Event Recap: The Cake Bake and Sweets Show – Olympic Park (Sydney)

Gravity defying tea cup cake, cake decorating championship finalist

Sydney Olympic Park Stadium braced itself over the weekend when it opened its doors to thousands of sugar-crazed patrons for the annual Cake Bake and Sweets Show. Three glorious days of sweet treats and basically anything that goes in, on or around a cake is hardly an experience any sweet tooth should pass up, especially when topped off by cooking demos from the likes of Adriano ZumboLyndey Milan and Rowie Dillon.

There’s a reason this show runs for three days. The list of activities, demonstrations and stalls on the program will have the most discerning cake decorator wide eyed with glee. The show’s Producers Markets offer up a diverse range of wares from cake decorating supplies, sign-ups to cookery schools and all sorts of decorative ingredients and advice from professionals such as the Australian Cake Decorating Network and Le Cordon Bleu. It’s a great forum to pick up tools, techniques and network with fellow aficionados.

The nation’s skill and passion for sugar-craft is no more apparent when faced with two of the show’s highlights, the Australian Cake Decorating Championships, presented by Loyal and Sydney in Cake and Luna Park Cake Entryway. That’s right, the folks at the Australian Cake Decorating Network and Cake! Magazine decided that Sydney’s iconic landmarks such as the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach would look much better in edible form and they’re pretty spot on. The massive Luna Park cake entryway only adds to the magnificence of the exhibition.

Luna Park Entryway Cake

As for the cake decorating championships, how all the masterpieces on display only made it as a ‘finalist’ in their categories is mind-boggling. From novelty cakes themed around fairytales and films to the most colourful and intricate of wedding cakes, this section of the show is one not to be missed. Prepare to take lots of pictures.

Cake Decorating Championship finalists, novelty cakes

For those more into the art of cake appreciation, nothing compares to the extensive range of patissiers and chocolatiers concocting delicious delights for patrons to gorge themselves on. It’s hard not to go overboard when Izba Russian Treats gorgeous honey cake, Mezzapica’s chocolate and vanilla custard stuffed cannolis and Zumbo’s passionfruit tarts are on the menu. There’s also no shortage of chocolate and sweets, including organic certified and fair trade associated producers like Origin (who make a killer 85% cocoa based Peruvian bar) or Lindsay & Edmunds, award winning chocolatiers/soon to be patissiers.

If it can dared be said, there’s a limit to sweet intake and in this instance there are great savoury options clambering for attention, including Gozleme and savoury Cannolis. Boscastle made the trip from Victoria and did not disappoint with a great value four pack taster of their gourmet pies, their crispy, flaky pastry pretty hard to fault when paired with a flavourful Moroccan Lamb filling.

It’s not all about eating though, sometimes it’s about watching and learning…and then eating the results of someone else’s hard work. Free cake decorating demonstrations were made available through BakelsWilton and Equal which was headed up by Rowie Dillon of Rowie’s Cakes. It was nice to see gluten free, healthy sugar and ‘lazy bake’ concepts incorporated into recipes demonstrated.

A host of celebrity cooks and chefs took time out of their busy schedules to show guests how it’s done, including the lovely Lyndey Milan who took to the Delicious Kitchen by Kitchenaid to make her Almond Honeycomb cupcakes and Apple Coconut Cake. A vision in hot pink, she was graceful, hilarious and adept at spinning a good yarn to distract from the fact that maybe the recipe wasn’t being followed to a tee. But who cares, because the results are beautiful and tasty and nothing less would come from a lady who’s been awarded an OAM in the Australia Day Honours List for services to hospitality, the food and wine industry and the community.

Lyndey Milan, cooking demonstration Delicious Kitchen theatre

One cannot leave the Cake Bake and Sweets Show without giving the cake decorating classes a red hot go. Fondtastic held some excellent ‘Make and Take’ classes, ranging from Minion cupcakes to the more hipster inspired Steampunk theme. A partly harrowing (mainly because of all the implements and decoration intricacy) but overall fun affair, the results of the class should be two really cool slightly wonky looking cupcakes dependant on skill level and a few edible metallic twist pens to practice with at home. Definitely a worthwhile experience at $29 a pop, and a great way to promote the quality of the fondant the company produce.

Fondtastic ‘Make and Take’ class, Steampunk theme (not bad eh?)

The Cake Bake and Sweets Show can be crammed into a day but is best experienced over a couple of days at least, just to fit in a class or two, see some of the best in the industry in action, shop and pick up tips and of course sample goods from some of the nation’s finest producers. It would be good to see a few more places for patrons to sit and relax and a few more savoury food and drink stalls to stave off all that sugar, but overall the show is a great experience worth the annual trek out to Olympic Park.

The Cake Bake and Sweets Show was held from 12-14th June, for more information and details for next year please visit http://www.cakebakeandsweets.com/


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