By Camille Sedayao
ICC Student, Cake Techniques & Design
International Culinary Center’s Cake Techniques & Design program is no piece of cake. The chefs and curriculum continuously challenge the knowledge and skill of each and every student, from baking to decorating. The two-tier midterm cake is one such challenge, consisting of two types of cake, two fillings, buttercream icing and fondant or gumpaste décor based on an assigned theme.
Once the theme of Travel/Vacation/Bon Voyage was announced, I was quickly inspired by events in my personal life. My best friend, a registered nurse, had recently begun a fundraiser called 2 Nurses 2 Bikes for Doctors Without Borders (DWB). She has planned a month-long, 2,000-mile bicycle excursion all around France, where DWB was founded. I wanted to encourage my friend along her journey and convey my appreciation for her tireless efforts through this cake.
In my design process, I decided that a model bicycle made from gumpaste would be the focal point of the cake. This was the perfect opportunity to use the gumpaste bicycle tutorial by Michelle of Sweet Dreams Cake App. Since the trip will take place in France, I also imagined lavender fields and cobblestone. I included these elements in my sketch as well. However, it was not until the cake started to take shape did I make alterations and hone my design. During this process, I learned that it is important to be prepared with an idea, but creativity is not limited to what’s on the paper. The end result was a cake iced in Swiss meringue buttercream with simple fondant and piped buttercream décor, a gumpaste bicycle and picnic basket complete with French baguette.
I was so excited with the results of my midterm cake, especially the gumpaste bicycle, that I shared it with Michelle of Sweet Dreams Cake App. She loved the cake and its inspiration so much that she donated $100 to the fundraiser! I was caught by surprise again when a fellow classmate, Tammy Watts, made an incredibly generous donation. I did not imagine that my simple cake could have this ripple effect, but it has been very gratifying.
Attending ICC’s Cake Techniques & Design program and completing this midterm project have strengthened my love for cake. What we do, as cake decorators, goes beyond making dessert. Our purpose is to convey a message and create edible art that moves those who see and taste it.
Learn more about our Cake Techniques & Design program here: http://www.internationalculinarycenter.com/courses/cake-techniques-and-design/