Cake International Birmingham 2018
After skipping one year, I’ve returned to Cake International Birmingham once more. No booth, so it was supposed to be a relaxed time. Well, it was, most of the time there, but the first two days… Not so much.
You see, I decided to compete with a piece on the Wedding Cake of 3 or more tiers category. And I did delivery a piece. But, I almost didn’t.
so, what happened?
As usual, you plan ahead with plenty of time to do your piece. But we all know that doesn’t happen in reality right? You keep pushing everything forward saying to yourself you have time to do everything. And I actually did have the time to do everything with no rush. I decide that some parts needed to be done in the hotel before the event because I was travelling more than 5 hours by car and I didn’t want to risk the cake getting ruined because there were a lot of delicate royal icing details on it. If I knew…
I arrived in Birmingham on Tuesday morning and started to work on the cake right away. A full afternoon and full night and the cake as complete. Done! I was really proud of my cake (still am beside everything) especially because it was something I never did before.
End then, everything happened. While putting the cake on the car to deliver it to the competition area at the fair, the cake fell on the floor of the car. You see, the cake was huge, as you can see above in this only photo of the undamaged cake. My heart just stopped. I didn’t know what to do anymore. A lot of the delicate details were ruined. The front curtain was damaged. A lot of the dragees fell off. Some tiers separated from each other. The only tier completely undamaged was the top one. My favourite, may I add.
A decision needed to be made fast, since we don’t have much time to deliver the cake on Friday morning. I looked at my husband (my angel and biggest supported) with tears in my eyes and asked him what should I do now. He calmly picked up the cake, assembled it in two halves and simply said “We’re going to put the cake on display. You’ll ask for a Damaged in Transit card, and you’ll display the cake proudly”. And I did.
I was so embarrassed. Everything that was not supposed to happen, did happen. But, reluctantly, I did present the cake. And it was there. With the damaged plaque.
the dreadful results day
When the results went out, I went to my cake knowing that I wouldn’t have any type of award, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had an award!!! A Merit Award. I couldn’t believe it! After all that happened, I did get the Merit Award! I was so happy with the result and so so proud. Incredible proud of myself, that I didn't give up, but mostly grateful for having the best husband, who didn’t let me give up at the last minute.
I still love this cake, although a lot of things I would do differently now.
so, what have i learned with all this
Some notes I’ve learned with this experience:
it’s better to go smaller since a smaller cake don’t have as many chances to fall as a taller one
always take your tiers separated, unless they’re rod centred (mine weren’t because of the height of it, huge mistake…)
if you’re using royal icing to connect the tiers (as I was), arrive at the venue with plenty of time, and do them there, if you are afraid to the tiers to separate in transit
always, always expect the worse, it’s easier to solve if you already have the solutions for every scenario possible
Moral of story… Never give up! Cliché, but true. You’ll never know what might happen. You’ll never know the way judges think or look at your piece. If you’re proud of your cake, display it. If you win, you’ll win. If you don’t, well at least you can say you did it!
But not all days were bad. Cake adventure apart, I had a blast at the show. I’ve met so many new people, so talented ones. It’s always amazing to meet new people in the cake area. Discovered new things, new tools. It’s heaven!
We also decided to go to the Cake Masters Awards this year and it was an amazing night. The food was great, and I had the chance to met more people and to spend time with new and old friends. Everyone was so pretty and happy and the award ceremony was amazing to watch.
And that was my weekend at Cake International this year.
In the end, it’s always worth to take risks. It might not go as smoothly as you wished for, but something positive always comes out of it.
If you want to see some photos of the competition pieces displayed (I couldn’t take photos of all of them), you can see them here: Cake International Birmingham 2018
And if you want to see more photos of my poor little-damaged cake, you can see them here: VERSAILLES WEDDING
So, what cake disasters happened to you?
❤ This work was sponsored by Rainbow Dust and Renshaw. Thank you so much for your support.
Ana discovered in 2012 the world of cake design, fell in love and since then took the PME Master course and attended master classes with renowned artists like Karen Portaleo. Of Portuguese nationality, currently resides in Stirling, Scotland. Awarded nationally and internationally.
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