Baker Whips Up X-Rated Cakes

MIAMI, FLORIDA – Pastry-arts degree in hand, ready to take a midlife plunge and open a Miami Beach, Fla., bakery, Mara Tirado knew she needed a niche.
Wedding cakes were out.
“Down here there are, like, five names that have the industry sewn up,” Tirado says. “Even my sister ordered from Ana Paz when she got married.”
She tried cheesecakes but didn’t find them much of a creative outlet.
Then, about six months ago, a gay acquaintance asked her to make an X-rated gag cake for a birthday party. She complied, adapting the neck of a guitar-shaped cake mold to the task.
“I loved the reception it got . . . the laughter, the joking,” says the baby-faced baker. “It was like being the life of the party without being invited to the party.”
Tirado launched Risque Business after receiving an associate degree from Johnson & Wales University in May.
“This is a party town,” says Tirado, 51. “Between South Beach and bachelorette parties and the Wilton Manors crowd, there really is no limit.”
Slowly, customer traffic has been mounting, thanks in part to her visit in June to the EXXXOTICA show at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The 18-and-older event featured adult-movie-star appearances, sex toys and a randy art display.
Tirado brought her business cards and a “look book” of her raciest treats — but, alas, forgot her glasses.
“I’m almost blind,” she says. “And here I was walking around all these half naked people practically clueless!”
Is that a blush?
“I’m not a porno person, you see,” she says earnestly. “This has all been an education for me.”
Homework has included adult magazines, videos and Web sites.
“My jaw was dropping open, but for art’s sake I had to see what was out there — and to see what was acceptable.”
The business plan scandalized her 19-year-old son, who came home from college to find centerfolds on the coffee table.
“He’s like, ‘Mom, get this porn out of the house!’ “
Tirado has filled albums with photos of her work, much of it only mildly titillating. Not even the Church Lady would take offense at “The Jacuzzi,” a hot tub built with pirouette cookies in which two marzipan couples soak in blue piping-gel “water.” Another no biggie: a C-cup with “Breast Wishes” squiggled below.
Flip a few pages, though, and it’s anatomy class all over again.
How far will she go?
“I have no problem with various positions, fetishes, homosexuality, transgender — is that what it’s called? — or anything like that,” she says. “Anything fun between consenting adults is fine; just nothing illegal, degrading or copyrighted.”
Fetishes? Oh, dear. That may explain why Tirado’s landlord has asked her to keep the Risque Business window display PG-13 and send customers on their way with purchases in closed boxes.
So the window holds just two faves: a well-endowed male in skivvies and a bust covered with a Janet Jackson-type negligee.
“I modeled them after Pamela Anderson and Dolly Parton,” Tirado says with a guffaw.
She actually is quite the giggler.
“You have to have a sense of humor to do this.”
from The Arizona Daily Star

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