Jakarta, Indonesia-based pastry chef Iven Kawi says she made her first honest attempt at baking in December of 2013 when she made a batch of Christmas cookies for her daughter’s school.
Kawi now runs a bakery shop out of her home in Lippo Karawaci called Iven Oven where she creates elaborately decorated baked goods.Among her specialties are cakes adorned with terrarium environments where buttercream frosting is sculpted into an abundance of cacti and flower petals atop beds of crumbly sand or dirt.Much like her flower cakes, Kawi’s succulent-inspired sweets feature flora sculpted with frosting made from powdered sugar, butter, and food coloring.Once her desired consistency and colors are achieved, she uses a piping technique to create realistic leaves, spines, and needles.
Like real-life cacti and other water storing plants, each buttercream figure is unique in color, size, and shape.When grouped together in the bunch-like arrangements characteristic of Kawi’s aesthetic, the buttercream succulents bloom into verdant gardens and transform into cake-topping terrariums.
Ron Ben-Israel is an Israeli pastry chef known for his wedding and special occasion cakes and for his detail in sugar paste flowers.
Ben-Israel was born in Israel. His mother was born in Vienna and was rescued from the ghetto by American volunteers, later immigrating to Israel. His father, Moshe, lost most of his family in the Holocaust, and survived Auschwitz. His father worked in the printing industry, while his mother worked in map-making for the government.
He loved baking in the kitchen as a child.
He started a dance career at age 21, right after leaving the army. He danced with the Israeli dance companies Batsheva and Bat-Dor over a period of some 15 years, and toured internationally.Near the end of his dancing career, he moved to the United States and fell in love with the art of cake baking all over again.His dedication to his art is both reverent and joyful at once.Each time he fashions a cake—and he’s designed thousands of stunning, one-of-a-kind gateaux in his career—he’s as thrilled as he would be if it were his first masterpiece.