2011 Cake Show: Adult Intermediate Division, part two

Adult Intermediate

Developing skills. 2 to 4 years cake decorating experience; 30 to 60 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction. Open to all styles.

There were so many entries in this division that I had to break it up into three posts so I can include all the cakes I liked. This is part two with Wedding, Buttercream Only, and Special Techniques.

***As with most of the divisions and categories, I didn’t photograph every entry. These are ones I liked or that caught my eye for some reason.***

Wedding Tiered Cakes: Cakes with two or more tiers decorated specifically for weddings or anniversaries. Any techniques or sugar mediums may be used.
 
 
Red Romance

1st Place
Title: Red Romance
by Rocio Gonzalez
 
 
East Meets West Wedding

2nd Place
Title: East Meets West Wedding
by Angela Chin Negron
This is one of my favorite wedding cakes this year.
 
 
(No photos of third place for this category.)
 
 
Windows of Love

Title: Windows of Love
by Yunita Mowry
 
 
Ivory Bliss

Title: Ivory Bliss
by Amanda M. Estrada
 
 

Buttercream Only Cakes: Any non-tiered cake with any theme decorated using only buttercream icing. No fondant, non-edible decorations or other sugar mediums will be allowed.
 
 
Grandmothers Garden

1st Place
Title: Grandmother’s Garden
by Brianna DiLorenzo
 
 
Scooby-Doo

2nd Place
Title: Scooby-Doo
by Rachel O’Kon
 
 

Special Techniques Not-On-A-Cake: Entries of fondant, gumpaste, sugar molding, color flow, royal icing, etc. Displayed as an individual technique and NOT as a decoration on a cake. A combination of techniques and mediums may be used, but it must be presented alone and not as part of a cake.
 
 
Tuskarr of Northrend

1st Place
Title: Tuskarr of Northrend
Walrus Humanoid with Spear (World of Warcraft)
by Chris Suson Wingler
While this is an amazing piece of work, I also have to admit I find humanoid walruses with codpieces funny. Thank you Chris, for giving me the opportunity to be able to say that.
 
Tuskarr of Northrend butt

Oh! And how about that walrus butt?
 

I somehow didn’t get photos of the second and third place winner for this category. (I thought I did. I must be losing it.)
 

2011 Cake Show: Adult Beginner Division, part two

Adult Beginner

Basic skills. 2 years or less decorating experience; self-taught or less then 30 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction. Open to all styles.

***As with most of the divisions and categories, I didn’t photograph every entry. These are ones I liked or that caught my eye for some reason.***

There were so many entries in this division that I had to break this in to two different posts so I could include all the cakes I liked. This is part two.

Special Occasion/Novelty Tiered Cakes: Cakes with two or more tiers. Can be stacked or tiered. Novelty/ special occasion cakes does not include wedding or anniversary cakes. Any sugar mediums or techniques may be used.
 
 
Bird vs Pig
 
Bird vs Pig  - The little angry birds
 
Bird vs Pig - the BIG angry bird

1st Place
Title: Bird vs. Pig
by Laura Finlay
I would pay lots of money for this cake. Unfortunately, if I got it for one nephew, then all the others would want one too….
 
 
Artsy Fartsy Cake

2nd Place
Title: Artsy Fartsy Cake
Art themed cake inspired by Pollock, Picasso, Mondrian, Matisse, and Warhol
by Renee Main
Business Name: Dessert Gallery
 
 
Millys Sweet Creations

3rd Place
Title: Milly’s Sweet Creations
by Mildred Almon
Business Name: Milly’s Sweet Creations
 
 
Pink Girl's Birthday

(no title)
by Lisa Fitch
 
 
Clapping Monkey

Title: Clapping Monkey
by Suzi Carmona
This was a scary little cake. Although that may have something to do with the original clapping monkey doll creeping me out too. I’d have to stab this cake a few times through it’s cold little heart a few times before I could eat it.
 
 
Masquerade Birthday Celebration

Title: Masquerade Birthday Celebration!
by Madelline Garza
 
 
Cowboy Monkey

Title: Cowboy Monkey
by Angela Gerlich
Business Name: Sugar Sweet Creations
 
 
Tangled

Title: Tangled
by Shweta Gupta
 
 
The Amazon Princess

Title: The Amazon Princess
by Dorthy Trainer
This is probably the best of all the Wonder Woman cakes at the show.
 
