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Sunday, October 21, 2012

London Cake decorating trip May 2012 Mich Turner 

The cake decorating group attended a demonstration with Mich Turner and we were very pleased to meet with her. She demonstrated some piping skills and also discussed the latest trends in the UK for wedding cakes.
Mich told us the history of her business and gave us a short power point presentation of her life in the cake world, which began as a young teenager making her home economic's teachers wedding cake and from the it grew.
Mich had a great genuine passion for what she does and the group left on a real high .

London Cake trip May 2012.

Slight delay, but a few months on I am going to tell you what I got up to in England!
At the Telford cakes international show I was fortunate enough to sign up for several demonstrations that were held throughout  the two day event.
The first demonstration that i attended was with Alan Dunn, the flower guru. Alan demonstrated tropical flowers and with his sense of humor and his nice charming way about him we were entertained with his flower skills.
Later on in the day I attended a demonstration from Tony Warren who demonstrated Calanthe Vestita (sugar orchid). Tonys demonstration was clear and very well structured and at the same time entertained the audience with short stories too.
The final demonstration that I attended was with Elaine MacGregor who demonstrated again brush embroidery with run- out painting in icing. This was fabulous.
That evening the group attended a local Chinese restaurant and with more than 25 people at our table, the restaurant noise was very boisterous with our  noisy group.
We were all hyped and over dosed with cake decorating!! Shares in cake decorating tools in the British economy was booming!
On the Sunday I attended in the morning a demonstration by Tracey Mann and she demonstrated her chocolate paste in cake decorating.
The second demo. Marion Frost, Patch work cutters owner and cake extraordinaire showed us the latest cutters that her and her husband had designed and showed different ways of using them.
In the afternoon Mary Jo Dowling from the USA demonstrated small furry chocolate animals. Mary Jo modelling skills were amazing and modeled a cute little mouse.
The next demo i attended was Alan Dunn again and this time he demonstrated exotic flowers.
The last and final demo was with Cassie Brown and she demonstrated using an air brush  how to apply it to various edible products for different decorative designs.

The group had to make a hasty departure at 5pm as we were London bound for the last few days of the groups trip.
On the Monday morning we made our way to Peggy Porschen cake studio in Belgravia in London. We had a lovely morning ,with Peggy demonstrating roses and other flowers.
Peggy provided beautiful cakes and refreshments during the demo and we were able to view some of her latest display cakes.

We the ventured further up the road to Peggy's cupcake parlour. In small groups we visited her basement bakery and Antonella (The Cake Girl)  and I chatted to the pastry chefs about the cakes, how they were decorated.
We also spoke about Australia's distinctive sharp corners on our cakes and our less is more attitude, especially with sugar flowers being used.
We then had the opportunity to view Peggy's wedding cake room with some stunning wedding cake designs. I purchased some of Peggy's Products and  delicious cupcake too!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Telford Cakes International show 2012

Telford Cakes International show 2012

A group of 12 Aussie  cake decorators are attending the above show, some have entered the listed  competitions with  pieces,some are having a working holiday, but the most common factor we all have is our interest in cakes.The group trip was organised by Mary Of Merrivale cakes and  some students I allready know and some I had yet to get to know!

With a mixed array of ages and  all are  from Queensland, let the fun begin .........

Day one. Ironbridge, somewhere near Telford........

The groups first day after a 2 day journey and trying to shake jet lag, we had a lovely day exploring visiting Queenies cupcake parlour,

visiting an interactive historical village, getting a free bus ride because the ticket machine was not working, so I asked the driver whether we could go to London?
I also learnt what a selfie was( holding the camera and taking a picture of yourself,) Deb is an expert instructor at this!
 Day 1

Day 2 Monday  14th May 2012  morning in Liverpool.

Patchwork cutters,the lovely host Marion Frost demonstrated some of her latest Patchwork Cutters and we were shown into her warehouse with her friendly smiley staff busily packing for the Telford Cake show, later that week,

We were led into her lovely cake workshop and saw all her displayed cakes with new and old designs.We were able to purchase her cutters and books after the demonstrations.
The room was lovely well lit, spacious and was a delight to be in.

