The second I heard about the Zoology Master Baker Bake off at Uni, I was so excited at the prospect. To fill in some blanks, I’m studying a Master of Zoology at The University of Melbourne. The associated social club throws events just for post graduate students. Last year, in my gap year, I’d seen the signs for the bake off up around Uni and was so sad I couldn’t partake. So this year I was so excited. In fact, my friends told me they wouldn’t stop pestering me until I signed up.
The only dilemma: what to bake?
I figured a sleepy dragon couldn’t go far astray.
So first I started off with two chocolate madiera cakes. I cross-hatched an area of the base cake and started removing the pieces.
I stacked the bowl cake on top to make my “hill”. Time to layer and cover with chocolate buttercream, then cover with fondant.
The mountain is covered in marshmallow fondant. The dragon’s body consists of the wedge of cake cut from the ‘cave’, the rest of his limbs are fondant. The rocks are like smarties chocolates.
The idea behind the cake is of a dragon sleeping at the entrance of his lair where he has been guarding his treasure – at least until he fell asleep! I made his ears and spines droopy in an attempt to make him look sleepy. Going by that grin, he’s probably dreaming about treasure.
I used lustre dust on his belly and scales, rather than colouring the whole lot. While this worked well on the belly, it didn’t so much on the scales. I probably should have dusted them before putting them on.
I wanted to try doing something a bit more creative with the cave, so I went with a waterfall. It sort of ended up being a last-minute 3am job without any of the flair I’d planned. But hey. She’ll do.
The waterfall was done with piping gel. It’s a really simple, yet effective way to do it. I lightly coloured it turquoise to get rid of the yellowish tinge to it
And while we’re at it, here were some of the other entries (photos courtesy of my friend, Kim).
The Cell cake! Red Velvet inside, gotta love it.
The Periodic Table.
A DNA double helix of cupcakes! The cupcakes were even piped with letters to represent their nucleotide bases, and were paired accordingly.
And the scats! This one was a total Zoology in-joke. It was so accurate it was visually repulsive to some. I had to love the accuracy of not only the labels (complete with the taxonomic name of each species) but also with the shapes and colours of them all!
We all got nerdily giddly and giggly at the accuracy and creativeness of the scientific entries.
I was absolutely thrilled not only with the talent, but with the turn out. It was fantastic to see so many people get involved and bring to the metaphorical and physical table so many unique and apparently yummy (I didn’t taste – I tend to lose my appetite for things when I’m one of the ones putting the food on the table) treats! It was just great to be a part of it all.
There were four awards: Judge’s Choice, Best Science-Themed, Most Deliciously Ugly and People’s Choice.
Best science theme went to the periodic table featured above. Deliciously ugly went to two not-ugly but delicious cakes not featured above.
Only the other two awards had trophies. Guess who got them both?
It was lovely that both the judges and my peers (apparently an ‘overwhelming majority’, eek!) voted for mine, and was humbling especially given that talent in the room. But I definitely felt rather awkward and very embarrassed about getting both. I really just wanted to join in, not so much to win!
My friends kept saying I would win, and kept telling everyone else not to enter as I would just win, which absolutely mortified me. I definitely didn’t want to scare anyone off! I love seeing what other people will create. So to actually make their predictions come true… well, it wasn’t the plan!