by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Lifestyle : Cakes for all Occasions 2011
1HERSA1 0016 Locals are invited to learn the delicious art of cake decorating from visiting all-star instructors at Whimsical Cakehouse. ADVERTISEMENT As Australia's global reputation for cake decorating grows, the demand for local decorating classes has soared off the charts. So it's no wonder that Sydney is buzzing with excitement at the announcement that several world-famous cake artists will visit to teach classes this year. Whimsical Cakehouse, Sydney's own boutique cake school, will host four renowned cake decorating "rock stars" to teach a range of classes for all skill levels, from beginners to professionals. The all-star lineup includes Le Cordon Bleu graduate Peggy Porschen, famed sugar flower artist Jacqueline Butler, Food Network Champion Kaysie Lackey, and best-selling author Debbie Brown. "I'm not surprised at the growing interest in couture cake decorating classes," says Linda Harden, Course Director at Whimsical Cakehouse. "Cake decorating is both challenging and fun. It's great as a hobby, but it's also the pathway to a new career if you want to go that far." Linda's own story shows how easy it is to catch the cake decorating fever. "I started my own journey whilst on maternity leave 5 years ago, really as something for me to focus on outside of looking after two young children. After my first course, I was hooked, and now run an academy with 8 staff and a range of courses from complete beginner to professional." Who takes cake decorating classes? The variety is astonishing. From stay-at-home mums to master chefs, interest in this delicious art form knows no boundaries. Mannie Swavley, Operations Manager of Whimsical Cakehouse, says that even she is surprised at the variety of people who sign up for classes at the beautiful waterside academy. "We've had cab drivers, school teachers, construction workers, ex-military, kids, senior citizens, and everyone you could possibly imagine take our classes. Some just want to learn how to create something special for a wedding or event. Some want to acquire a valuable skill and make a little extra money on the side. And others seek to improve their professional culinary skills or change careers." While the Whimsical Cakehouse academy teaches a range of classes year round, the visiting artists promise to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn their unique styles and techniques. Peggy Porschen is London's Cake Queen, her trend-setting style has helped her become one of the world's most prominent and pioneering names in contemporary cake design. Porschen recently opened her academy, London's first school entirely dedicated to baking and decorating and is set to share her secrets with Sydney, teaching 'Vintage Blooms' and 'Couture Lace' Masterclasses. Jacqueline Butler is one of the best known sugar flower artists in the world. Proprietor of Petalsweet, located in San Diego, California, Butler generated a huge following in Australia during her recent tour. She will demonstrate how to create her detailed floral designs made with hand- crafted sugarpaste flowers. Kaysie Lackey, master of the whimsical style, brings a Fine Arts background to the world of cake decorating and rose to celebrity status by repeatedly winning challenges on US TV's Food Network. She combines art and fashion to create stunning, over-the-top designs. Lackey will reveal how to create some of her award-winning works, including "Balancing Teapot," "Higgins The Butler," and "Woodland Wedding." Debbie Brown, prolific author of more than 20 best-selling titles, teaches her techniques in master classes worldwide. Brown is one of the world's best-known cake decorators, and specialises in cake sculpture and modelling. She will lead a workshop teaching students how to create her acclaimed "Ganesh" and "Princess Castle" creations. While Whimsical Cakehouse is delighted to have cake decorating royalty visit, they are quick to point out that they have a rock star on staff who conducts classes year round. Margie Carter, Australia's "Novelty Queen", recently joined the Whimsical Cakehouse family. Carter is one of Australia's most accomplished and best known cake artists. She has exhibited her masterful sculpted cakes at both The Australian National Gallery and The National Gallery Victoria. The visiting artist cake decorating classes, along with all other classes, will be held at Whimsical Cakehouse, 743 Port Hacking Road, Dolans Bay NSW 2229. To view available classes and dates, visit www.whimsical.com.au or call 1 300 110 210. Such is the excitement for these classes, some dates are already sold out. Whimsical Cakehouse recommends that you book class selections immediately to avoid disappointment. Cake Decorating "Rock Stars" Teach Local Classes 16 Tuesday, November 22, 2011 smh.com.au for all occasions cakes special report Mud, sweat and tiers From a detailed replica of the Queen to a graveyard scene for a gothic wedding, there's no limit to modern cake concepts, writes Ellen Connolly. In some cases, it more reflects what the parents want.' Andrew Hill Cake designer Vicki Webber quickly learnt that ''anything goes'' in people's requests for flamboyant and wacky birthday, wedding and christening cakes. From designing an AK-47 gun for a three-year-old boy's birthday to creating a graveyard scene for a wedding, she finds few boundaries to the scope of cake creations. ''Cakes have now become a highly personalised focal point for an event,'' says Webber, the owner of Renaissance Cakes at Lisarow on the central coast. ''People don't want a boring cake any more, which certainly keeps my life interesting.'' For men, it usually means requests for their fantasy car (''everything from Shelby Cobras to Isuzu trucks''), their favourite drop of alcohol (whisky, beer bottles), boats, trains, football jerseys or fishing trophies. Women choose accessories such as handbags, stilettos, cocktails and iPhones, says Webber, who learnt the basics of cake decoration from a Country Women's Association course 25 years ago and found she had a knack for it. She attributes the rise in popularity of 3D sculptured cakes to reality television shows in the US and Australia, as well as access to images on the internet. ''It's exposed a greater number of consumers to what is possible in cake designs, which leads to increasingly difficult and interesting requests,'' she says. Among her challenges have been a snowboard for a 16th birthday, which cost about $500; an 18-kilogram Doctor Who robot for the wrap party of the television series K-9; and some -- quite frankly -- weird wedding cake orders. ''A Sydney couple who were very goth wanted a graveyard and so there was a headstone with the words, 'Here we lie forever together','' Webber says. Though most don't go to this extreme, more brides are moving away from traditional wedding cakes. They are not just opting for chocolate mud cake instead of fruit cake but choosing novelty designs. ''Wedding cakes are no longer confined within a narrow, classical theme,'' Webber says. ''Although we still do have orders for 10-tier cakes with hundreds of icing flowers, fountains and stairways, we've also had a fire truck, racing car, Doctor Who's Dalek and a Stargate theme.'' Andrew Hill, of Celebration Cakes at Canterbury, says extravagant cakes requests -- particularly for christenings and first birthdays -- have skyrocketed in the past five years. His business takes up to 100 orders a week. ''They've become like miniature weddings,'' he says. ''People are seeing how a good
NSW Tourism Awards 2011
Bathrooms and Kitchens 2011