Marion is a friendly warm host and has not tired from her craft and brings out new designs and cutters with great books with photos and still has the passion. Marions work  also features in the UK Cake magazines.

We had an amazing lunch,and that is an understatement,
as a chef I have to leave my chefs hat at home, so to speak, but we had soup, prawns, smoked salmon, quiches, salads and more and my favourite........Banofee pie mmmmmmmm truely a delight and a big thank you to Marions hubby for his camera work too xxx

Monday 14th May 2012 Afternoon Karen Davies

Karen Davies, has produced a huge range of moulds to help cake makers  save time and create adorable decorations..
Karens books also compliment her moulds with clear concise instructions and great photography.
Karen has a range of mould brooches and pearls too and is very up to date with the styles.

Karen made in the demo the above pictured baby and the ballerina, cute effective and not too time
Afternoon tea at Karens was also deliscious, with scones and clotted cream and a beautiful caramel cake and again we kept the UK economy going by purchasing a few products .(okay quite a few products! I am not too sure if my hubby will read this!)

Karens work also features in the UK Cake magazines.

Day 3 Tuesday 15th  and Wednesday 16th May 2012  International skills school with Alan Dunn and Elaine Macgregor
This was organised by the British Sugarcraft Guild with Marilyn Hill and Jackie as our wonderful hosts.

Royal icing skills flood work and brushed embroidery, Elaine was wonderful in the way she still holds these skills and adapts them to todays style of cake.Elaine, was originally from Australia and has been in the UK for the last 20years (maybe longer) she used to teach at my local Tafe in Brighton, except there not called Tafe!

Elaine,was also enjoyable company at meal  times and was also an excellent assistant in helping Susan get some of the girls clothing cleaned at the launderette, thank you Elainexxx

I was not feeling well the second part of the first day and went to my room for a lie down in the afternoon and woke the next morning ! some of the group were not feeling too well either.The next morning Elaine had finished of my lady plaque, thank you .

Elaine also has the following dvds available


Sugar Flowers

Floral decorations made from sugar are something very special. Their beauty enhances any cake for any occasion and they may be presented as a gift or preserved as a memento.
On this DVD, Elaine MacGregor shows you how to create simple blossoms, posies and bouquets from Lilies, Stephanotis and Jasmine to Orchids and Roses.
The techniques of cutting, forming, colouring and assembling petals and leaves into beautiful arrangements are made easy by Elaine's step-by-step demonstrations.
Elaine is Chairman of Judges for the British Sugarcraft Guild, an accredited judge for the Cookery and Food Association, a member of the Craft Guide of Chefs and a Fellow of the Institute of British Bakers.

Sugar Modelling

Sugar Models can bring to life any cake. They can be humorous, beautiful and creative.
Among the many simple models featured on this DVD are Elephants, Penguins, Goldfish and Teddy Bears. More ambitious subjects include an Iceberg Cake, a delightful Pastillage Vase and a jolly 'Bas Relief' Golfer - and they're all easier than you think!
Elaine MacGregor also demonstrates many other techniques for enhancing your sugarcraft skills including brush embroidery, stenciling, run-outs and cocoa painting.
With these skills at your fingertips, you'll feel confident enough to tackle almost any project and succeed. Practice makes perfect and what better way to start than watching Elaine's easy to follow DVD.
Elaine is Chairman of Judges for the British Sugarcraft Guild, an accredited judge for the Cookery and Food Association, a member of the Craft Guide of Chefs and a Fellow of the Institute of British Bakers.

Wedding Cakes

Wedding Cakes are the ultimate expression of the sugarcraft and yet they don't have to be difficult to decorate. By using simple techniques, Elaine MacGregor creates five stylish cakes each stunningly different.
These include a two-tiered royal iced cake with ready-made decorations for those with less experience, an iced cake topped with real chocolate and ornamented with gilded chocolate roses, a 'Teardrop Cake' featuring Royal inlay patterns, a delicate four-tiered cake and a spectacular Edwardian confection with ornate Royal icing patterns.
All five wedding cakes are tempting alternatives to expensive make-to-order cakes and will encourage you to reach new heights of sugarcrafting.
Elaine is Chairman of Judges for the British Sugarcraft Guild, an accredited judge for the Cookery and Food Association, a member of the Craft Guide of Chefs and a Fellow of the Institute of British Bakers.

