Updated: Jun 5, 2020
As some of you may know, I am a member of The British Sugarcraft Guild. I belong to the Hillingdon Branch and we meet once a month to share ideas, learn new skills and generally have a fun evening with like-minded people talking about anything and everything to do with sugar... and cake, of course, there is cake 😀
Last month the Southern Region of the Guild held their biennial exhibition in Brighton and members of our branch had been hard at work over the previous months collaborating on creating edible art to display on our branch table at the exhibition. All branches in the region are invited to create a table of work around a common theme to showcase the skills of members and all members of each branch are encouraged to take part. The branch tables are judged on the day based on overall content, number of skills displayed and competency of execution. Awards are then handed out to the the best. The theme this year was "Essence of India" and it was really interesting to see what the other branches had produced. In addition to the individual competition there was about 20 tables entered in the branch table competition and the standard was very high, which must have made the judging very difficult.
The Hillingdon table depicted a wedding scene in a park against a tea plantation backdrop with tea bushes made from gelatine leaves - over 2,000 of them! Also on the table were a bride & groom, wedding tent, an elephant and a horse, along with several other display pieces depicting the vibrancy and wealth of culture that India has to offer.
For my own part, I was asked to make a temple and after looking at lots of different pictures of Indian temples on the internet I settled on the Bahai Lotus Temple which is in New Delhi. I knew it was going to be challenging as it had to fit within a very specific amount of space and not only that, but the temple is composed of 27 free standing "petals", arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides with nine doors opening onto a central hall.
Knowing that the temple had to be round and that each "petal" needed to be the same size, there was no option but to get out my protractor and try and remember what I had learned in maths class at school. Having finally worked out all the sizes and angles, I then constructed a cardboard cut-out to ensure that it would fit together. Once I was happy I used pieces of the cardboard as templates to cut the sugar petals from pastillage and had to hunt around the house to find suitable objects to mould them over in order that they would dry in the required shape. Once all 27 pieces were cut and dry, it was then a question of assembling them all. I had a couple of false starts as things didn't quite go to plan initially and I had to use a bit of artistic license, particularly with the nine ponds that surround the temple, but was pleased with the end result.
I was particularly pleased that it had made it all the way to Brighton along with all the other exhibits and that nothing had got broken along the way. And the nicest surprise of all was that all our had work was rewarded with a silver award. A testament to the high standard of work on display and every member of the branch who contributed has now received a copy of the certificate.
Not only did I have lots of fun looking at all the amazing work on display but I also managed to spend some money too 😉 on tools and ingredients that will make my cakes for you even better, so if you are looking for a show stopper of a cake contact me here to discuss your ideas with me. And don't forget that I also make cakes for corporate events so if you have an important business function coming up, why not make it extra special with a stunning cake?
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