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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cake & Board

Phew... I've just finished covering and icing my cake and board, and I finally have everything ready so I can put my Christmas cake together in class tonight.  I didn't mean to cut it this fine, but at least it's all done now.  I made a six inch square cake using the "light fruit cake" recipe in my book, but have a bad feeling that there may have been a misprint.  The quantity for one tin size smaller had 2 eggs,  the one I made had 4 eggs, and the next size up only had 4 eggs too.  I know fruit cakes are meant to be moist, but this one seems TOO moist, especially since I've made this recipe in the eight inch round size for my Beginner Class cake and it wasn't soggy like this one seems to be.  I'm wondering if the one I made was only supposed to have 3 eggs... anyway, what's done is done, and I sure as hell don't have time to make another one now!

Yesterday I trimmed a slice off each side and used those pieces to shape the "step" the back of the sleigh.  I covered the cake with marzipan, which was a bit tricky with the odd-shaped cake (especially the high part at the back, where it kept tearing at the edges under its own weight), so it was basically matter of "get it on there any way you can."  The fondant, which was freshly made and still had all its "spring" and elasticity, went on quite a bit easier.  It's not perfectly smooth, but not too bad a job for an odd-shaped cake, and most of it will be covered with models and decorations anyway.

For the snow effect, I covered the board with white fondant and then went over the top of it with royal icing.  I spread the icing on roughly, then dabbed all over it with the spatula to make rough peaks.  Finally, while the icing was still wet, I sprinkled the board fairly heavily with ordinary white sugar to give it a bit of a sparkly "ice crystal" effect.  So all that's left to do now is to pack up my models and gear, and pray that it doesn't rain tonight!

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