Alan Dunn Tropical flowers and foilage

Alan Dunn, needs no introduction, really a very talented published flower creator, based in the north east of the UK, Newcastle. Alans calm easy going persona is quite aparent, as I also attended a couple of demonstrations later at the show.

His preferred medium to work in, is Cold Porcelaine rather than flower paste. He explained that he has longer time to shape and to mould and when it dries it is less likely to break, it also shrinks slightly too, creating a finer detail.He does use flower paste too.In this class we had a choice of what to use the girls from Oz used medina flower paste from Filomena.

I attended a cold porcelaine class almost 17 years ago in the UK at my local community college and I made napkin rings and flowers and a butterfly.The instructor seemed to have all the cake tools that I used, rolling pin, board scissors and similar cutters and she also used Ponds hand cream to prevent the porceline from sticking to the board and her hands.If you use this medium, it must not come into  contact with the cake, so a posy pick can be used or placed onto a plaque as a barrier on the decorated cake or cupcake.

Alan also shared some funny stories throughout the 2 days and told us about his travel experiences too with his flower workshops.

Day 4 Fairy workshop with Frances McNaughton

Frances owns the business called Frankly Sweet and used to attend the Eastbourne cake decorators guild group that I once belonged to, when I lived in the UK.When I attended the class, at the first break Frances came around to all the students and I introduced myself and told her I was from a group of cake decrators from Oz and she said that she had met me before? I had forgotten but I had met her too!
Frances made the sweet props for Harry Potter and Charlie and the chocolate factory,Chocolate and for several food commercials too.When I met her I had just finished the styling of cakes and food for Bridget Jones and she was at my cake group in Eastourne and we chatted about the film work.......small world eh?
Frances has written several books and now has created tools bang on, to create the figurines and designs,from her book.She has also created dvds too.

Cake show entries

I entered 2 competitions the fruit cake and the decorated wedding cake.
I transported the top tier with the peony rose flower separate as hand luggage and the cabin crew kindly looked after it in a separate cupboard as the overhead container cupped up when closed so that would have been disastrous!The fruit cake was carefully stored in my suitcase.
Below is the dumy cake reassembled.

I did not receive any certificate,the judges comments were that the piped hearts were not evenly spaced out....they are random piped hearts!
The base cake board is too big???? although within cake schedule  and the flowers lack movement ???????

On the Sunday the fruit cake entries had been judged and allocated  certificates.
My name was next to a burnt shallow sloppy side cake with almond slivers in ! Mary had placed my entry  in for me as I had been in  a class on the Friday and  I was horrified that there had been a mix up.

I spoke to one of the judges and said that there had been a mix up and that was not my cake, he said he would look into it, Mary came over and I told her that it was not my cake and she said she knew that it was not as my sides were beautiful and straight and not burnt.

After a demo that I had booked in for, I then returned and asked the judge what would happen?
He asked me what cake I thought was mine and I said it was either the silver one or the highly recommended one.I told him that I do not bake using nuts in Oz as they sometimes can go rancid.I asked him can he not ask the competitors whether they have the right cakes? He said that not all entries then collect their cakes!

I was bitterly dissapointed as I was also wanting to take the cake to give to my Aunt that I was visiting a week later,I left the burnt entry at the event.
When I spoke to my husband the next day, he said that whoever took my cake home will have surprised the family with a great cake! He always says the right thing.

Now for some medal winners from the rest of our group.
Sheree and Vickys entries and I cannot find  Debs entry!
These 3 girls were working late some nights to finish their entries and what wondeful talent.
Debs made an amazing entry My Fair Lady but I have mistakenly deleted the images.

The crate had a small Koala inside and this was gorgeous.

More blogging info tomorrow as this has took me 3 hrs!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cakes International Show Telford May 2012

I have less than 5 days before I leave on Friday for the UK Cakes International show.
Mary of Merrivale cakes has organised the trip and myself and 9 other cake decorators from Brisbane and the surrounding areas are attending and a few of the group are entering the various competitions.

