Monday, October 25, 2010

Florida ICES Day of Sharing - Daytona

I am a proud member of an organization called ICES (International Cake Exploration Society). It's a huge group of sugar artists - enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals alike! Every year, there is a gigantic convention with demos, hands-on classes, sugar art displays, etc. This year's convention was in California, the one before that was in Chicago, and the one before that was in Orlando. Next year, we're all headed to Charlotte!

And during the year, the state chapters hold their own get-togethers called Days of Sharing (DOS). At the end of September, I attended the DOS in Daytona, FL. We watched demos, admired each other's sugar art, chatted with other sugar artists, had lunch, tried to win awesome raffle prizes...and then we participated in a new addition to the day - the Cake Challenge!

Three teams of three were chosen at random. Luckily, Susan of Sweet Designs Kitchen and I were on the same team! Yay! And we were teamed up with Valerie, who has only been decorating cakes for a few months. We were psyched and ready to go!

We were given a box with our cake and tools and some icing. We had 20 minutes (I think...I can't remember exactly) to complete our cakes!

Susan immediately began icing our cake while Valerie and I brainstormed how to decorate the cake...We were only give a few different decorating tips and a couple of bags, but we had no icing colors! ICES is all about "caring and sharing" so we were encouraged to "share" with the other competing teams.

Valerie spotted some icing colors and different decorating tips over at Team 1's table.

And then the whole competition came to a halt! Merrie Lee, the Florida ICES Representative and Chairman of the Challenge, instructed us to stop our work. We had to select one person from the team to perform a special challenge. Susan looked at me. I'm game!

The challenge was to create a bow out of fondant and incorporate it into our cake design. No problemo!

While I was working on the bow, Susan began piping rosettes around the base of our cake. And Valerie ran off to borrow someone's sugar art display to place on our cake.

Aren't these little animals adorable?! Thank goodness Valerie had spotted them during the day! We set the fondant figures on the cake and Valerie piped grass around them with a tip 3. Yep, that means she piped every single blade of grass - we didn't have the luxury of the grass tip!

We also borrowed some wafer paper butterflies from Lisa Menz that she'd printed with her PhotoFrost system. I'll post about her demo later - it was awesome!

After placing the fondant bow on the cake, I looked down at my hands. Yuck! I was in such a hurry that I didn't take proper precautions against color staining like coating my hands with shortening. Oh well, it'll fade!

Oh, and just ignore the word written across my forehead....kinda weird, huh? Our table was right in front of the projector screen so the light was in our eyes the whole time.

We had some time left over in the end so Susan piped some leaves while Valerie and I provided moral support and watched her every move.

Valerie, Susan, and me with our final cake!

Nice going, girls!

We were good sports - high fiving the other teams. Some may say we were sucking up to the judges...believe what you want.

Team 1's cake. I don't remember their names except for Paul Caswell. Sorry, ladies! They borrowed sugar flowers Paul brought to display at the DOS and some of the PhotoFrost butterflies.

And here's our gorgeous cake again. I'm biased, but I think ours was the best!

And Team 3's cake. They created almost everything you see here during the Challenge.

And who was the winner?????

Team 3!

So we didn't win, but it was SOOOO fun! I love a good competition so the Challenge totally made my day! Thank you, Julie, for taking all the photos during the Challenge!


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