Sunday, October 3, 2010

ICCA Annual Cake Competition 2010-The before story

My apologies for not blogging in such a long time!
You could say I have been rather lazy haha!

Oh well...

You could say from yesterday I have entered a living heaven in a VERY unexpected way...

As you can see from my previous posts and photos on my blog and Face Book, I entered a cake competition organised by ICCA (International Center of Cake Artistry).

If you want to know I took my Wilton 1, 2, 3, 4 and the Squire's Kitchen Diploma from there and I got to know about the competition in I think August this month right after I completed my 3rd Wilton course.

And of course I spent LOTS of time planning on what to do for the competition since it would be my very FIRST one!

I spent lots of time surfing the net, library and of course my favourite caking website

Before I took my Squire's Kitchen diploma I already had tons of sketches on what I wanted!

But oh what an eye opener to SO many different techniques the 5 day diploma was!

So everything had changed again!

I found my new favourite medium to work with, Royal icing.

I LOVE string work and lace, I find them VERY beautiful!

After some time thinking through on what stringworky and/or lacey cake I wanted I began to realise how similar the string work looked like Indian jewelry...

From then on I began surfing the net and looking at ANYTHING that has got to do with Indian fashion and marriage.

So all the information I got was put into a 5 tiered Indian themed wedding cake.

I started preparing the cake 1 month (Plus lots of holidays, so maybe you could say 2 weeks of holidays in that month?) before the date of the competition.

My first and third tier was inspired by the sari's I saw online and in Swathy's house.
(To Swathy: Thank you for digging out all your Mom's and Your sari's for me to look at and draw!)

The Styrofoam cake was covered in royal purple (You would not imagine how much Wilton Violet gel color I used to dye/color the fondant!) colored fondant and the lace and string work was piped with a 1.5 or 1L Wilton tip.
The rest of the RI (Royal icing if you STILL don't know!) decorations we made by other round tips which I cant really remember what number!

The second and fourth tier was inspired by the Indian henna.
Since I was very little I have been very interested by the henna because well... I just think it is AWESOME!
You could say I had a pretty tough time thinking about which henna design to use for the cake!
Since the first and third tier was a paisley themed I decided to use it for the whole cake.
The henna tiers was the MOST fun to do because it was freestyle (Nope I didn't stencil on it first.) and freedom is FUN! Hahaha!
Even with my tilting turntable I had a tough time piping the paisley onto the cake so I piped it out as lace on a piece of parchment paper and transferred it onto the henna tier when it dried.

My fifth tier was just plain yellow string work (PME tip 00. I officially HATE plastic tips! After using a corsage pic a couple of times to prick the tip when the icing dried around it, the hole expended it quite a bit and it became the size of the Wilton 1.5 or 1L! Ugh!) all round the 8" square cake.
This was the most torturous tier of the whole cake :)
By the twentieth string I piped my right hand was already red, swollen and numb!
I had 4 inches of strings to be piped on...
I was nearly done!
Then... I invented a new PAINLESS way to do string work!
What a GREAT invention :)
Too bad it only came after I finished most of the cake!
But I am glad I don't have to suffer so much when I do string work again!

After finishing I thought to myself...
This cake looks too plain!
It needs a cake topper, BADLY!
I was in the library browsing at Colette Peter's (Her cakes are stunningly beautiful! And so are Eddie Spence's. My style is to mix and match both classy, modern and chic...!) Cakes to dream on...
I was on one of the last few pages of her look when I was this magnificent cake topper!
Not at all Indian but I was going to make it look like so...
The next few moments the was a HUGE tsunami, tornado hurricane storm going inside my head!
I pictured in my mind to change everything on it except the structure.
It was going to be this VERY gold type-a kinda mosque-y look but upside down... The dome design was going to be on the bottom and the top was going to be some lace type of things :)
It was going to be the first cake (Oh wait my first sculpted/carved cake was my brother's pirate ship one.. But I suppose they are both different types of sculptures?)
I spent the rest of the time when I was back from the library sculpting it...
It was a DISASTER!!
The top was bumpy and some parts tore!
But the bottom was fine... I am glad!
I had fun making the so called 'jewels' for the bottom part.
Eu Fai helped me make the balls and stick them into the holes I made with my ball tool.
Time to brainstorm to think on how to cover it up!

When that was done I had to figure out how to cover the gap between the top and the bottom..
So this is what I did to cover it up...

While I was thinking on what to do with the so very VERY ugly top I was on Cakecentral having a look at some forum posts...
The was this 'Sticky' which I found very useful because it had TONS of free online flower tutorials!
Then I stumbled a cross Satin Ice's (A brand of fondant) website and they had some videos on how those celebrity cakers use it...
I scrolled down the list of videos and then I saw a few of Colette Peter's videos and I decided to watch them...
I clicked on Colette Peters-Drapery.
Me thinking to myself: OMG! That's exactly what I can use to cover the ugly stuff up!
And that was what I did!
It was my first time doing drapery so I was kinda nervous :P
I think it turned out good for a first time...
I dusted it gold, added some jewels and tassels!
I think the tassels were a nice touch to it :)
For the top of the topper I poked in a flower pick and added some fondant covered wires that were dusted in gold into it.
I got the wire idea from Alan Dunn's Wedding cake bible.
And the Flower pick was visible and rather ugly so I had to come up with something to cover it up.
I decided on a fantasy lotus like flower...
There will be petals wrapped around the flower pick and then slowly opening...
It was a good idea.

So that was all the preparation I did for my wedding cake!

Hopefully I can post Day 1 tomorrow!

Oh and yes, before I forget... The bottom 2 tiers didnt turn out well and all the lace drooped and fell off so they were not used.


  1. Hi Karen,
    I'm Najat Ahmad and I was at the Giza to see the ICCA Cake Competition cakes on display. I must say you did a tremendous job with your cake and its no wonder yours was Commended with a note "The Youngest Entry 12 years old". Great job and Well Done.
    I am one of the Moderators for Malaysian Cake Decorators Club (MCDC), an online cake forum which is open for all. Check us out and do join us for lotsa cake fun.

  2. Beautiful work. If you're doing this at this age, I can only imagine what you'll be doing at 20+.

  3. I agree Deeva, I can't imagine what she will be doing at 20 when she is amazing now!