Cake is my kryptonite. Cake is like a good woman – sweet, smells good, and I just can’t say no to it!
When I found out about The Cake Show hosted by The Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in Toronto, I was beyond excited. The theme of this year’s show was Cake as Art. Competitors were encouraged to draw inspiration from art, architecture, music, and fashion.
Strolling through the rows of cakes was like walking through a museum. All the cakes were truly works of art – from the sunflower cake inspired by Van Gogh, to the theatre stage cake featuring complete cast of the Muppet Show. Each cake was meticulously designed, with a keen eye on the finer details. The highlight of my cake walk was a black and blue cake, adorned with a traditional theatre mask painted in white and gold.
Throughout the day, instructors from the Bonnie Gordon College paired off in teams of two to compete in the Instructor Face-Off. It was fun seeing the cakes take shape, from the layering of fondant at the base of a cake, to the intricate, hand-painted designs. I love watching Anna Olson create amazing sweets and desserts on the Food Network, and it was awesome to see the magic and imagination of cake design right in front of me at the Cake Show.
The bouquet challenge redefined my definition of a cupcake. Three bakers participated in a live, hour-long competition in front of an attentive crowd. One competitor creatively assembled her bouquet into the shape of a peacock, with cupcakes piped in frosting of vibrant colours and accented with bright feathers. Another competitor created a Parisian-inspired basket of cupcake flowers. The winning design complete with shiny, edible jewels was inspired by a wedding table centerpiece.
The Blown Sugar Demonstration provided the show’s pyrotechnic entertainment. One brave baker used a blow torch to model sugar into various shapes and designs. I was fascinated to discover what you can create with a pinch of melted sugar, a pound of courage and a blow torch. I have a new appreciation for cake designers. I can barely work a box of matches, let alone a high-powered blow torch!
But for me, the proverbial icing on the cake was the We Bake In Heels table. The recent start-up is run by a pair of graduates from the Bonnie Gordon College. They’ve successfully set up shop, and are currently enjoying success with a new bakery at Vaughan Mills. They presented a spread of flavours including strawberry champagne, chocolate, Oreo, vanilla, and red velvet, at just $3 a pop. I happily left the show with strawberry frosting and a smile smeared across my face.
I had a great time at the Cake Show, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the designers come up with next time. In the meantime, check out our gallery of cake porn from the event!
Glenn Calderon is a Toronto-based writer and self-proclaimed “bachelor foodie.” He enjoys trying new restaurants and writing about them. Currently, he's attempting to teach himself how to cook, but always has a fire extinguisher nearby... just in case.
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