Cake decorating has always fascinated me. As a young girl growing up in my mom’s home bakeshop, I often watched in fascination as she iced chiffon cakes with the added bonus of licking the sweet frosting from the bowls. One thing that amazed me is she taught our house helpers how to bake and decorate cakes. They became such experts that the girls eventually used their skills to start their own small bake shop. My mom’s bakeshop is no longer around but her memories linger on with the bakers she trained. I am so proud of them. They went beyond being an employed bakery worker to a business owner.
These childhood memories got awakened when I was invited to visit the 4th Goldilocks Cake Deco last February 24, 2013. My thoughts lingered to my mom’s bakeshop and her skilled cake decorators as I watched the dazzling cake displays. It was an amazing experience surrounded by such pretty cakes. I quickly took snapshots to share in instagram , twitter and facebook.
I felt like a little girl lost in fairy-tale land. As I posted the photos on twitter, my friends started to reminisce childhood memories of choosing their birthday cake theme at the Goldilocks stores.
I noticed families with little kids who were engrossed with the learning and fun activities like the basics of cake decorating and the use of different ingredients such as whipped cream, butter, and sugar.
There were numerous hands-on demonstrations by top pastry-chefs, an arts and crafts area, interactive workshops, a Goldilocks decorate-your-cake (DYC) corner, cake displays, and an amazing exhibition by cake-decorating legend Chef Tang Hien Dien, who decorated a cake inspired by the year of the water snake in the Chinese Zodiac in under 20 minutes.
What I found truly admirable is Goldilocks focus to cultivate creativity and talents of young students in its annual “Intercollegiate Cake Decorating Challenge” (ICDC). Pinky Yee, Marketing Director of Goldilocks explains that “the growing success of the Goldilocks Cake Deco Expo and the Intercollegiate Cake Decorating Challenge is so inspiring. As cake and pastry arts gain more acceptance and prominence in the country, you can be sure that Goldilocks will continue to do its part in promoting these disciplines at the student-level.”
I liked that more than 100 schools from all over the Philippines were given the chance to join in the hopes of being chosen as one of the 10 finalists. Having this competition is a perfect opportunity to highlight future pastry chefs, and provide support to Hotel and Restaurant and/or Culinary Arts training at the school level. Who knows these young students will one day be future business owners?
Goldilocks added a new twist by providing 100 cupcakes to the teams, instead of four base cakes. Only two categories were given, namely a Mardi Gras themed cake/ cupcake arrangement, and a Filipino Wedding themed cake/ cupcake arrangement. The particpants had no prior knowledge of the cake themes and/or decorating parameters and that is where the challenge lies. Their creativity and talent were needed to ace this competition.
It was quite an exciting competition. When there were only five minutes left, the audience kept cheering and clapping as the teams added finishing touches to their cakes. Western Institute of Technology – Iloilo received the category prize for the Filipiniana wedding themed cake, before being awarded as the overall champion.
The proud ilonggo students received a baking showcase (for their school) worth P250,000 and earned the right to bring home a travelling trophy back with them to the Visayas.
The prize money will go a long way in educating Iloilo students in cake decorating courses. With TV shows like the “Cake Boss” and “The Next Great Baker”, cake decorating and the pastry arts will soon gain more popularity. I look forward to watching next year’s cake decorating challenge.