Sunday, 11 January 2015

My relationship with Novelty cakes

Being frank, If you asked me if I loved Novelty cakes, you'd likely get a definite "No!"  
Novelty cakes and I have a funny relationship. I love to hate them. 
You see, I get such satisfaction from making a jaw dropping Wedding Cake, the thought of a brightly coloured Novekty cake really doesn't excite me. Or so I thought. 

My lack of enthusiasm for Novelty grew as I began to realise that most consumers put less value on this style of cake. It's just a Cake right?? It's GOT to be simpler than a traditional wedding cake doesn't it??
Well, no. 
It's true, a wedding cake is complex. It requires skill and finesse to finish it to a level worthy of its positioned glory. 
A Wedding Cake is the central focal point of the reception. It's the ceremonious symbol guests rush to ogle over when they enter the reception. The Wedding cake is the surprise factor. Will it be a big opulent structure coved with hand crafted sugar flowers, or will the guests be delighted by the surprise of a unique cake that represents the quirkiness of the couple. Or maybe something In-between . Whatever the design a Wedding cake is held in high regard. 

Novelty cakes, sadly, don't have that same rap. They're fun. Sometimes they're cute. They're not as hard to make- are they????
I use to fear the very thought of mixing up 19 different colours to create a novelty. I don't like waste, and when mixing up this many colours there's always some waste. Even with years of experience colour matching and blending, knowing how much you'll need to cover a tier, still means that there's leftover.  While some colours can be saved for later, most are fiddly little bits that are not worth keeping, yet if you put all of the "bits" together in a ball, you'd have something between and orange and a grapefruit size piece left over. Pffft! That's a couple hundred grams of icing. Yes , but if you're making a few each week it adds up. 
There isn't that kind of waste with white or ivory cakes. 
Clients who couldn't see the time, effort and value in a Novelty are another reason I began to loathe this style. 
I was so disheartened by this that I dreaded anyone who inquired about a novelty cake with me. I'd send a quote, or offer one over the phone- to be met with akward silence. Or cries of "WHAT?!?!?" "IT'S JUST A CAKE!"  
But soon enough clients started to see the "Cool" in Novelty, they began to see that a 3D cake that was a replica of an object would not only serve as a delicious dessert at their gathering- it too would provide entertainment! It could Wow the guests as well as satisfying their sweet tooth!
I loved hearing how my clients guests reacted. "They couldn't believe it was a cake!!" "I didn't want to cut it", were common feedback I received. 
With all this joy and excitement I started to like Novelty cakes (insert very surprised face). And while the majority of inquiries were still alarmed at what a novelty cake costs- there were clients who appreciated their worth and ordered some truly awesome cakes. 
My appreciation of Novelty cakes was probably summed up with this cake I did in 2012

I thought it was way cool! It's head even turned!! 
It was more than just a cake. It was a feature decoration at a party. "That's a cake?!?!" "Wow!"   My job was complete. 

In 2014 I did some pretty fun cakes. I didn't realise how many until I spent time (hours) looking back through last years pictures. 
I also realised that maybe I liked Novelty design. Maybe it was pretty cool?  Perhaps I did get job satisfaction from making them :)

So I thought I'd share my favourites from last year.

This push car cake was a 1/2 scale model. 

Then there was Lola Pickles. 
Ordered as a surprise for the birthday girl- this 3D novelty cake was a cartoon replica of the family cat. 

The one that possibly impressed grown men the most was the Lego Man Transformer cake. 

 He was so big that I couldn't photograph him easily in my tent. 

He was entirely cake- with the exception of the wheels- which were Rice Krispie Treat. 
He was allot of fun. 

Then there was a replica of a young gentlemans Longboard. Complete with a mini Mr on the edge. 

Then there was the Pinball machine cake. 
This was actually for my dad. 
He turned 60 last September. I actually waned to buy him a real pinball machine, but that wasn't possible, so I gave him the next best thing- an edible one :)

My dad had a 60's themed 60th. I wanted to make a personalised cake, rather than just replicating an actual machine. 
He gets called "Magoo" by some friends due to his glasses. 
So "Disco Magoo" was the Pinball theme. 
Psychedelic swirled icing, and "scores" reflecting significant years and dates. 

It was another giant cake. Thanks to my husband Steve for drilling and screwing the supports in place. 

There were many more in 2014, but I will leave them for another day. 
Just a small collection of some satisfying novelties I did last year. 

I now get excited by the prospect of creating a fabulous 3D novelty. I love the challenge of getting the structure right, and making it entirely from cake! 
So if you've got something you'd like made out of cake - give me a shout!

Thanks for reading

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