Where did we go when we wanted a likeness of Bob Dylan painted on a cake for the cover of this week's LA Weekly? To Kate Steffens, the DJ and chocolatier who specializes in rock 'n roll cakes via her company Straight Outta Chocolate. From Billie Holiday and Dr. Dre to Elliott Smith and Ian Curtis (cheerful!), she'll create a likeness of your favorite rock god or goddess in Valrhona. How did Bob Dylan taste? Delicious. Especially the brains.
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Steffens studied at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco then honed her skills with stints at various bakeries. A Highland Park native, she wound up back in Echo Park, where she began experimenting with cake decoration. In fact, her first rock 'n roll cake featured Bob Dylan, circa Don't Look Back.
Steffens relies on powdered dyes and prefers working with Valhrona and Scharffen Berger, but she says technique is far more important than type of chocolate. Steffens is, however, adamant about her medium of choice. A couple years ago, she told Squid Ink:
The benefit of chocolate is that I can avoid working with fondant and buttercream, which so many pastry chefs rely on for elaborate cake decoration. I don't know anyone who loves the taste of fondant, but I know plenty of chocolate lovers.
Truer words have never been spoken.