“Let them eat cake” – it has to be one of the most famous quotes in history. Attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette of France around 1789, wife of King Louis XIV, upon being told that her subjects had no bread to eat.
She is said to have sniffily remarked ““Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”or “Let them eat cake” a remark which confirmed her, at least as far as the people were concerned, as a callous, selfish, heartless monarch.
Scholars these days seem convinced that she never actually said any such thing. A similar “Let them eat cake “tale was apparently doing the rounds prior to this with reference to the wife of Louis XIV, one Marie-Thérèse. So it seems the spin doctors of the day used the story to help turn the people against the French royal family adding fuel to the fire that led to the French Revolution and causing Marie-Antoinette to lose her head a few years later.
The head of Marie-Antoinette has became a viral cake hit for a very talented baker in the UK. Amanda Macleod, a professional cake designer, created a life-sized Marie-Antoinette head, complete with jewellery and decorative items – out of sugar! Amanda, whose cakes have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and on TV, entered the fabulous creation in the “Decorative Exhibit Category” at an international cake competition in London and unsurprisingly won a gold medal.
We asked her what inspired such a fabulous gateau: “Well, I designed a Marie-Antoinette wedding cake a few years ago but I never used it. I never received an order to make this style of cake and it is such a lot of work just for love… it just didn’t happen. But I thought for the competition it would be perfect”.
The cake ended up being a labour of love anyway as Amanda told us that it took more than 200 hours of painstaking work, largely in her spare time. The details came from “Googling images” and learning that Marie-Antoinette and the ladies of her court loved to have elaborate hairstyles with miniature bird cages and ships making an appearance on top of their heads.
Amanda says “The cake can’t actually be eaten! It’s actually completely made of sugar. Inside is hollow, the sugar is created on a framework and I’ll exhibit it at wedding fairs and trade fairs. It takes up a huge amount of room, she’s about a metre tall”. The cake was also used to help raise funds for Farleigh Hospice charity.