by Linda Cloutier

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sweet Times in the Rockies 2010, Chapter Two, The Cake!

Back to a year ago...a bit of a refresher...after my 3rd place win at the 2009 Colorado State Fair, I decided to enter a cake in the 2010 Sweet Times in the Rockies cake show. I entered in the Intermediate Adult Division, Tiered Cakes Category. I spent many hours making and shading gumpaste magnolias. I crafted an elaborate cake board cover. I also made some smaller blossoms and large and small leaves of gumpaste. We come now to the week before the competition. All entries are to be dropped off on the Friday, between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

At that time, it never occurred to me that I could enter a cake made of anything but cake! The only freezer space I had back then was the little side by side refrigerator so baking ahead was pretty much out, too. So, Monday, I made "crisco-cream" frosting (why waste good ingredients on a cake that won't get eaten?) and on Tuesday night I baked enough pound cake (from scratch!) to make 2 layers each of 6", 8" and 10" round cakes. On Wednesday night, I leveled, filled, and crumbcoated and tinted my fondant. Thursday night, all three cakes got covered in fondant.

The big day finally arrives. I had taken the day off from work so I could devote the whole day to decorating my cake! Bright and early, I check out my cakes and decide I hate the fondant on the cakes. I'm not happy with the color and I know I can apply fondant more smoothly than that! I peeled it off and started over! Round two was MUCH better! On to the design. You've seen those cakes with what looks like Chanel-type quilting on them? Um, yeah, that's a lot harder than it looks. Probably should have practiced that technique before trying it. Plan B there, too. The rest goes pretty smoothly and I finish about 3:00 p.m. leaving plenty of time for the drive to Denver.

Delivery was so much fun! Once I got my cake in place and assembled we hung out and watched other cakes arriving. Some of the cakes in the professional and masters divisions were amazing! Heck, some of the cakes in the kids' and teens' divisions were amazing! And the extravagant cakes...just wow! The other cakes in my division are pretty great, too. One of them has an almost identical color scheme as mine! Great minds and all that.

Now, the hard part...I have to leave my cake there, all alone, all weekend. The awards aren't announced until Sunday evening. I fretted and worried all weekend. What if people are poking it? What if someone broke the magnolia on top? What if someone knocked the the whole cake over? Those worries in addition to being convinced that there's no need to waste the gas going back because there's no way I'll get anything. The other cakes were way better than mine, weren't they? Finally, finally, after about two years, Sunday arrives and we head back to Denver.

There's a LOT more cakes than there were when I left on Friday. We take some time to look at all the cakes. I (naturally) had worried about mine needlessly; there were ropes set up a good three feet away from the display tables that people had to stay behind. We also took some time to walk around the Garden and Home Show.

The awards announcements start with the youngest of the children's divisions and go up. They get to my division and category and announce the third place cake. It's not me. It's this one...

3rd Place
Two peas in a pod...pretty cute.
They announce the second place cake. That one's not me, either It's this one...
2nd Place
Just look at that tiny bouquet of flowers...beautiful!
And in first place...

...wait for it... MINE! I'm shocked and amazed and VERY excited! Here it is...

1st Place! Mine!
Sadly, my award winning cake didn't make it home in one piece. It didn't even make it out of the parking garage. It fell over coming down the steep spiral exit drive.

Thanks for reading! Next up, the Wilton Cake Decorating Challenge, May, 2010.

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