So my first ever cake competition was last week, it was at the Cake and Bake show in Earl’s Court. It was so fun! But I did have nervous, shaky hands for about 24 hours from delivering my cake (via a bus and a tube!) to finally watching the judges walk around the entries and confirm the winner. I didn’t win but amazingly, when I went around to see if anything was by my cake, I saw this cheeky little certificate next to it!
It felt fantastic! Like I was getting peer validation that I am doing the right thing with my Cakery ‘mission’. Don’t get me wrong, I was not having doubts about Lorna’s Cakery, but to hear positive and complimentary comments from successful people in the ‘cake world’ was really encouraging.
It was my target for 2012, to learn new skills (chocolate showpiece) and to enter a competition. I actually entered two, next one is in Birmingham at the NEC for Cake International. (mega!)
So for this competition, I firstly had to apply by submitting my design idea, which had to be inspired by the brief ‘The Edible Beach’. I was so chuffed when I was emailed saying my idea had been chosen to exhibit at the show, chuffed and suddenly really nervous… This is what I sent in:
“A hand-painted cake – silhouette of an elderly couple on a park bench with their trusty dog.
It is dusk, they are looking at the bright, busy pier in the distance.
It will be nostalgic & romantic. Inspired by grandparents enjoying fish & chips by the sea.”
Rumour has it, that they had over 600 people apply with their designs and they chose about 60 to enter (I’m guessing at the 60, I didn’t count how many cakes there were, I should have though!)
Here is a very crude panel that I put together using my out of date, SLOW, Photoshop – showing you the complete design all around the cake:
The icing was marbled with a nude and light tangerine colour before I covered the cake, I then did a light wash of blue with a wide brush to give me layers to work against when deciding where to place the pier etc. I wanted to create textures and depth in the design, I am really happy with the final product. It took a long time and lots of concentration, but before I took it to the competition I knew it was a true representation of what I want to achieve with the Cakery, it was illustrational, with a slight narrative. I knew many of the other entries at the show would be a fabulous array of complex 3D and novelty cakes, all based on a different ‘Edible Beach’ and to be honest my cake stood out as different, almost modest (!) but really, I think this is what I wanted and I was proud that it sat quietly there – if people wanted to and were willing to take a closer look, they would be able to read the little story I painted on my cake.
OK, so I seem to be getting a little poetic now so I will backtrack…you might have noticed that my pictures have got my watermark on, this is all in preparation for my new website, it’s nearly ready! Curtousy of my ever-so patient friend Louise. It’s going to be awesome and act as a ‘front door’ to Lorna’s Cakery. This blog will be nestled inside and visa versa – I have found the blog so useful in my building of the Cakery, even just as a tool to work out what I personally think about what my next ‘move’ should be.
So, talking about progress and ambition, my next ventures that are highlighted in my calendar are: *Hampers (yes, I still haven’t quite figured them out for 2012! Nearly there!), *Eat Your Heart Out – a not-for-profit event run by Miss Cakehead on 26-28 Oct (She is one of the judges at the competition that I cornered and chatted to) *another cake competition in November at the mother of all shows; Cake International! I’m scared. *AND a couple of cake orders in and around all of that, who knows, maybe Lorna’s Cakery is finally taking flight? Now that would be nice wouldn’t it…
(and finally, doesn’t this bird just look ridiculous! Like its clicking its heels in a Mary Poppins salute!)