Thursday, 28 November 2013

Cake International

A stunning parade of cakes 
A couple of weeks ago, I joined my friend Georgie and some other cakey-bakey friends in Birmingham for Cake International.  We were looking forward to a day of cakes galore and plenty of shopping, too.  As it turned out, if you want to munch on cake you need to visit a wedding show and not a cake one, as the only sample I was offered was flavoured royal icing!  We did do plenty of shopping, though...

There'd been a lot of fuss in the media about the almost life-size Captain Jack Sparrow cake, so we headed down to the competition cake area first of all.  Now, what you have to keep in mind is that not all of the competition cakes are 100% cake.  Some of the competition classes do allow for the use of polystyrene dummies, however, some--like the novelty cakes and handbags--are 100% cake and no supports are allowed.  Even so, the level of skill displayed was astonishing!

Captain Jack was very impressive--you can look at progress photos in Tasty Cakes' Facebook photo album--but the Ratatouille cake just edged it for me.  It was more imaginative and playful.  Both cakes displayed a lot of skill, but Ratatouille was just more fun.

Who can resist a basket full of puppies?
I think everyone who saw this basket of puppies did a double-take.  They were incredibly life-like, especially the Labrador in the front.  Just gorgeous.

Clockwise Noah's Ark, Pumba from The Lion King, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ice Age
I do love a good novelty cake, and there were some real crackers on display.  Pumba was incredibly detailed, and I loved his cross-eyed expression as he stared at the bugs.  And Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!  Now there's a film you don't see very often these days.  I liked the bravery in doing a stylished version of the car rather than trying to make it ultra-realistic.  Very brave in a cake show where realism is highly prized.

The wedding cakes were my favourite section of all.  There were so many amazing cakes on display, all showing off a dizzying array of techniques.

This gorgeous pink and green cake is possibly the prettiest cakes I've ever seen.  I came straight home and ordered a bead/pearl mould so that I can have a go at re-creating the middle tiers.  So. Much. Technique.  It was my personal best in show.

Nightmare Before Christmas wedding cake

This was such a cute cake design.  The cake, which looked absolutely normal at first glance, slowly revolved on a plate and then revealed a romantic proposal at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in a cut-away segment.  Beautifully done!

A woodland wedding
I watched part of Mitch Turner's demonstration but then decided that since I already knew how to make Swiss meringue buttercream, I could better spend my time shopping.  I came away with The Mat--yet to experiment with this--a turntable, a scalpel for super-neat edges, and a few other pieces of equipment.  I had really, really wanted to invest in some Cake Lace, but luckily the crowds were ten deep at their stand.  (I say "luckily" as it is an incredibly expensive product, and I'm not sure I could afford to fall in love with it!!)

I really wanted to watch Mary Berry's demonstration, but quickly came to the conclusion that I should have taken a step-ladder with me.  The cheer when she came on stage nearly lifted the roof.  Next time I'll grab a seat earlier...much earlier.

If I've whetted your appetite for cake and you want even more, Jenny, Alice and Bess also went to Cake International and have written lovely posts about the day.  I'm already looking forward to going back next year!

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  1. So very much cake!
    I'm really not a baker by any stretch of the imagination but I think I might just love Cake International.
    Fab photos Ang
    M x

    1. I loved it. It was a great day out, despite the Look But Don't Nibble approach to the cakes!

  2. Ooh, and they had a Nightmare Before Christmas cake!! What a display! Each one impressed me.

    1. It was an awesome cake! It was so tall and detailed!! (Wouldn't like the job of delivering it to the venue, though!)


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