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, March 27, 2012

That's So Magical!

A year over-due, but here she is... Sesame Street's favourite fairy, Abby Cadabby!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Time keeps Marching on...

Bugger... so much for getting back into blogging this year. I completely missed February, it's almost the end of March already, and I'm running out of time to post pictures of a cake that I still feel absolutely terrible about missing. My daughter Rebecca turns 4 this week, and I never got around to posting pictures of her 3rd birthday cake.

March 2011 is kind of a blurry patch in my memory... my first apprenticeship placement had fallen through, and I was working at Snows Patisserie (which only turned out to be a  four week stint). I'd been planning to enter the Newcastle Show, but after losing my job in February I was worried about the expense of dummies, icing and other supplies. I ended up going ahead and was quite happy with my flowers, but the cake itself was a bit of a rush job as I was running out of time... unfortunately it showed, and was reflected in the judges' comments. 

Then I had to back up from Show stress with Rebecca's birthday the following week... I made her an upright 3D "Abby Cadabby" cake. And the week after that I lost my job at Snows, which triggered a pretty major personal crisis. I felt destroyed, and started having doubts about whether or not I was cut out to be a pastry cook... and in the midst of all that, I never got around to writing up a post on Rebecca's cake.

Fast forward to March 2012, and history has repeated itself to some extent... once again, I left it too late to get my Newcastle Show entry organised. But this time, when I realised I was headed for another case of "nice flowers, shame about the cake" I decided to quit while I was, well, behind. After seeing the entries at this year's Show, it's really hit home just how much more I still have to learn. I rely too much on my flowers... the winners always have amazing decorative work on the cake itself.

So, long story short... I WILL have photos of Rebecca's last birthday cake up before her NEXT birthday. And  "lesson learned" that competitive cakes aren't something you start a month out from the competition. I've already started planning and sketching ideas for next year's wedding cake... watch this space in 2013!