I had the honour of being asked to be a part of the
Seven Oaks General Hospitals
"One Sweet Affair"
fundraising gala again this year. Such fun! It's really a great way for us bakers to catch up and chat as well :)
This year I was super-dooper nervous, as I read thru the competitors. Chef Don Pattie (from Red River College), Nina Notaro (of Cake Studio), Geoff (from the Fort Garry) (sorry Geoff, your last name is slipping my mind right now...) and then the one that made my stomach drop the second I heard it. Michelle Bigold (from High Tea Bakery!)
I was so nervous to meet her, and man alive, her cake kicked some serious ass.
Check out that phenomenal cake! It was literally like five feet tall. Such attention to detail and creativity, seriously inspiring. And the very best part? Michelle is so nice.
Belinda and Mum were there too; all such inspiring, talented and genuine people. Why am I loving them up do much? Well, when they opened up shop, it was originally right down the street from me. I've watched them grow and expand and have poured over their cakes and dainties.
My little shop wants to be like High Tea when it grows up :)
Michelle won the people's choice award for her cake by the way.
This one here is from Nina Notaro, of Cake Studio. Tall and fancy and topped with breath taking flowers. Nina's a genius when it comes to flowers, and no one can do them like she does. Her "labour of love", I can't even imagine the hours she has logged making them. I heard people constantly commenting "those are sugar?!" all night :)
Fancy pants Geoff from the Fort Garry won the judges panel award again this year, as I recall he won last years as well. What the heck this cake is, well, I have no idea. But there are a ton of complex flavours, complex techniques and loaded with mad epicurean skills. I imagine eating it slowly, letting the flavours melt away in my mouth. It was stunning and would expect nothing less from him or the Fort Garry. Very cool stuff. (there are shiny balloon like things towards the back of the cake, made of blown sugar!?)
I was really excited that Chef Pattie agreed to compete again this year. I have had the honor of taking his classes from the college in the past and I love talking shop with him. Chef won the people's choice award last year (and rightly so, he made this incredible chocolatey butterfly sculpture thing) and wanted to lay low this year. He described his creation as going back to basics, making each component of his cake the purest and richest it could be. Was dark chocolate, ganache, apricots and pure fanciness.
And then there was me.
Presenting the "Cakette Croquembouche"
I thought long and hard, as to what would be the perfect combination of tasty, creative and that was a good representation of what the shop has become over the past year.
A couple of cakette-fanatics have mentioned this idea to me in various fashions..."you should make a cake out of cakettes", "wouldn't a tower of cakettes be cool", "is it wrong to just eat cakettes and not even want cake?"...
you get the idea...
Thus the cakette croquembouche was born. A combination of our cakettes (cake mixed with butter cream, then dipped in chocolate) and a croquembouche (a traditional cake made of a tower of cream filled profiteroles, built up with sugar). We decorated it with little gum paste flowers. Didn't win any awards, but I was super pleased with it and the whole event overall.
Already thinking about next years!