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.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Will You Marry Me?

I kept the flowers from my anniversary cake intending to make a "practise wedding cake" to get a feel for the construction side of making a multi-tiered cake before I was asked to do one.  However the orders kept coming over the last few weeks (not that that's a bad thing... I certainly appreciate the business!) and I hadn't gotten around to it before I had this request for an engagement party cake shaped like a ring box ... so my first attempt at inserting dowels and stacking cakes ended up being for a customer anyway!  And because of the design, there was "nowhere to hide" ... no ribbon trims or shell borders, so the edges all had to be as neat as possible.

The customer asked me if I could make a choc-mint mud cake... I'd never made one before, but a slight modification to my usual mud cake recipe with some Creme de Menthe flavouring added worked perfectly.  The cakes were covered with white chocolate fondant, which also tastes absolutely gorgeous... just like white chocolate fudge!  The success of the choc-mint mud cake has also inspired me to try more flavours... in the process of testing choc-mint I made a small cake to be the top tier of the practise wedding cake, and I'm thinking Jaffa is on the cards for the larger bottom tier.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Catch of the Day!

This was my first hand-cut novelty cake, for a fisherman's 40th birthday.  The customer's only request that it be a realistic looking fish, not a Nemo or animated style that you'd see for a kids birthday cake.  I made two square white chocolate mud cakes, put them side by side, then cut away the corners to make the rough shape of a fish body.  I then used the off-cut pieces to shape the head/mouth end and lenghthen the tail, then it was a matter of carving to round the edges and refine the fish shape, and cover the whole thing with white chocolate icing to smooth it out.

I covered the fish with grey fondant, then coloured it by dry-brushing with petal dust and lustre powders.  For the ocean effect, I put the cake on the board and then swirled blue and aqua royal icing around it.  The banner was made from modelling paste and set into the royal on the board while it was still wet.  The last step was the fins, which I cut free-hand from grey modelling paste and pleated by repeatedly pressing in a bamboo skewer, then coloured with the same dry-brushing technique, and sugar-glued them in place on the body.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shoes & Handbag Cake

Kevin, the CDA Hunter president, demonstrated making shoes and handbags at the first meeting of this year.  I posted pictures on my Facebook page and said I'd buy the cutters if anyone wanted them done for a cake... one of the mums at my kids playgroup fell in love with them, and the rest is history.  This is the Mothers Day cake I made for her...

Happy Mothers Day!

Cookies gain for Mothers Day!  As with Easter, I didn't get around to advertising on my blog, but I had well and truly enough orders through my Facebook connections to keep me busy this week!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gardener's Birthday Cake

60th Birthday cake for an old school friend's dad.  I can't take credit for the design concept, though... the customer gave me pictures of two similar cakes that I worked off.