The perfect ending to any special occasion is a magnificent cake. When I was growing up wedding cakes were always fruitcake and our special birthday cakes were a sponge filled with cream and strawberries or if we were really lucky a Dolly Varden cake in a favourite colour (Remember those wondrous rainbow- hued cakes with a doll stuck in the middle). I was lucky to have a Nanna who baked the cakes and scones at ‘The Ceylon Tea Centre’ in Brisbane City so my family were spoilt with beautiful traditional English baking.
Yet, how times have changed! Today we’ve even moved on from the croquembouche or cupcake towers to wondrous gravity-defying creations with flavours like red velvet, salted caramel, limoncello or lavender.
Recently I was invited to a Sweet Meet with Cake Boss, Zoe Byres from Sugar Art by Zoe Byres. An intimate group were treated to a masterclass with the fabulously pink Zoe who showed us some of the latest techniques in cake decorating.
We all shyly arrived at Lollipop Cake Supplies at Everton Hills to be greeted by the petite, pink haired Zoe. I think we were all worried our cooking skills would be put to the test but the class was very relaxed and welcoming.
Zoe told us a little bit about herself before showing us her fabulous skills, decorating a plain two tiered fondant cake, which soon became the animated Emu, Chester.
Zoe’s creations are works of art and she decorates her cakes using either alcohol or melted cocoa butter. She uses many techniques for a 3D effect but tonight we learned how folding wafer paper into varying shapes is one of the keys to bringing Zoe’s creations to life and giving them a little bit of personality.
After Zoe’s masterful demonstration we lucky attendees were given a round of fondant so that we could create our own works of art to take home. It was therapeutic and allowed us all to unleash our creativity. I don’t think we wanted the night to end. Everyone said they’d love to do more classes as there is so much more to learn and Zoe was such a warm and engaging teacher.
Zoe will be one of the cake artists at The International Cake Show in May where she will be teaching a masterclass full of lucky students how to make an Everett the Wombat Cake.
Some of the most dazzling cakes of all are wedding cakes. I am always fascinated by the vast array of wedding cakes available to today’s couples which are an integral part of any modern wedding. Originating from several different ancient traditions, the tiered wedding cake as we know it became popular in the Victorian era. My own tiered wedding cake was very special as it was made by my husband’s grandfather who was an Austrian baker.
At The International Cake Show you will be able to see some of the fabulous wedding cake creations from some of the world’s best wedding cake makers. Monica Cavallaro who created one of the fabulous cakes on ‘Married At First Sight‘ will be showing off her skills, as well as Caitlin Mitchell, award-winning cake designer from ‘A Little Cake Place’ and Zoe Clark who has been invited to exhibit in the Couture Wedding Cake Marquis. From the elegant to the flamboyant and the quirky to the mind-blowing there will be a special occasion cake for every taste. After seeing a fabulous cake decorator in action I know you will be blown away by their impressive skills.
The range of cakes available today is only limited by imagination and each artisan baker injects a little bit of their artistic skills and personality into their creation.
So tell me what are some of your favourite cakes to eat or make? Do you enjoy a special cake for your family celebrations, wedding, birthday, baby shower or anniversary. Do you have a memorable cake moment or recipe to share? We’d love to hear from you.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).