Before kickoff, a 5-foot-tall cake

Baker Goldman goes to Miami to assemble creation for NFL party

January 31, 2007|By Stacey Hirsh | Stacey Hirsh,Sun reporter

Baltimore cake maker and Food Network star Duff Goldman is heading to Miami to build his biggest cake ever: a 5-foot-tall, 300-pound football-field cake topped with benches, players, coaches, reporters and photographers, referees, helmets bearing team logos and a Lombardi Trophy.

The Super Bowl cake will be served to some 4,000 guests at the National Football League's party in Miami the night before the big game. The making of the cake also will be fodder for the final, hour-long episode of the Food Network's hit show Ace of Cakes, which features the local chef and his team at his Remington bakery, Charm City Cakes.

"The thing is going to be humongous," Goldman said during a recent interview at his brightly painted bakery, where colorful wedding cakes, a cake made to look like a train and one shaped and decorated like an oversized, overflowing glass of Guinness beer were among the recently completed projects.

The Super Bowl creation will be have a "field" about 3 1/2 feet long, decorated with gum paste, fondant and sugar. The cake will have three different elements, each with its own flavor: pumpkin chocolate chip, white chocolate raspberry and mudslide (chocolate cake with Kahlua buttercream filling).

The cake was to be made in Baltimore, along with the people, Gatorade coolers, benches, face masks for the helmets and other decorative pieces - all of which were to be constructed using gum paste, a fairly resilient ingredient.

Today, Goldman and four of his employees are scheduled to fly to Miami, where they will assemble and decorate the cake. They have devised such a strong system for packing the pre-made items that they'll be able to check them with their luggage.

"If the box got tossed across the room and the corner got smooshed, the cake would be fine," Goldman said.

Also traveling to Miami to help with the cake are a blowtorch, an airbrush, rolling pins, a mixer and at least 70 pounds of fondant, Goldman said.

Unlike the time Goldman and his sous-chef, Geof Manthorne, put together an engine cake for TV talk-show host Jay Leno in a California hotel room, then drove it on the freeway to Leno's studio, this cake will be constructed in a hotel conference room and moved to a party site within walking distance, Goldman said.

The idea for the Super Bowl cake came about when the Food Network learned during a meeting with the NFL that people at the league were huge fans of Goldman and his show, said Bob Tuschman, senior vice president for programming and production for the Food Network.

"We were looking for a big cake for the season finale, so when we brought the idea to Duff to do a cake for the Super Bowl he leapt at the opportunity," Tuschman said.

Tuschman said the NFL wanted Goldman to make the cake, though he declined to comment on the financial details of the arrangement. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the NFL did not pay for the cake.

Goldman, a Ravens fan who sometimes trades cakes to Ravens players in exchange for football tickets, had hoped to be coloring the cake purple. Instead, the end zone and helmets will be decorated in the team colors of the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.

Still, the cake will be served at the NFL's outdoor bash complete with current and former football stars, fireworks and performances by New Edition, REO Speedwagon and Blondie. The Ace of Cakes finale featuring the cake is scheduled to air in April, coinciding with the NFL draft, on the Food Network. (The Food Network is owned in part by Tribune Co., which also owns The Sun.)

McCarthy said that when Goldman came to New York earlier this month to plan out the cake, his vision matched exactly what the NFL had in mind.

"It was pretty uncanny with his rendering of what he wanted to do for us, and we're just surprised that he's going to be able to pull it off," McCarthy said, adding that the Baltimore cake maker has many fans at the NFL's New York office. "He is at the top of his game, so it's only fitting that we bring him in to play at the Super Bowl."

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