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4.19.2009

Well I Thought I was the Cake Diva... Nasturtium 40th Anniversary Cake



Those of you that have been reading Coco Cooks know I dabble in Cake decorating. In fact that's is how this blog came to be. My firsts posts were on my ventures into Cake decorating and sugar craft. This year I finally mustered up the nerve to enter The 4th Annual Student Cake Decorating Competition sponsored by the French Pastry School Chicago. Its for students at both culinary and high school level , of which I fall into neither. But they said as long as I wasn't a professional , I was good. So I paid my $10 donation as entry fee, to benefit Esperanza Community Services and got to work thinking of a 40th anniversary themed cake. I choice the nasturtium flower and accents of Ruby as they are symbolic of the 40th anniversary.
Earlier in the month I started making the gum paste flowers and leaves using a rose cutter and stretching and manipulating the petals to form the Nasturtiums. Then I went back over and brushed color and shimmer over the flowers to give more detail. You can call my style Impressionistic. I let thse dry for sevral days to become hard.

The cakes were actual cake dummies of 6, 10, and 12 inch. I decided to stick with simple white fondant as there would be a lot of color with the flowers. I rolled the fondant, took about 3 Wilton boxes, and centered with a wooden skewer.
The flowers and leaves were applied with royal icing and I made more flowers on the fondant with royal icing using the brush embroidery method. That's piping the icing and taking a damp brush and stroking int outline inwards to create an almost raised Waterford type of effect on the fondant.

Chef Laura Ragano gave an excellent demo with Wayne Johnson of local NBC on basic sugar craft and how she made her cake for Esperanza and a television segment with Wayne earlier in the week. While they did this Celebrity Cake Decorator Nicholas Lodge judged with other experts from Wilton and the community.


I wish I had a picture of the High School levels 1st prize winner. My Blackberry ran out of memory. The boy was phenomenal and it was great to see his family and friends go all out to support him.

This cakes creator was 18 and drove all the way from Massachusetts to compete. She hopes to go to French Pastry School and placed 2nd!


Here is the Culinary level in which I was competing.The first and 4th cakes on the table placed 1st and 3rd respectively.
Certain Someone was very supportive with emails and said mine was still good and to hurry up and get my frickin license so I can make my cakes and sell them.The Twitter and Facebook support was awesome and uplifting. The organizers said the they would email the judges comments for feedback and I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say. My theories are that I didn't include any writing or anything pointing to a 40th anniversary or Esperanza . My images were more symbolic. Maybe my style isn't as neat and precise and I have always had a more painterly style. The teachers in school always pointed this out. I plan to study more int actual anatomy of the flower to be as realistic as possible. Competition is tough and plays at all your insecurities, but the trick is to move on learn from it. Next time!





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30 comments:

marye said...

still like yours the best ::grumble:::

MrOrph said...

It is apparent that there was some stiff competition there. Your cake was still awesome IMHO.

Such hard work!

Maria said...

Your cake is my favorite all the way! You did a tremendous job! You are AMAZING!!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your cake is stunning! I admire your decorating craft...

Cheers,

Rosa

Sue G. said...

Your cake was really quite different from the others. I think it's gorgeous. Too bad; you never know what judges are looking for when you first enter a contest.

Nina Timm said...

Nasturtiums are my favorite flower to have in the garden and to eat!!! Your cake is beautiful and I applaud your daring spirit to even attempt crafts like this!!! Well done, girlfriend!!!

Toni said...

Courtney, your cake is drop dead gorgeous!! It certainly took my breath away. Who knows about judging? It's always mysterious. Just keep at it.

The Caked Crusader said...

Your cake is amazing! I love the orange and yellos flowers and how lifelike you have made the petals look by shaping them so cleverly.
I am very impressed at your skill

Ilva said...

I like yours the best just because of the painterly style, truly artistic!

linda said...

Love how you decorated the cake, very, very pretty! You should have won :)

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

What a beautiful cake, you're so talented. Sorry to hear that you didn't win :-(

~~louise~~ said...

Incredible, stupendous, astonishing, stunning!

Kudos to you! The competition was tuff and yet, your cake touches all the senses. Nasturtiums are often thought as lowly flowers and are often taken for granted. The flowers and leaves are edible and you have risen them back to grandeur...

The Duo Dishes said...

Very impressive! Cake decorating is an art in itself, and it really takes talent. You did a great job.

we are never full said...

this is so far above what i'm even close to being able to do. i'm dumbfounded - you're talented w/ the cake stuff. i would've voted for you to win!

Megan said...

That cake is a winner if I ever saw one! Dumb judges. Keep entering cuz I know you'll win it! :)It's plain to see, you got the talent.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Whats wrong with those judges, yours blew them all away! Beautiful job Courtney, start selling those cakes!!

giz said...

I'm in total awe - who knew you were such a cake decorator extraordinaire... I love how you made the flowers and just the warm and springy look of the whole cake.

Sara said...

Wow, your cake is absolutely beautiful! I am so impressed, I could never do anything like that :)

chou said...

Courtney, I know this is after the fact, but you got out there and did this! Amazing! Keep working at it, and you'll be finding blue ribbons floating towards you . . .

Dharm said...

What a superb cake courtney!!! Sorry I havent been around much but its hard to find time to surf... Your cake is just Superb!!

Peter M said...

C-town, your cake held up very well and competition is good/pushes us to improve. You have a knack - just hone it.

Soma said...

I am at loss of words.. this is absolutely gorgeous! so pretty & artistic! yours look way better than any of those out there.

Maryann said...

Your cake is beautiful. I especially like the green leaves. Ya got talent, kid ;)

Laurie said...

Oh my gosh Courtney you are amazing! Your cake is beautiful and the colors are so bright and would look lovely in my garden!:) I love nasturtiums! I would be so scared entering a contest like this.. way to go!!

Susan said...

Perhaps some of the other cakes are more labor intensive, but yours is the very prettiest - classic, elegant and romantic.

Lori Lynn said...

Wow. Love your choice of colors. Definitely a piece of art.

You have a lot more patience than I.
LL

Jude said...

You did such a beautiful job with decorating. The event sounds like a fun time!

Lisa said...

Wow, what a beautiful cake. Congratulations and good job on all the work that you've done putting it together.

Btw, love reading about the legume love affair posts! Your blog is great!

Lisa

coffeegrounded said...

Oh my goodness, your cake is/was beautiful! ...and your Daring Baker entry for the month of April is amazing. The details!!! Kudos to you!!!!

Jeanne said...

OMG, you MADE that?? We are not worthy!! Absolutely stunning! I think your flowers looked plenty realistic - nature is not precise. As Hundertwasser said "there is no God in a straight line".

You can make my anniversary cake anytime, you super-talented lady!