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Maker Spotlight: Honeycomb cake mold by Sean Carnell

The COVID lockdown Auckland fell under in August meant that pastry chefs Romain Jeunet, Jonathan Bertrand and Harish Sarma were in a bit of a tough spot. They represent Sofitel Auckland and within the New Zealand branch of the French hotel chain a competition for the annual yule cake design is approaching. 

They already have the idea of how they’re going to approach the design, which was inspired by the hotel’s rooftop hives. The pastry chefs wanted to create a cake that is shaped like a honeycomb and incorporate honey taken from the aforementioned hives. Not only will it make for a beautiful design to celebrate the festive season, but they also wanted to use this to highlight the global issue of the bee population.

Back to the tough spot. The chefs couldn’t find anyone who could help them with making the cake mold due to the lockdown. Here is where Sean comes in.

Sean from Sean Carnell Design took the cardboard mold that the chefs’ prototyped and CADed up a 3D version of it, which was then 3D printed using resin for its relatively smoother finish.  The magic happens when he used the Vaquform to create a positive mold with the VFlex material and a negative using the PETG material.

And then, the baton is passed to the pastry chefs who poured white chocolate into the mold and froze it until it hardened into a shell. Honey sponge cake infused with Christmas spices, blood orange center, honey mousse, honey gel, and a crunchy biscuit base is layered in to complete the festive dessert.

The result? A visually stunning cake that borders on a piece of art. For those who live in Auckland, you can find them here.

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