Masters Blog by Amanda Eising of Cake Delish
Well… I did it! Last Friday marked my last day of the 4 days Masters Course – the challenging and mind blowingly awesome Topsy Turvy cake. This is the last in the Basics series and I can certainly understand why.
Aside from the challenge of structuring a cake with uneven tiers giving it that ‘toppling’ effect, we are encouraged to really put our signature on our creation in this final course. We are given 4 days to create any design we want. Square, round, the corset or a mixture of all 3. We can do 3 tiers, 4 tiers and as many different flowers as we like. In fact the first morning on day 1 is devoted entirely to designing our cake.
As you could imagine, this course is extremely challenging for the teacher. Not only is she advising us on whether our crazy ideas will work, but she is effectively overseeing the creation of 10 entirely individual designs from start to finish in just 4 days. A major part of the challenge is time management and at this level we are expected to know our capabilities and plan our design and days around getting everything done very independently, but the teacher also needs to keep tabs on each of us to make sure we are hitting the right stages each day.
As some of you know my passion is elegant cakes, especially wedding cakes. And there was never any doubt that I was going to go all out with a beautiful elegant design filled with flowers and piping as my grand finale. I have a love / hate relationship with sugar flowers. Love the look of them, hate the time consuming hours involved in achieving just one small sugar flower. So my goal during this course was to fall in love with making flowers. And I’m glad to say that’s exactly what happened. I went for a very simple piping design on my tiers, so the majority of my 4 days were filled with flower making. And boy did I need it!
Of course I had to go the overambitious 4 tiered cake, which apparently have never been finished in the 4 days because you need a ridiculous amount of flowers. I must thrive on making life difficult for myself as I just saw this as a challenge I had to tackle! (Well, it’s not called Masters cos it’s easy!)
140 hand made, individually wired sugar flowers and leaves later and it was time to assemble my cake and see if I’d made enough to fill all 4 tiers. I must admit I literally got goosebumps as I started to place the flowers. I adored the colour combination and the cake fully represented me as a decorator. 2 hrs later as I placed the last few sugar leaves in place, filling that final tier, I couldn’t have been prouder.
The Masters cakes are created as dummy cakes so that we can take them home and use them as a display (most students have started a business before they get to Masters). I live a couple of plane trips away from Sydney so suffice to say I was extremely nervous about getting my cake home! Not only with the possibility of damage, but also just getting it on the plane at all. I did my best to sweet talk my cake onto the plane at check in but no amount of smiling worked. I had to buy my cake a seat on the plane. Yep, it had its very own seat. The hostess even asked me if my cake would like to order anything (gotta love that Virgin humor!). And security helpfully pointed out that I needed to be careful as “a couple of those tiers are on a lean!”….
I also wanted to just quickly explain something about “Masters” for anyone who may be confused… attaining Masters means that you have completed every course in the PC Basics series. It is possible to skip a few courses along the way depending on your skill level, but you cannot actually get “Masters” until all courses have been completed. This is why there is often a class full of students in Topsy Turvy, but there have only ever been 9 people to attain Masters.
Our class was lucky enough to have 2 people achieving their Masters this year – myself and the very lovely, extremely talented quiet achiever Sarah. We were both so proud to be numbers 10 and 11 in that prestigious group and receive that little plaque and we’ll both surely treasure every moment we’ve spent learning between the very talented four walls of Planet Cake.
It was a whirlwind couple of weeks and I’m glad to report I’m typing this from the comfort of my hometown where I can smell the sweet baking aromas of this weeks orders. I feel very privileged to have learnt my skills from the best. I have loved sharing my Masters journey with you and feel very blessed to be so well supported in my home town so that I can continue to do what I am most passionate about.
Happy Caking everyone