In the years since high school, my friend and former French-class petite copine Gabby Parker has blossomed into the Bay Area cake madame Gabrielle Feuersinger, with her own company Cake Coquette. One of her specialties is cake sculpture, and many a customer has requested veggie-shaped cakes. I am particularly impressed with her dedication to verisimilitude with the above broccoli cake, going so far as to include the occasional brown streak, as well as those pesky little leaflets that I always peel off the stalk.
I pondered the possible motivations behind requesting an otherwise standard, non-veggie cake that only looks like a vegetable and came up with the following:
1. Cake disguised as broccoli creates the illusion that people are taking in less calories and more calcium than they actually are, hence enhancing that "good-times" feeling at any party
2. To evoke that two-birds-in-one satisfaction of finishing one's veggies and earning the right to have dessert at the same time
3. To trick the alternative hippie kids into eating cake instead of veggies?
4. To remind people of what they should really be taking into their bodies instead of cake, which is actually nothing but tons of sugar and eggs, thus leaving more cake for you (this works in opposition to #1, 2, and 3, being only effective if the health-nut level in the room is particularly intense)
5. Because cakes-as-vegetables are weird, and hence kind of cute and funny in the same way that those Winnie-the-Pooh cell phone charms that have Pooh dressed as Piglet, Tigger, or a bee hive are kind of weird, cute, and funny all rolled into one squeezable rubber package.
Feel free to coo your little heart out over the pea pod - yes, Gabby/Gabrielle made it for a baby shower. The pumpkin was a popular Halloween special. Check out her cake gallery for more sculpture and wedding cakes. I am now on the lookout for cakes actually made out of vegetables besides just carrots...