Let me start off with a confession: As the kid who was always picked last for... well, everything, really... I've never won anything that involved a popular vote. EVER.
|As a kid, it was because I was "weird" (Autism). That was ok, they were all JUST as weird to me!
As an adult, it's always been a mix of logistical concerns (Only taking on no more than 2 cakes per week puts one at a disadvantage against companies that churn out 60+ cakes per week!), and - again - being "weird". I'm mouthy. I have turquoise hair. I *refuse* to "play the game", and I don't kiss anyone's butt. When it comes to the wedding industry... yeah, no popular vote winning, for me! Usually, such popular votes are for totally meaningless awards, so I've never minded.
Here's the thing though. I've entered the Food & Wine Show's "Czar of Cakes" competition again this year. (Past year's entries are here and here.) This year, things have changed... and I need your help. More on that in a bit, More on that in a bit, first let me ply you with cake photos!
Ok, so back to the competition, and the changes: For one, the competition is actually online, with only the winner being display at the show. Secondly, an online vote is part of the actual judging, and helps decide who wins. Also, on a more personal note... it's the first time I've ever really taken a competition seriously.
Past years, I went for shock value, or being funny. In addition to the above mentioned cakes, there was also the time I entered a "Tremors" themed wedding cake in a fancy chocolate show. I mean, they had to be animal themed. Grabboids are animals, right? 🙂
What can I say, I like to have fun with it, stretch some creative muscles, and be ABSOLUTELY SURE that no one else will show up with a similar interpretation of the theme. This year, due to the changes in the way the show is run, I threw all of that out the window and decided to risk theme duplication, get serious with it, and actually try to win. Well, I've done all I can - I am SUPER happy with the way the cake turned out, and now ... it's out of my hands.
I would really like to win this competition. "Czar of Cakes" has a nice ring to it, and after losing 9 months of cookbook marketing time to tornado repair, the prize - which includes an ad in Minnesota Monthly - would be awesome for me. If you visit the site HERE, and think that my cake deserves to win... please take a second and vote for it. I am completely freaked out at the idea of an internet vote, and can use all the help I can get, LOL!
Hey, if the internet can make my kitchen FAMOUS, maybe it can help me win a popular vote for once in my life! LOL!
Now, some fun facts about the cake:
- The theme for the competition is "Food and Wine", and theming the cake around that is really the online guideline we're to abide by.
- Everything you see, with the exception of the marble tile cake board, is edible. Aside from the cake board, the only other non-edible thing is the very interior of the cake. Like the vast majority of competition cakes, it had to be done in styrofoam. The photos were due last week, and the winning cake needs to be displayed at the show on March 3rd. Real cake doesn't last that long 🙁
- The "sake bottle" is molded from sugar, and even the label - fondant, painted with food coloring - is edible.
- The plate, chopsticks, cup, and mini bottle are made from gum paste.
- All of the sushi, as well as the "wood" is made from homemade fondant, which I divided and individually tinted to over a dozen colors. No color you see is "straight out of a bottle", I had to custom blend colors for it all!
- The shrimp, as well as 2 of the other types of sushi are hand painted.
- Everything is hand rolled, hand shaped, etc. The only tools I used were a rolling pin, a paint brush, and my own hands.
- The "rice" is Rice Crispy Treat.
- Everything is approximately life sized, based on a large (about 3' across) sushi boat.
- I marbled together 3 custom tinted colors of fondant to create the wood grain effect.
Whew! Fingers are crossed here. I made it through the first big stressor (no one submitted a sushi cake!), and now it's just a matter of WAITING. Augh!!