 
Birds of Generosity

Title: Birds of Generosity
by Jenn Griffith
 
 
Pink Victorian Birthday

Title: Pink Victorian Birthday
(I didn’t get the name of who made this sweet little cake.)
 
 
Delft Dutch Cake

Title: Delft Dutch Cake
by Daphne Powers
 
 
My 30th Birthday Cake

Title: My 30th Birthday Cake
by Jennifer Whiteley (writing wasn’t clear, so not sure about the spelling of her last name)
 
 

Wedding Tiered Cakes: Cakes with two or more tiers decorated specifically for weddings or anniversaries. Any techniques or sugar mediums may be used.
 
 
(No photos of first place for this category.)
 
 
Burgundy Yellow Wedding Cake

2nd Place
Title: Burgundy/Yellow Wedding Tiered Cake
by Mildred Almon
Business Name: Milly’s Sweet Creations
 
 
Color Luminance

3rd Place
Title: Color Luminance
by M. Cassandra Fairbanks
Business Name: http://cakesbycassandra.weebly.com
And yes, there are LEDs running up the center of the cake.
 
 

Buttercream Only Cakes: Any non-tiered cake with any theme decorated using only buttercream icing. No fondant, non-edible decorations or other sugar mediums will be allowed.
 
 
How does your Garden Grow

1st Place
Title: “How does your Garden Grow?”
by M. Cassandra Fairbanks
Business Name: http://cakesbycassandra.weebly.com
 
 
Peacock

2nd Place
Title: Peacocks
by Shweta Gupta
This is the first of many peacock cakes in the show.
 
 
(No photos of third place for this category.)
 
 

Special Techniques Not-On-A-Cake: Entries of fondant, gumpaste, sugar molding, color flow, royal icing, etc. Displayed as an individual technique and NOT as a decoration on a cake. A combination of techniques and mediums may be used, but it must be presented alone and not as part of a cake.
 
 
I only got a photo of the second place winner for this category… plus one entry that didn’t place–but that I liked anyway.
 
Baby Dresses and Aprons

2nd Place
Title: Baby Dresses and Aprons
by Shweta Gupta
 
 
The Perfect Bridal Bouquet

Title: The Perfect Bridal Bouquet
by Jennifer Whiteley
 
 

Confections Not-On-A-Cake: Cupcakes, cookies, candy, chocolate, etc. An individual entry, not on a cake.
 
 

Cat and the Fiddle

1st Place
Title: Cat and the Fiddle
by Deborah Reaves
 
 
Cheries Spring Shoe Line

2nd Place
Title: Cherie’s Spring Shoe Line
by Heather Fox
 
 
No third place photos.

And that’s it for the Adult Beginner’s Division.
 
 

More Company Cafeteria Food Porn

Work Cafe - 12/02/10

Bittersweet salted caramel tart

Looked marvelous, but after my horrible experience with their bittersweet caramel, I chose the Hazelnut-vanilla bean custard torte instead

Work Cafe - 12/02/10

Hazelnut-vanilla bean custard torte

While it wasn’t a visually stunning dessert, it was delicious.

Work Cafe - 12/02/10

Creole butter and crab

“Pasta, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, cayenne, paprika, crab, butter, cream, and a touch of spinach pesto (parmesan, almonds, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic).”

I love how our on-line menu at work forgot to list spinach as an ingredient in the spinach pesto. It was the best crab pasta EVER.

Work Cafe - 12/03/10

Meatloaf with buttermilk smashers

Seriously, they actually called them “smashers”.   Sometime they try to get cute with the names. And sometimes they succeed. This was not one of those times.

The meatloaf was awesome but the salad sucked. I wasn’t the only person who liked the meatloaf – probably half of the people I work with had the meatloaf for lunch that day… with the exception of Steve, who decided to go with the chicken curry because he’s cutting back on red meat. Poor, poor Steve.

Work Cafe - 12/03/10

Pistachio ganache and caramelized Asian pear tart

I wanted to like this. I tried so very hard to like this beautifully green pistachio tart, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m still trying to figure out how a dessert built around two flavors I love can be so bland and indifferent.

The tart was VERY sweet, but the sugar was all I could taste. In fact, if the name hadn’t had the word ‘pistachio’ in it – I would have never guessed it was supposed to be there. The asian pear was a bit more difficult to miss, but it was only used as a garnish so I don’t know why it was part of the name of the dessert.

