Tue, Mar 5, 2024 4:00 PM

Cake decorators mix it up for new members


Paula Hulburt

International music star Ed Sheeran has been given a sweet new look.

Marlborough Cake Decorators Guild president Michelle Dawson has crafted the pop star’s alter ego, Egg Sheeran, from chocolate and fondant icing.

And now other people are being given the chance to make their own mini-Sheeran, or other design, at a special workshop later in the month.

The move comes as part of a bid to entice new members to the guild.

An icing stiletto made by Kerrie Stronge. Photo: Paula Hulburt

Michelle says the Blenheim Guild was once the largest in New Zealand but has dwindled over the years to about nine.

“I think that there’s an idea of what cake decorating is that’s incorrect in this day and age.

“It’s far from just icing wedding cakes, although we do that too.”

The guild began 25 years ago and Michelle, who joined a year ago, is hoping to mix things up a bit.

With regular workshops held on the first Tuesday of every month, it’s important to discover what people would like to learn about, she explains.

From working with new materials such as Isomalt, a sugar substitute made from sugar alcohol to wafer paper, there is always something new to enjoy, Michelle says.

Scruff the dog crafted from icing. Photo: Paula Hulburt

“It’s very helpful to be in a group where no question is a dumb question.

“Anyone who thinks they know it all is shutting themselves off as you can always learn something new.”

Having created Egg Sheeran and Marty from the Pink Ladies in the hit movie Grease, Michelle says it was “relatively easy.”

The workshops and Guild are open to beginners too.

“I thought it’d be nice if a dad came along with his daughter or maybe a mum and son and made an egg each.

“The good thing about working with fondant is that if it doesn’t work, you can just smoosh it down and start again.” she laughs.

Fellow member Kerrie Stronge says cake decorating is a great creative outlet for anybody.

A member for several years, she says she has made new friends too.

“There’s a great sense of comradeship.”

A tiny edible cow made by Michelle Dawson.

Michelle says pooling ideas is always helpful.

“I didn’t know Kerrie until I joined the guild and it’s really awesome that I have another group of friends.

“I think it’d be great to see young people as well, so the knowledge gets passed down.

“How cool would it be if your nana’s turning 80 and you can make the flowers for her cake.

“There are lots of events where being able to contribute to the decoration would make any surprise extra special.”

Summer month meetings are held on the first Tuesday evening of the month and over winter on the first Sunday afternoon at St Christopher’s Church Hall in Blenheim.

The next Guild meeting is on March 5 at St Christopher’s Church Hall at 6.30pm and the Easter egg workshop is on Sunday, March 24 from 1 to 4pm and costs $20 per participant.

Email marlbcakedecguild@gmail.com for further information.

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