There is no better way to practice doing something then to sign up for a contest. In April (I know its been awhile since I blogged) I enrolled in my local cake design school's spring cake show. The theme of this year's contest was, "Flowers in Springtime." I decided to create a cake for spring high tea in the chaparral. The cake itself was a dummy on the inside (nothing more than styrofoam) rolled in fondant with gumpaste flowers. The layers of fondant was inspired by another artist named Maggie Austen. My inspiration, aside from Maggie Austen's pristine design was the rock face cliffs of the north county San Diego area where I live. The warm taupes and mauves juxtaposed against the cracked and tapered lines of rock formed a sense of symmetry in this cake. The flowers are native Matija poppy and monkey flower. Gumpaste flowers are not as easy to make as one may think. Modeling and forming is a fairly simple process, but drying and more importantly arranging can be a bit more challenging. Usually when one puts a bouquet of flowers together the petals have no problem keeping its shape while squished alongside other flowers. Gumpaste flowers on the other hand, dry hard, and will break when handled to rough. Rule of thumb is to always make extra flower petals and extra flowers (in case one breaks when adding them to the cake) are made.
This was a challenging experience that really pushed me to develop my skill in cake design. I'd love to end this blog with me parading my 1st place ribbon, but such is not the case. I did however come out knowing a little bit more about cake and a whole lot more about making flowers.