by Linda Cloutier

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In Love with Lavender; The Process and the Judges' Feedback

I promise, this is the last post about this show!

This whole cake design flowed from my desire to incorporate piped lavender, a la Eric Lanlard's mini "Lavender Fields" cakes in his wonderful book, Glamour Cakes. I knew I wanted to pipe lavender on the top tier and really wanted the topper to be an extension of that. I love the look of a different technique on each tier.

Here's a bit of how the lavender topper came to be...

Fine gauge, cotton covered floral wire is dipped in royal icing using a piping bag and tip #4.

Once those dried (overnight) I piped on layers of royal icing dots (tip #2) in two shades of lavender and a little green, allowing to dry overnight between each layer.

To construct it, I used an inverted base from a cake pillar.

I filled it with green tinted gumpaste. Using a toothpick, I made holes and inserted the wire end of the flowers into the hole and sealed it with a dab of royal icing. I filled any remaining gaps with piped grass.

The finished result...

I've only worked with cake dummies on a limited basis in the past. This is my first whole cake constructed of styrofoam. Here they are covered in white fondant and ready to be decorated...

Sad and a bit exposed, no?
They slowly came together, though, with the addition of  a fondant ribbon, a monogrammed plaque, and some more piping...

A few layers of ruffles...

And a little bunch of hydrangeas...

So, just like with my other entry, scoring was on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 = excellent, 5 = good or above average, 1 = fair/needs improvement. Highest possibe score was 90. This cake was also judged by two well-known cake decorators.

My scores were 79 and 80 out of 90!

I got very high scores (9 or above) on Originality, Innovation (from 1 judge), Overall Eye Appeal (10s from both judges!), Skill, Neatness, Creativity, and Execution of Techniques. On Color Combination and Appropriateness I received 10s from both judges which was especially gratifying after they thought my pink and orange cake was a bit on the bold side.

I got an 8 from one of the judges on Innovation, and sixes from both of them on Number of Techniques Used.

Positive comments included "absolutely beautiful", "love the color scheme", "love the ruffled border", "very smooth fondant", "stunning overall", "wow", "ruffle is fantastic", "fine flower work", "awesome", "excellent".

Constructive criticism was that my hydrangea should have been higher up to show it off better. Also, to pat down the pointy tips on some of my piping. They were referring to the dots on the ruffled border, I decided to add those at the last minute and rushed a bit but, um, I do know better than didn't I do that? Sorry, Charity!

All in all, I think a fine showing for my final entry as an intermediate decorator. Next year I will have been decorating long enough to enter the advanced division.

Once again, the finished cake...
And yes, I did take a picture of it with it's winning ribbons, just because I'm a dork!

Next up, a jump back in time to the 2010 El Paso County Fair last July! Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Linda, your Lavender is beautiful. Both the spray on top of the Cake and again on the side. Be very very proud of your score - for you have created a beautiful cake. The hydrangeas... so soft in colour, so soft on the eye. Again, the cake is just stunning.
    Congratulations on your score and yes, i think it great that you showed us your Ribbons.

    Maxine x