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It's All in the Details

A little late with the post today, things have been a little busy juggling (not literally) a 10 week old, a few cake orders, experimental baking and some design work for a new and exciting project that will be shared in the coming weeks. After further consultations with the local environmental health officer, we are pleased to be back baking and supplying cakes again during this uncertain period. However, due to the limited availability of some key ingredients, we are only taking on limited orders so please get in there early to avoid disappointment.

Onto Today's post, I thought I would share a little bit about my design process. With every project being unique in its own way, planning is always key. Sometimes when I am given a brief I have a 101 ideas for how I would approach the design and other days I draw a blank. I usually have a three stage process: 1. Inspiration; 2. Design; and, 3. Problem Solving.

Wedding cake design drawing. Preliminary sketch of three tiered wedding cake with stencilled monogram and hand crafted sugar flowers.

1. Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere. It can come from a landmark seen on a past holiday, a piece of fabric spotted on a market, or simply acquainting yourself with the latest references to popular culture.

Some people like to create inspiration boards, but I prefer to get straight into sketching when inspiration strikes as the most efficient way for me to capture my ideas before they are lost.

2. Design

Understanding portions and proportions is key to the design process.

When I first started making cakes, my enthusiasm for my ideas would end up with me getting caught up in what I had envisaged, without any of the practicalities being considered. By doing so, the design wouldn't necessarily work for the size of cake I was asked to bake with examples of modelled toppers being far too big for the final cake.

Two-tiered wedding cake with sugar flower cascade from upper to lower tier.

When sketching out a tiered cake, I love the Cake & Cookie Planner cake stencils as an outline so that you know your cake is to scale, before adding the colours and textures. I really like to play with proportions and colours within my cakes. Although I think an evenly spaced tiered cake is beautiful, a bit of variation in height can add interest and intrigue.

It is also important during the design process to consider where the cake is going to be and if it has to travel. You don't want to have a cobbled street rattling your fabulous creation into pieces or strewn across the inside of your car.

3. Problem Solving

Having a sketch is wonderful, but we have all been there where our best laid plans go out of the window. Here are my top tips before you start making any cake:

  • In creating a model for a cake, always draw the perimeter of the cake on parchment paper for you to model on top of. This will help ensure you create a model that is proportional to the cake it will be sitting on.

  • If working from an image, always print it out. There is nothing worse than a screen turning off whilst you are mid cake decorating

  • Always create a baking schedule for timings and recipes needed to create your project before you start. If it is a big cake, this will be very helpful. Even with small cakes, it can be good to know how much you can achieve within a set amount of time, especially if you are baking around your family's schedule.

So although there is no recipe for you to try this week, I hope you gained something from making it this far. Keep your eyes open for future helpful hints, tips, further recipes, and some exciting news in the coming weeks.

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