Work Cafe - 12/7/10

(left to right)
Mint-chocolate chunk-vanilla cake, eggnog custard tart, and praline-toffee ganache cookie

The only one I tried here was the praline-toffee ganache cookie. The ingredient list includes: butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, flour, white chocolate, hazelnut paste, and macadamia nuts.

It was fairly good after I scraped out about half of the ganache filling.

Work Cafe - 12/7/10

Eggnog custard tart

I regret not trying this one.

Work Cafe - 12/7/10

Mint-chocolate chunk-vanilla cake with mint Italian buttercream.

I think it was the idea of a strawberry on top of mint flavored cake and mint flavored buttercream that kinda squicked me out.

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Dessert Bar

All of these desserts were from today. A day in which I had just enough money for a main course.

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Cream Puff

Toffee cream puff

Actually, I wouldn’t have tried this one anyway. While I love cream puffs (and enjoy making them too), the filling looked like the toffee ganache from the cookie, which was only good in small doses.

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Vegan Cake

Vegan orange spiced cake

“With coconut oil, vegetable shortening, whole almonds, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, mace, baking powder, and powdered sugar”

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Cheesecake

Lemon-goat cheese cheesecake

“With house-made vanilla marshmallow s’more. With cream cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone, sugar, eggs, butter, flour, salt, lemon oil, and graham cracker crumbs.”

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna with fried rice

Seared yellowfin tuna, ginger-scallion fried rice, sesame-seared haricot verts, citrus-soy vinaigrette, and cascabel chili paste.

For all of the daily specials, they put up a display plate to show you what the item actually looks like. From some of the previous photos you can see that they are very big on presentation here. Usually. Today’s sample plate was gorgeous, and I wish I had gotten a photo of it because while what I ended up with was fine and not that different than the display, the few changes that the cook made were enough to turn it from beautiful to adequate.

Thank goodness it tasted great (although the cascabel chili paste just tasted like ground-up charred chilies in oil).

When I think about it, sometimes I feel like an ass when I say things like that about our cafeteria food – I must be getting spoiled.

Dining at our work cafeteria

(The “our” in the title refers to the spousal unit as he and I work for the same company.)

Usually when you mention eating at any company cafeteria, everyone feels sorry for you.  But not here.  Our company was already known around Austin for having pretty good food–but after the revamp of our cafeteria earlier this year–it’s awesome, and it changes daily.

One of Steve’s coworkers actually photographs his meal everyday, so I decided to do the same for a few days so I can show just how lucky I am to my family (these poor people have to eat fast food for lunch…neener, neener, neener).

Salmon-potato cakes and a pumpkin brulee

Salmon-Potato Cakes and a pumpkin crème brûlée, which was very pumpkiny and not too sweet. I split this same dessert with Steve the first day, but got my own the next time they had it. The salmon-potato cakes were very good too.

Chocolate almond cake tower

Chocolate almond cake tower, layered with milk chocolate Armagnac ganache, bittersweet chocolate Framboise ganache, topped with cocoa meringue and almond coffee toffee. This was other one that started off being shared with Steve and then I went and purchased my own the next day. It was so rich that one slice is almost too much for a single person… sooooooo intensely chocolatey. (Too bad the photo sucks, it was before I replaced my iPhone.)

Pecan pie tart with cocoa

Pecan pie tart with cocoa. Oh lord, this was heavenly. The cafeteria ran out fast and they haven’t made it since.

Spicy Pasta with mushrooms

Spicy pasta with mushrooms and spinach. It was perfect.

Passion fruit angel food cake

Passion fruit angel food cake with Italian buttercream, rosebud ganache, and wild honeycomb. There was way too much buttercream and very little cake, and it certainly wasn’t light enough to be angel food cake either – it was more of a chiffon. However, it did taste very good. I would have gotten it again if the cake to buttercream ratio was higher.

Sadly, there are days when the food isn’t as good as it sounds.

Browned butter bittersweet caramel apple tart

This is a “browned butter bittersweet caramel apple tart” (their words) from yesterday, and it was nasty. The apples you see are all that you got. So it’s less of an apple tart and more of a scorched and runny caramel tart with a browned butter quinelle and apple garnish. The pasta of the day was campanelle with pumpkin seed pesto, and it was bitter and non-appetizing. There’s no photo because it was also ugly.

Yesterday’s lunch might be why I ended up at Mighty Fine for burgers today.  But I still have high hopes for tomorrow’s menu at our cafeteria.