Sunday, February 17, 2008

The People's Happy Cake

So, 5 weeks ago Tammy decided to take a plunge and enter this years Home and Garden show's Cake competition. She mulled for weeks/months over it and finally decided she was accomplished enough to enter the competition. The final decision was whether to enter her particular category of intermediate cake decorator or go for the gusto and enter the Theme of the Home and Garden show "Enchanted Cakes." After repeating to herself several hundred times "Go big or go home" she decided to attempt the Enchanted Cakes category. Below is the results of the 5 weeks of nightly/weekend/ and every other time work on her cake...

This is about a 22" tall tree on a 30" base. Because it is a show piece it doesn’t have to be made from cake, but has to be something you could recreate in cake. So the center of the tree is what would have been cake. The tree has a PVC pipe center for support with copper tubing for branches, its completely covered in modeling chocolate which is edible.

All of the decorations are royal icing or fondant. The lily of the valley were my flower to plant on the farm and Tiger Lilys were always my mom’s favorites. The columbine were put in because we’re in Colorado. All of the activities of the fairies are just the things I think fairies would be doing in an enchanted forest and I love the expression on the Tree who has a lovely bark mustache.

I made hard candy and poured it into little dew droplets to give it a little shine. The fairies and flowers are mostly fondant (basically edible playdough)

Carrying a little Ladybug...

Reaching out to a Butterfly

Shaking Dew off onto Mr. Mushroom
Playing Hide and Seak
A small game of Leap Frog
Riding in the Saddle
She loves me, she loves me not
Staking up Mushrooms
Swinging from the Tree
and Climbing the Tree

Come Friday the 15th of February Tammy very nervously took down the cake to the Denver Convention Center. She cautiously scoped out the competition there when she dropped off her cake and surmised she had a decent chance. Saturday she was able to finally take a breather and enjoy life again. :-) We relaxed, hung out at my parents and didn't think about the cake once. Sunday, Tammy had volunteered to work the Cake booth from 10 until the 4:30 when the awards show was.
Around 1:00 Sunday afternoon, Tammy called me very depressed. She had the opportunity to read some of the judge rankings of the cakes and found she hadn't done well enough to place. Being the supportive family we are we said we'd still come down to the award show for her.
Once down at the awards show the family all got to see the variety of cakes that had been entered. There was a great variety of talent shown as well as very creative ideas on the themes. Sitting in the theater prior to the ceremony, Grandma seized the opportunity to have Troy inform Keegan Gerhardt, one of the judges and Food Network Cake Challenge host, that he thought his Mommy made the best Happy cake in the show. This lead to a lengthy discussion between Keegan and Tammy in regards to her judging results. She learned a lot from this and believes this will definitely help her in the future.
Sitting there listening to the results it was a truly a priceless moment seeing Tammy's face light up with tears as they announced that her cake was chosen as the Peoples Choice Cake 2008 for the Denver Home and Garden show. This award was voted on by the thousands and thousands of people attending the show that weekend. Truly an honor and something Tammy will remember for a long time. It also resulted in her cake being on display the rest of the week while the show was going on.

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