When I first heard of the Cake Bake and Sweets show in Sydney many months ago, I was so excited, and very tempted to attend and be amongst the sea of cake decorators that were coming from all corners of the world.
One of them was Sheryl Bito, from Buns in the Oven Cupcakery, which I had great admiration for. I only knew of her work in recent months, and it gives me more joy as a Malaysian living in Australia that she’s representing Malaysia as a noted cake decorator – “Malaysia Boleh!” (translates for “Malaysia can do it!”). She also had a miniature cupcake toppers workshop at the show, and I jumped right at the opportunity of being able to meet Sheryl in person.
I attended her first workshop on Friday, and being the inexperienced traveller in Sydney, I arrived ten minutes late with the Sydney trains. But Sheryl was cool, and I dived straight into the workshop. I didn’t realize there was so much involved in creating these miniature creations – croissants, an egg in a cup, the milk carton, the milk flowing out of the milk carton (Sheryl said it was inspiration from Sharon Wee’s creation – how cool is that!), the bagels, the sausages, the scrambled eggs, the cute little toast with the omelette, etc etc. What I learned from the workshop involved:
- Creating different colours for different creations – you need a different kind of colour for your Spam ham to your croissant, or bagel, or bread. I hope I wrote it all down, but there was so much I may have forgotten them by now! Whoops!
- Being able to give texture to your creations – after all, it’s supposed to look life-like, isn’t it?
- Applying coloured petal dust to your little creations – it was such an interesting process to be able to add colour to your breakfast creations to create the “baked” look, I called this stage “the baking process”!
- Lastly, adding the finishes to each cupcake – you need the plate to serve them on, adding little embellishments like blueberries on the pancakes (which is pretty much little balls of dark blue fondant), and most of all adding a glaze to the cupcakes to really enhance the look on most of the baked goods.
Credits must be given to Ling Tze from Kitty Bakes for taking the effort to adding blue fondant to my cupcakes – because I was the only man in the workshop! She assisted Sheryl throughout the workshop and had such a bubbly attitude on the day. Thank you!
The workshop went on for an extra hour as there was so much to cover and to do, but the end results was so worth it! Sheryl was such a great teacher, with a sense of humour that’ll keep you interested throughout the workshop. I can’t wait for another session with her to learn more amazing creations on cupcakes as well!
The other person that I was very excited to see was Sharon Wee, from Sharon Wee Creations. I didn’t realise that she had created such a name for herself from a job that she didn’t enjoy, was finding another convention, found cake decorating, and established a home-based business since. I have followed her blog, and have been amazed with her creations. I love how her website was set up, and how she has such a great eye for marketing and business management through her work. Recently, she wanted to publish a cake decorating book with some of her favourite projects, and used crowd funding with Kickstarter to help raise funds required for her book – much to our excitement and enthusiasm, she has raised enough funds to publish her book and I can’t wait to get my print copy soon. When she walked into the room during the workshop, I couldn’t help but to approach her for a photo!
When I had the chance to visit the stalls in the show the next couple of days, I was glad to be at Sharon’s stall. She had a display of her cakes that would be part of the project in her upcoming book, and a couple of cakes that she has travelled the world to teach and her workshop during the show too.
I also had the opportunity to watch her at a stencilling demo and a ruffles demo in the show. I haven’t really been taught by many cake decorators in person, but she made ruffling sound easy peasy! So was stencilling as well (which really, it’s effortless for her, isn’t it?). I can only wish that I’d have enough money to attend a class with her in the future, and to make an amazing cake!