Newcastle, NSW, Australia
I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Done and Dusted!

I've just finished a marathon petal-dusting and steaming session to completely finish off the first 12 roses and 18 leaves for my class cake. I brushed the leaves with moss green and blended aubergine around the edges, and then I coloured the edges of the rose petals with plum. I couldn’t believe the transformation... what a difference a bit of shading with a little petal dust makes! I thought my roses looked good before, now they look absolutely amazing and more life-like than ever!

I’d tried a bit of dusting on a couple of my practice roses and leaves and had steamed them over the kettle, but for a mass steaming session I thought I’d better put a saucepan of water on the stove. After a bit of experimenting, the best way I found to do it was to have the water at a rolling boil with the lid on, which gave me a decent jet from the steam vent. Yet another transformation, the dried flower paste goes from looking flat and chalky to a glossy, porcelain-like finish. They don’t keep much of the gloss once the steam dries, but they still look beautiful. All-in-all, I couldn’t be happier with my first batch of completed roses and leaves. For a beginner, I think they look AWESOME!!!

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