Ever since I can remember I’ve had a strong connection to New Orleans. As a little girl I read everything I could get my hands on about her history. I would get lost in books about the Deep South and spend hours reading about the culture and history and of course the ghost stories and legends. The architecture, the landscape, the folklore, ALL OF IT just takes my breath away. I remember being so terribly saddened when Hurricane Katrina hit as one of my first thoughts was that this beautiful and historically rich city would be lost forever.
The Spanish Moss that is so prevalent in New Orleans gives me all the feels. I literally get a lump in my throat every time I see it and I have to hold back the tears when I see trees adorned with this magnificent foliage.
I’ve never actually been to NOLA, (although I feel in my bones that I have) I got as far as Shreveport. But I’ll get there someday….along with a list of other places my soul belongs (India and Egypt being among them) I just have to!
When the collaboration ‘Cakes that go Bump in The Night’ came up I just knew I wanted to be apart of it. I decided to base my piece on the legend of Madame LaLaurie. The story is horrific, heinous and just downright evil. I really did think twice about even creating this piece on the subject. It’s a teeny bit controversial. But it happened, it was awful and just plain wrong, but history needs to be told. We can’t just forget the injustices and horrific treatment of fellow human beings.
Delphine LaLaurie was born in 1780 and a New Orleans Creole Socialite in the French Quarters. She was a successful business woman and owned many slaves. Unfortunately she was a sadist and took pleasure in torturing and murdering them as well. Over the years the stories started to get larger than life and more hideous, but then again no one will ever truly know what went on in the LaLaurie Mansion. Delphine was eventually found out when a fire that was apparently set by her kitchen slave who had had enough, brought the attic door to the attention of the local authorities. When the door was finally opened, the horrors of what had been going on came to light. Madame LaLaurie escaped to Paris where she took on another name, and lived there until her death in 1849. Her remains were sent back to New Orleans where she was buried.
I absolutely LOVED Kathy Bates in American Horror Story and I think she did an amazing portrayal of Delphine LaLaurie. I also really enjoy sculpting faces from fondant and modelling chocolate so whenever the opportunity arises I go for it. I still have a long way to go until I feel like my work is even to a standard that I am truly happy with, but I’m proud of my efforts and I’m looking forward to future projects to try to perfect my faces. Avalon Yarnes of Avalon Cakes is an amazing inspiration when it comes to sculpting faces and I’ve learned so much from her and I continue to do so ALL THE TIME.
I used a mix of modelling chocolate and fondant to sculpt the face. It’s easier to work with, less expensive than using 100% modelling chocolate and when combined with fondant it still makes your work seamless.
To make the ‘blood’ I used a mixture of glucose syrup, red food dye and coca powder. Mix mix mix and you’re good to go.
Please check out the other cakes in the Cakes that go Bump in the Night Collaboration. They’re fantastic! And while you do, I’ll be dreaming of eating warm beignets in the Deep South 😋 x