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, November 19, 2009

Fourth & Final Christmas Cake Class

Last Tuesday evening was the final session of the Novelty Christmas Cake class, although I was one of very few that actually had a finished cake at the end of the night. This course wasn’t as “structured” as the beginner class, where everyone took home a completed cake at the end of the last session. Many of the others were at various stages of modelling and still needing to cover cakes, but after putting in quite a bit of work at home to get all of my modelling done, all I had left to do in class was put my cake together.

So here it is, my finished Santa Sleigh! I used royal icing to glue on the sleigh sides and position Santa on the front of the cake and sack on the top part. I then arranged the presents around him and glued them in place, and scattered the candy canes on top of them. Unfortunately, I left a few bits of royal icing visible where I didn’t get the position quite right the first time, and I didn’t realise it was there until it was dry.

The only other hiccup for the night was that I snapped off one of Rudolph’s antlers. The modelling paste still wasn’t dry and his hooves had stuck to the bottom of the container I’d used to take him to class… I was trying to ease him out as gently as I could, but when it gave way I bumped his head against the side of the container, and SNAP!!! I was so devastated, after all that work… I had a bit of a melt-down, but managed to fix it. It took a bit of time, but I just used my craft knife to dig the busted-off end out of his head and carve the slot a little bigger so I could glue the main part back in. So if Rudolph’s antlers look a little uneven, that would be why!

I glued Rudolph to the board and attached the ribbon reins to Santa’s hands with a little more royal icing, and my cake was finished. As with the beginner class, Marilyn was very impressed with my effort and asked me if I’d made it for someone, but it was only ever going to be my family’s Christmas cake and another photo for my portfolio. I was just having fun with the modelling and wanted to see how impressive a cake I could come up with… and I must say, I’m quite happy with the result!

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