The 2 categories I am entering are OD2 and OD6
The first is a wedding cake with a modern theme and anything goes! perfect ! and the second is the rich fruit cake category and for those that have tasted my fruit cake I think I will give the UK entries a run for their money!

So the problems willl be transporting and asembling the cakes for the competition, so I plan to try and write a blog every couple of days to let you know how I get on.The fact the cakes have to travel a few miles! will be a little nerving.

We are attending some classes with Marion Frost and Karen Davies, before the show as well as doing a little sightseeing and I shall pretend to be a tourist!

The  group will then be attending a 2 day skills scholl with Elaine MacGregor, originally from Australia, now living in Sussex, UK. and the talented Alan Dunn, who recently visit us in Brisbane for a few classes.The lovely John Hoi of Melbourne, will be teaching at the Cakes International Show as well as releasing his first book and I am really excited on getting a copy.

After the show our group will be travelling down to London for a few days and attending 2 classes with Peggy Porschen and Mitch Turner, ooohhh this is so exciting, plus I love their styling of the studios and stores too! For those that have attended my classes and been in my cake studio, I am sure that in my next life I might be an  interior designer !

After that I am back up to Liverpool  for a class with David of Davids Cakes, who is about to leave for an American Cake decorating trip,  one of his brilliant royal icing class and then back down South to London  for a class with the amazing talented, Robert Haynes.

I also am visiting my brothers Jason and Wayne and my lovely Aunt Winnie, who will be my fruit cake sampler after the cake has been sampled by the judges from the show! She is a tough critic!!!

All in all, I am truly looking forward to this trip and catching up with family and friends.
 Check out my blog for my cake adventure travels!

I will be back in OZ early June, with news of my soon to be printed cake book!

Toowoomba Show Monday 26th March 2012

I was invited along with Paul Mills owner of  Kitchenware-plus to judge  some cake categories, including the Contemporay Cakes category at the show.

It was a delight to be invited to judge and see some amazing created cakes, made by  talented cake  makers from the Toowoomba region.
Some of the entries, I found out later were made bydecorators,that  only recently had  taken the hobby up within the last year.
Attached are some photos of the entries and well done to you all.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Queensland Cake Decorators Association Show

The Queensland Cake decorators show is hosting its annual show Friday the 15th 11.30 am -4pm and Saturday 16th 9am -4pm  and Sunday 17th of June  9am -3pm

Held at MT Coot-tha Gardens Brisbane
The theme this year is the 4 seasons
The cost  adults$3 Pensioners and students $1 and children under 5 -free.
There will be demonstrations throughout the days, refreshments and yummy bites to eat, with also a little bit of retail therapy for cake decorating tools and goodies.
Visit the beautiful gardens afterwards to be inspired by all the beautiful planting.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


My lovely bride Bridgette met with me last year to discuss her design of cake.
She has a love of cherrubs and brought with her a photo of a cake that she was wanting.
After a little research and visiting a few American sites I found a suitable lace cherrub to use for her design. Her cake was covered in beautiful white sugar paste and all the lace detailing had a white satin shimmer. All the pearls were hand made (no bead moulder used!) and hand piped pearl detailing on the sides of the cake also.
The venue room was the restuarant that overlooked the swimming pool and was indeed a beautiful room.
The design included a hexagon shaped cake and all 4 cakes were a different flavour.
The deisgn was beautiful and when I went a delivered and set the cake up there were a few oohs and ahhs from the various staff members of  Versaces.

Lilac sugar roses stacked cake.

Lilac sugar roses stacked cake.

Black and white themed cake.

Black and white themed cake.

Gazebo fountain Wedding Cake

Gazebo fountain Wedding Cake

Pink and white theme sugar lily wedding cake.

Pink and white theme sugar lily wedding cake.

2 tier pilared square cake with red sugar roses.

2 tier pilared square cake with red sugar roses.

Shooting Stars Cake

Shooting Stars Cake

Tiffany Cake 2 day workshop, beautiful work.

Tiffany Cake 2 day workshop, beautiful work.

Personalised figurine 1 day workshop

Personalised figurine 1 day workshop