Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Connecticut Cake Competition 2013!!

Hi Everyone!  Today I want to make a fun announcement... for all my fellow cake decorators or just plain old cake enthusiasts who happen to be in the New England area. 

Now, we don't have many cake competitions in this area... so the one I look forward to every year is the Connecticut Cake Competition!  I'm a little late in letting you all know, but this years competition is coming up in just a few weeks!  The weekend of February 16th and 17th you can head over to the Hartford Marriott Downtown for this fun event!

If you would like to enter a cake, there is still time to pre-register (by February 2nd online or February 6th by mail), but entries are accepted at registration.  There are divisions for all levels from beginner to professional... there is even a youth division, if you are under 17 (or your child is) and you want to submit something! 

This years theme is "Sugar Fiesta!"  Entries are judged on there own merit, but the best of each division is awarded a trophy... and there is a $1000 value grand prize for the winner of the Wedding Cake division!

I participated in the Connecticut Cake Competition the past two years... I am very disappointed that I don't think I will be able to enter this year (I'm moving and then I have another cake event I am committed to the week before the competition).  Last year I had conflicting commitments and ended up submitting a cake that wasn't finished and that I wasn't happy with (see it here), though I still managed to earn a 3rd place ribbon.  I really don't want to enter something I wasn't able to give my best effort to, so unless I can figure out some miraculous scheduling I'll probably just attend to see everyone else's beautiful creations!

The first year I entered, CCC 2011, was the most exciting!  I had only been decorating cakes a few months and entered at the beginner level.  To my amazement, not only did they move my entry up to the Advanced Division, but I won a first place ribbon AND the Division Trophy!
This is my winning entry from my first competition, the theme was "A Touch of the South!"

Competitions are so much fun!  I highly recommend that, regardless of skill level, you enter a competition if cake decorating is a passion of yours!  Even if you are not local to New England or able to attend the Connecticut Cake Competition.  Check out what your area has to offer (cake clubs like your local ICES branch are a good place to start)!

Even if you aren't a cake decorator, or just don't want to enter you can still attend!  The Connecticut Cake Competition is open to the public.  It's fun to just go look at the entries, but they also have many events going on all weekend.  You can sign up for workshops or demonstrations, they have a live "challenge" and last year they even had the 4 finalists from TLC's "The Next Great Baker"!

Check out the Connecticut Cake Competition website for information on rules/regulations, as well as registration or admission fees!

Happy Caking :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

White Pumpkin Wedding Cake

I cannot believe it's 2013 already!  It just serves as a reminder to me about how behind I am with blogging!  Let's start with this cake, I did back in October!  I was commissioned to make this by my friend's sister.  This bride had such a beautiful venue and amazing team of wedding vendors, I am honored to have been included among them!  She wanted a simple and elegant cake that included miniature white pumpkins in a classy way.  After a few sketches, here is the final design!

 And here are a few pictures of the result!

 The pumpkins on top are rice crispy treat and white modeling chocolate!  I shaded them with a bit of ivory and sage green petal dust!

The vines have tiny gumpaste pumpkins on them and gumpaste leaves!  The bride loved the look of the vines on the Sweet Pea Cake I did... so we came up with the tiny pumpkin vines!

 If you want to see how I did the quilted pattern, check out my tutorial on this past post!

I really love how this came out.  Such a simple, yet elegant design!  The photography team for this wedding was Justin & Mary of Connecticut.  They wrote a blog post on this wedding.  You can see their stunning photos (and a couple of shots of my cake!) on their blog.

...and My 2013 New Year Resolution is:

I started out with this blog to fill in my free time while I was home with my son, and starting a new business... Well my son is 3 now, and my little business is 1 1/2 years old.  I'm finding that I don't have as much free time as I thought I would!  BUT, I love blogging, sharing my photos and knowledge with you all.  I'm self taught, I learned a tremendous amount from other blogs and YouTube.  I love looking at pictures of beautiful cakes and reading about new recipes and techniques.  I want to "give back."  So, instead of looking at this blog as a time filler, I want to renew my efforts and make posting part of my routine!  My resolution this year is to make more YouTube videos and post blogs more regularly... I just hope I have enough to say, haha!  I am moving at the end of this month... but starting in February I have some fun things on the horizon and I'll have a better space for filming videos, hooray!  See you in February :)

Happy Caking :)