Well I Thought I was the Cake Diva… Nasturtium 40th Anniversary Cake

Those of you that have been reading Coco Cooks know I dabble in Cake decorating. In fact that’s is how this blog came to be. My firsts posts were on my ventures into Cake decorating and sugar craft. This year I finally mustered up the nerve to enter The 4th Annual Student Cake Decorating Competition sponsored by the French Pastry School Chicago. Its for students at both culinary and high school level , of which I fall into neither. But they said as long as I wasn’t a professional , I was good. So I paid my $10 donation as entry fee, to benefit Esperanza Community Services and got to work thinking of a 40th anniversary themed cake. I choice the nasturtium flower and accents of Ruby as they are symbolic of the 40th anniversary.
Earlier in the month I started making the gum paste flowers and leaves using a rose cutter and stretching and manipulating the petals to form the Nasturtiums. Then I went back over and brushed color and shimmer over the flowers to give more detail. You can call my style Impressionistic. I let thse dry for sevral days to become hard.
The cakes were actual cake dummies of 6, 10, and 12 inch. I decided to stick with simple white fondant as there would be a lot of color with the flowers. I rolled the fondant, took about 3 Wilton boxes, and centered with a wooden skewer.
The flowers and leaves were applied with royal icing and I made more flowers on the fondant with royal icing using the brush embroidery method. That’s piping the icing and taking a damp brush and stroking int outline inwards to create an almost raised Waterford type of effect on the fondant.
Chef Laura Ragano gave an excellent demo with Wayne Johnson of local NBC on basic sugar craft and how she made her cake for Esperanza and a television segment with Wayne earlier in the week. While they did this Celebrity Cake Decorator Nicholas Lodge judged with other experts from Wilton and the community.

I wish I had a picture of the High School levels 1st prize winner. My Blackberry ran out of memory. The boy was phenomenal and it was great to see his family and friends go all out to support him.

This cakes creator was 18 and drove all the way from Massachusetts to compete. She hopes to go to French Pastry School and placed 2nd!

Here is the Culinary level in which I was competing.The first and 4th cakes on the table placed 1st and 3rd respectively.
Certain Someone was very supportive with emails and said mine was still good and to hurry up and get my frickin license so I can make my cakes and sell them.The Twitter and Facebook support was awesome and uplifting. The organizers said the they would email the judges comments for feedback and I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say. My theories are that I didn’t include any writing or anything pointing to a 40th anniversary or Esperanza . My images were more symbolic. Maybe my style isn’t as neat and precise and I have always had a more painterly style. The teachers in school always pointed this out. I plan to study more int actual anatomy of the flower to be as realistic as possible. Competition is tough and plays at all your insecurities, but the trick is to move on learn from it. Next time!

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2 thoughts on “Well I Thought I was the Cake Diva… Nasturtium 40th Anniversary Cake

  1. Jasmine


    I just love this cake….this is the type of cake I would make had I as much experience. I don’t always like the fussy perfect cake and this is very artsy and beautiful. Good Job!

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