So the show has come to an end and I thought I’d share my experiences of participating in the ‘Art of Cake Challenge” presented by Loyal.
From my previous post, “It’s competition Time” you all read the details about the show. And from my posts on Facebook and Instagram you saw that I chose to do the Gnome as my Cake.
The Gnome was a great first novelty cake for a beginner like myself. He was challenging yet rewarding, and even though I didn’t win anything at the show, I am grateful for this experience and what I gained from participating in it. I am also looking forward to my next cake competition where I will hopefully produce an ever better (more detailed) cake that I know the judges are looking for.
In detail I’ll show you below how the Gnome came to be.
Photo 1: Let’s get carving
That’s the big secret. That Cake didn’t actually have to be a cake, it only had to replicate a Cake.
So my Mushroom was an 8inch cake that I curved into a mushroom shape. Carving the polystyrene made an absolute mess! Vacuum cleaner was on the ready.
Once it was in shape I covered it in foil
Photo 2: Cover up the poly
Covering the poly with foil ensured that polystyrene wouldn’t go everywhere, but also the fondant sticks better to foil (well so I’m told, I don’t actually know if that’s true or not and I wasn’t willing to try it out on this cake).
Photos 3 and 4: Add the fondant to the mushroom.
It was important that I put the fondant on the stalk of the mushroom first for 2 reasons. One, the fondant is white. If i had used the red fondant first there would be a chance that the red might have accidentally got mixed into the white. And Two, the fondant on the stalk had to harden and set before the Mushroom top could sit on it. The marks on the stalk were done using some of my fondant tools. I simply applied pressure and added the lines.
Photos 5 and 6: And the Gnome begins
The body of the gnome is made up of 2 polystyrene balls stacked on top of one another (sorry forgot to take a picture but I was in the zone). The base of the body (the bottom poly) was covered in yellow to match his legs.
An addition poly ball was used for the head. I covered the ball in a skin coloured fondant with his cheeks also made from fondant.
The legs were then attached, then his feet and then the jacket was draped over the top- giving it that free flowing look.
The last thing to attach to the body was his beard. For me it was almost near impossible. The weight of the beard meant that it kept falling from his face. Each time I attached it, it came off. Each approach I took just was not working for me and I was very close to just giving up!
After walking away for a while I decided to have another go where everything came together!!
Finally all i had to do was add his arms, nose, eyes and hat. Making sure everything stayed where I wanted I added addition supports from objects I had near by
Photo 7: The Gnome is finally done.
Now the Gnome was done it was time to concentrate on the surroundings.
I covered a 50cm board with white fondant (let it set for a couple of days).
I then added all the additional features like the flowers around the stalk of the mushroom, the rocks at the rear, and another small mushroom at the front.
This wasn’t enough so I decided to add some grass. This still wasn’t enough.
Photo 9: He is almost done
I then sprayed the base with green. This looked great! But it was still missing that extra something. Using some additional help I got my partner to photoshop a few different backgrounds that I could apply to my Gnome. I suggested leaves, pebbles and different colours to the green but the leaves came up on top
Photo 10: The Gnome cake is complete!
The extra leaves at the bottom really made the cake!
I added some additional butterflies and glitter (of course). He was done- FINALLY!
I was very happy with my cake. I even took a couple of selfies at the show (with the help from mum)