Designs that take the cake

Amanda Miller is crazy about cake, and creating tasty designs has become a hobby for the culinary student. “I love cake decorating. I’ve made lots of cakes at home and I took a cake decorating course before college,” said Miller, a first-year culinary management student at Georgian College.[…]…

Georgian College hosting third annual cake design competition

By Nicki Cruickshank, the Barrie Examiner

Posted 2 days ago

Amanda Miller is crazy about cake, and creating tasty designs has become a hobby for the culinary student.

“I love cake decorating. I’ve made lots of cakes at home and I took a cake decorating course before college,” said Miller, a first-year culinary management student at Georgian College. “I’ve made a family friend’s wedding cake, birthday cakes for family. And, I’ve always wanted to try working with sculpting chocolate.”

Miller talked her classmate Maegan Barclay into teaming up with her for the college’s third annual cake design competition on March 6 in the Georgian Dining Room.

Thirteen culinary students will have been breaking out their rolling pins and piping up a storm, trying their hand at baking and designing tasty masterpieces for competiton day.

“I’ve never done any cake decorating but I’ve always wanted to try,” Barclay said. “She (Miller) talked me into this, and it’s a lot of fun, actually.”

“We’re so excited to compete. We’re taking this competition, we’re confident and we’re going for it,” Miller said.

The annual competition is unique for Barrie, and allows students to show off their baking, decorating and time-management skills.

“It’s brand new for Barrie. We usually have to go to Toronto to compete in something like this,” said Julie Vachon, a baking instructor with Georgian’s culinary management program. “Our students really wanted to try this, so we started it out small here for two years. This year, we realized we could make it bigger and have more people involved.”

Georgian doesn’t have it’s own baking program, so Vachon teaches a baking component. With her 20 years in the baking industry, Vachon said the competition gives students a taste of working with a different food medium.

“It gives them a creative outlet, lets them play around with fondant and decorating techniques,” Vachon said. “Since their program doesn’t focus much on baking, this will be a nice change for them.”

This year’s design theme is seasons, and participants can choose to depict one or all four seasons in their designs.

The cake design must be 18 and 24 inches tall, and Vachon warns students to be mindful of the restrictions.

“There are no set number of tiers, but they need to be able to reproduce a design made of styrofoam to a real cake that will be realistic to achieve,” she said. “They can build some of their their decorations ahead of time and assemble the day-of.”

There will also be an experienced baking component to the event, for those like Vachon who are in the industry. Vachon will be entering, as well as a few other baking professionals in the community.

A chocolate design element has also been added for those seeking a bit more of a challenge.

“They (participants) can choose to do this instead of cake,” Vachon said. “It’s a lot more fussy to work with and it’s a trial for this year.

“With chocolate, you can’t always do decorations a head of time,” she added.

There is also a cake-tasting portion of the event, where students must come up with a cake flavouring and icing that will wow the judges.

Miller and Barclay are squeezing out an entry for that section, too.

“I’m more for the tasting side of things, because I love experimenting with flavours,” Barclay said. “We’re going to have an orange cream cheese icing on ours. There’s also going to be some chocolate infused with cayenne for a hit of spice.”

Entries into all categories will be judged by staff from three local bakeries and the college’s culinary instructors.

Vachon said the event is good for students’ resumes and they learn more than just how to bake and ice a cake.

“It teaches them planning and time-management. It also good for networking at the event,” she said.

The event takes place Tuesday in the Georgian Dining Room. Judging runs from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. with awards at 6:30 p.m.

Bakers who win in their categories will receive a trophy and baking products from sponsors.

ncruickshank@thebarrieexaminer.com

 

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