darth Vader cake pan as a joke and started making cake box cakes. From there, it's been all trial and error. I'm self taught, so sometimes there was more error then I would have liked, but it's been a really fun learning experience overall!
Who taught you how to bake?
Mostly the internet! Looking back, I see now that my mother and grandmother were solitary bakers...I think baking was their time for themselves, so me and my siblings weren't really a part of that process growing up. As an adult I find that applies to me too, in that I find baking can be a meditative act. So for the most part, anything I learned came from books, the internet, and the dogged search for the perfect vanilla cake recipe.
We love how whimsical and ladylike your cake creations are. What are some of your favorite things to accessorize your cakes and that make them uniquely Cake Hero?
Thank you! I think some of my favorite decorations are of course, sugar flowers...it really is amazing to see how a flat, one dimensional piece of sugar can transform, with the right touch and some lovely petal dusts, into a gorgeous, life like flower. I have also been having a lot of fun with gelatin, of all things. You can do so much with it...make sequins, feathers, flowers...there's a shine and movement to it once it dries that really brings things to life in a modern way.
The main thing that I like to think makes Cake Hero cakes uniquely my own is simplicity. Not boring, but clean, graphic, pared down, and above all, delicious!
Favorite cake flavor
Oh, don't make me choose! For birthday cake, I love a simple vanilla cake with chocolate frosting...nothing beats it. For something summery, a lemon cake with fresh strawberry frosting is so light and delicious. And when it comes to a cake that brings back memories, I love a hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting. My mother made it for my birthday every year, and with nuts, banana, pineapple and cinnamon, it really is the epitome of comfort food.
Must have utensil in the baker’s kitchen
High top sneakers for comfort, and an offset spatula for frosting, moving cake layers, smoothing cake batter, and more!
You describe your style as
Simple, graphic, and comfortable. I've never met a high waisted skirt or pair of jeans that I didn't like, and I constantly lust after crazy sneakers and perfect curls.
What would Grace Kelly’s wedding cake look like, a la Cake Hero?
It would be tall...white of course. I think I would avoid lace, and do something a little more modern...maybe tons of different sized white dragees (those tiny sugar balls) along with some pearl and white handmade edible sequins, placed strategically to give the cake a textured, shimmering vibe. I would finish the look off with handmade sugar Lily of the Valley, to tie the cake in with her gorgeous bridal bouquet.