The Tallest Cake in the World
To my joie de vivre, my first Sunday in Paris coincided with musée gratuit dimanche, the first Sunday of every month when museums across the city open their doors to the masses for no charge. As I ambled through the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimonie at Trocadero, I was tickled to stumble upon the very recent relics of the tallest cake in the world.
Built by French architect Jean Bocabeille of collective PLAN 01, chef Gilles Stassart, and a team of pastry chefs, architects, a lighting designer, and a structural engineer, the Tour Sans Faim stood at a mighty height of 25.65 feet after construction on Thursday.
Aiming to be both an architectural and culinary performance, the tower is made from 850 sponge cakes of four different sizes, glued together with caramel. Many visitors were seen to be enjoying the sweet wafts emanating from the cake bricks.
The tower was intended to stand for the remainder of the weekend, but after temperatures rose to over 80, the pound cake bricks grew soft, and the structure transformed into a Leaning Tower of Pisa. After evaluating the deformation, the project team decided to dismantle it on Friday morning.
(But not before a Guinness Book of World Records official arrived to approve the project as, indeed, the tallest cake ever made.)
With a recipe consisting of 6,028 cups of flour, 39 lbs of butter, over 1,000 lbs of sugar, and 350 eggs, the tower has evoked some controversy. As it was inedible, it was criticized by some architects as a flagrantly wasteful, gluttonous project that ignores current issues and promotes world hunger - they even proclaim their position in an online petition. However, it was noted by the project team that the pound cakes will be recycled into fertilizer.
Rendering by PLAN 01