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May 29, 2010

Duff stuff

Duff GoldmanHaving trouble getting your cakes to look like a box of Crayolas, hamburger or race car?

Duff Goldman, the extreme cake maker who's put visions of confectionery glory into many a home baker's head, has a fondant for that. In nine colors.

He also has fondant cutters. Texture tiles. "Cake graffiti" color spray. Cake "tattoos." Non-stick pans. Cake mixes, spatulas and other tools. 

The Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" star and owner of Baltimore's Charm City Cakes has a new line of baking products. They're available at Michaels stores across the U.S. and Canada.

The products should appeal to home bakers who've seen Goldman's elaborate cakes on TV, said Geof Manthorne, executive sous chef at Charm City Cakes.

"I think people are getting much more ambitious," he said, recalling how some have called the bakery, seeking advice.

"We get a lot of people, and they want tips because they're trying to make a replica of their car," he said with a laugh. "What am I gonna tell you?"

Now he can tell them to buy The Duff Goldman Collection, which includes the ready-made, Play-Doh-like fondant icing used for elaborate decorations. Manthorne said Duff-brand fondant has been made to stay pliable for a long time, so it doesn't dry out before the baker gets the shape just right.

"It’s easier to work with than a lot of store-bought fondants," he said. "It's a different form, doesn’t dry out as quickly."

What's in there to make the stuff so workable? You probably don't want to know.

"Sort of a protein that kind of helps thing be elastic," Manthorne said. "It's not vegan."

Sun photo by Lloyd Fox
Posted by Laura Vozzella at 7:29 AM | | Comments (10)


I've really enjoyed watching Ace of Cakes for the last couple of years, but I have to admit that the news of Duff opening a second location just kind of spoiled it all for me. I just thought it was so totally cool for him, his show and his quirky eclectic bakery to all be in Baltimore.

Soylent Fondant?

Joyce -- I totally agree! I really wish he would have stayed local for his second location. I think it is going to be in LA??

He's in it for the MONEY! Like everyone else on the Food Network.

Duff has done a lot for Baltimore in putting it on the culinary map. I personally don't see that changing - he is a huge supporter of this city.

If he's opening something in LA - my guess is it's because he has a lot of clients in that area and beyond solid business sense, it's also a practical one. I've watched the show and seen him drive cross country with cakes...

We met some cousins in California for the first time last fall, and when we said we lived in Baltimore, they immediately exclaimed "Ace of Cakes! We love that show!"

Interesting story: In the season finale of 30 Rock, there was an elaborate wedding cake at the wedding of Grizz and his finance Feyoncé. I read that CCC made the cake. Okay.

Then there is a random scene where Jack's girlfriend says that she did a commerical for a web site, but that it was before she lost her Maryland accent. Cut to the ad for where she does a dead-on Highlandtown accent. Cut to Jack's other girlfriend with a heavy Boston accent who says, "Yeah, that accent is idiotic."

I wonder where they got the idea for the Baltimore accent bit?

Here's the 30 Rock clip. Enjoy.

BaltBabs, yes, LA is what I recall hearing as well.

apa, yes, Duff has done much for Baltimore, but as a born and bred Balmerian, I have to say, it was a bit hard when he made the Monday Night Football cake - of the Redskins!

He's in it for the money?! Really?!

I thought he was in it to try to get all the children of the world to join together and sing in the spirit of peace and harmony.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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