I know, I know its been a while. I find it hard to understand how other people manage to write regular blog posts. I mean to post more frequently but so many other things seem to get in the way. However, I have a few spare moments so I’m back!
I’ve been visiting cake shows for a few years now and had a wish to enter one day. There was one thing stopping me, was I good enough to compete with the amazing cake artists that I follow on social media? My answer to that was a huge NO but I decided to give it a go anyway. (Not long after I started making my entry I read this post on one of my favourite blogs http://thebizofbaking.com/cake-international-birmingham/ and that inspired me even more.
I love make figures for my cakes so wanted to make that part of my entry. My inspiration was one of my favourite musicals, Chicago. I spent a bit of time considering which aspects of the musical I wanted to incorporate into my design and eventually decided on using Cell Block Tango as my starting point.
I won’t go into all the planning, mind changing, making and re-making that went into the piece but want to concentrate on what I learned from that first experience.
To be very honest, when I was looking at my completed entry sitting on my dining table ready to go, I was pleased with how it had turned out. I knew there were a few things I could have done better but overall I was happy with it. When I got to the NEC to deliver my piece it was a different story and I very nearly turned round and walked straight back out without entering when I saw some of the other entries in the same category.
But, I was there so I registered and placed my entry on its designated spot. Phew!
What did I learn about entering the competition?
When you think about entering, give yourself plenty of time to make your piece. This is one thing I failed in. You need to give yourself time to re-cover, re-make, redo any little part that isn’t perfect or you’re not 100% happy with. If I’d given myself more time I would have re-made some of the figures and re-painted the wording on the ‘walls’.
If you do enter, take the time to get feedback from the judges. It is invaluable. I queued for over an hour and a half for my feedback but it was worth waiting for.
Read the instructions for each category carefully! I have seen so many beautiful cakes at shows disqualified because they haven’t followed the rules (not using flower picks on dummy cakes, the piece being too big, using inedible items etc).
I got a Certificate of Merit which I was completely happy with, knowing I had masses of room for improvement and it spurred me onto do better the next time (yes I’m hooked now and entered again this year, blog post to follow on that experience).
If anyone is considering entering a competition I’d say ‘just do it’, what have you got to lose?