The Icing on the Cake | Dinara Kasko

03 May 2019
3 min read
Ukrainian pastry chef Dinara Kasko talks to FOUR about her unique cake designs that are recognised the world over for their fun, architectural qualities and intricate details.

“About six years ago, I was looking for macaron recipes and I ran into a very interesting pastry blog. People who posted these recipes and pictures really inspired me, so I started learning lots of different recipes and just found myself hooked. From there I went to Paris where I tried amazing pastries, as well buying a lot of beautiful books on pastry, and started devoting more time to baking.”

“I never thought that I would become a pastry chef. I thought I would be an architect or a designer, as I was fond of drawing. When I started baking, it was a difficult choice to quit my job and start what I’m doing now, but I’ve made this choice and I am happy that I did. I also try to include these skills and create not just cakes, but objects of design that would perhaps not appear to look like cakes at first glance. It’s the minimalist style that I’m fond of, and this is how I interpret the cakes that I create.”

“For me, the whole process begins with having some simple ideas of what I want to create. The ideas may come from working with a specific ingredient or with a specific mold, or just inspiration from the things around me – for example, I’m into origami and work a lot with paper, so this can act as a great source of inspiration.”

“Step by step, I create a kind of plan how to create a cake – and of course I do a lot of testing, but everything depends on my mood! Today, I might want a chocolate cake; tomorrow, a berry one; and the day after tomorrow, a cheesecake, and so on, but I will always like nuts and caramel.”

“The cake should look beautiful and taste delicious as it’s associated with holidays, special occasions or a treat. We don’t eat it so often; that’s why from time to time we can pamper ourselves with quality and delicious pastry.”

“For me personally, I like working with the shape the most, so this is something intrinsic and specific to my creations. I try to create objects that are pieces of design in themselves and don’t need any additional decor.”

“Currently, I’m creating my own silicone molds, and I would like to position myself as a designer. Of course, when people buy my molds, they can make cakes of different colours and add some additional decor according to their own tastes and creativity. I like that people from all over the world buy my molds and use them, and it’s interesting to watch how people can present their cakes so differently, yet all from the same base shape.”

“We are always experimenting with colours, glazes and such. and new ingredients are appearing all the time. Nowadays it’s possible to buy any food, any equipment you would like, so I can’t predict anything in terms of trends. For example, in France, certain types of cakes have become traditional, but in my country, Hungary, they have only recently started appearing: 95% of the population have not even tried it yet.”

“But, of course, the way forward for patisserie is its development and improvement. Pastry has become very popular, and being a chef is not only interesting, it’s also a kind of trend.”

“The most important thing is that you should like what you do: self-develop, self-improve, keep learning and meet new people. If you would like to be successful you should keep up with new tendencies and try to understand what people like at this very moment. Keep an eye on contents, competitions, on new equipment and recipes that are appearing. You need it in order to move with the times.


Images © Dinara Kasko