Food Network is one of my favorite channels to watch. I love watching cake and cupcake shows. Tonight, I am watching Cake Wars, and the theme is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Watching these cake professionals put together their cakes is awesome. The decorator really needs to know how to build, to sculpt, and to paint.
First let me say that when I watch these bakers come up with a recipe for their cakes they want to use to decorate they sound so delicious that I want to try some.
When these bakers are challenged to create a dramatic cake to capture the essence of the theme, they tend to go tall. When that happens, the baker needs to factor in how to secure the cake to the base, but if the cakes are not straight up, the baker needs to figure out the counterbalance of the cake. There have been occasions when a baker has dropped parts of their cakes when moving them to the display table for judging because the structure was not correct.
Next, the decorators need to add embellishments to the cake so it tells a story. The skills that these bakers use make them an artist to me. There is real talent when the decorator uses sugar, fondant, and molding chocolate. The characters need to look real, and when they do, I am so impressed with the decorators sculpting skills.
Finally, the decorator needs to add dimension to their cakes by using paintbrushes and airbrushes to add more detail to the cakes. I have seen enough of these shows to realize it really is all about the details. Does the character look like it supposed to? Did the baker represent the theme well or was it off the mark? The judges do not like sloppy work, and unfortunately, when there is a time limit to complete a massive cake, the bakers tend to rush and that is when mistakes happen. However, to see these cakes complete is nothing show than amazing.
Cake decorating has come a long way over the years. Many of these bakers showcase their many artistic talents that truly impress me. But most of all, I would love to try pieces of those cakes that look so delicious.
If you ever get a chance, check out one of these shows.