by Linda Cloutier

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Black and White Online

I've posted here before how I feel about online cake contests. I don't like them. There's no way to make them truly fair. There's the professionals up against the most beginning of beginners. There's the wide range of photo quality. There's the Photoshopping. There's the vote solicitation.

All that being said, do you think I can resist entering? Heck, no! If I have a cake that suits, it's going in that contest!

My cakes have always seemed to lose something in pictures. I've recently acquired a better camera and have been working to improve my pictures. I even brighten and sharpen them a bit with Photoshop Elements. While they're far from professional, they are getting better and I can really see a difference. After all, once the cake has been eaten, there's nothing left but the pictures!

Shortly before I learned about this contest, I had found this cake stand at an Antiques and Collectibles Show:

Black and white toile cake stand
Almost as soon as I brought home the cake stand, I started envisioning a cake for it. I'm in love with the look of ombre ruffles on cakes and knew I wanted to incorporate that look. Twenty three layers of ruffles in 11 shades to take it from pure white to black. The perfectionist in the back of my mind wishes I had used at least 2 or 3 more variations of gray.

Ombre ruffles
I also played with some fantasy flowers in black and white with black leaves. Made with one part of an orchid cutter set and highlighted by painting the edges with black food color.

Add some vertical white ruffles on a black background with a trim of tiny piped royal icing beads.

Vertical ruffles
Talk about kismet...a Black and White Cake Contest! I decided to enter the finished cake.

Black and White and Ruffled All Over
The contest works by featuring all the entered cakes. Members of the site (a cake decorators' social networking site ) vote by "favoriting" cakes. The top 10 cakes are then featured and the winners (1st and 2nd place) are determined by judges. Well, I am excited to say my cake made the top 10! Out of 68 entries, mine came in at #9 with 41 favorites. OK, so it barely squeaked into the top 10, but I'll take it!  I believe the winner (which was absolutely gorgeous) had 60-something favorites. I've never come even close to placing in anything online so I was really pleased with the outcome.

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