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Catch the pros create amazing cakes

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019 4:38pm

Sugarcraft or cake decoration is a hobby of mine for many years.

I attended a course over 20 years ago in St Ives in the UK where a lovely couple taught me how to cover a cake and how to create a beautiful flower bouquet.

Over the years, I have learned a lot more through books and online videos. Every two years you can see me heading to the Radisson Hotel in Little Island where the Cork Sugarcraft Show is held.

This year, it will take place on the weekend of 23 and 24 March. The best of the country’s sugar crafters are coming together to showcase their masterpieces and sometimes you would even be forgiven to think the creations are real.

From wedding cakes to novelty cakes, you will be amazed. I am not too bad at sugarcraft myself but I always feel inadequate when I see what the masters are creating.

For the curious, workshops and demonstrations will give you an insight into techniques and new products on the market. Vendors will be at hand to sell tools, sugar paste, cutters, modelling chocolate and so much more to get your fingers twitching.

Every time I visit the fair, I promise myself not to buy anything as I have enough tools already and yet, every time I head away with bags full of goodies.

On the workshop side, Patrica O’Flaherty of A Touch of Magic will be giving lessons for kids on cupcakes and cookies and how to turn them into monkeys or M&Ms. Other workshops include Kathleen Cronin’s Moth Orchid, Corinna Maguire’s Face Modelling and Tanya Ross’ Chubby Bunny in a Box.

Stencilling and airbrush techniques are also on offer and you will go away with plans to create the next royal wedding cake (at least that’s how I always feel when I am visiting). Workshops are €8 and you can book online.

Check out the Facebook page of Cork Sugarcraft Association – all links for bookings are listed. I better find a way to smuggle my new goodies into the house without Mr T asking me too many questions on why I would need so many tools and equipment (he will never understand).

On another note, I spent last weekend attending the Over 50s event in the City Hall. Siobhan of Wooden Spoons Cookery School was asked to give a cookery demo at the event and I was appointed sous chef for the day.

It was great to see how interested people are in new recipes and we had a great time while making cauliflower cheddar pies with hazelnut pastry and chicken leek pies. And when we gave out tasters, people were happy with the flavour, but one thing that bugged me was the dreaded question as to whether the pies were gluten free. When we explained that we used regular flour, people still ate them.

That drives me crazy but I should just accept the fact that people choose a gluten free lifestyle because they think it’s healthier (there is no scientific evidence unless you are indeed a coeliac sufferer) but it still bugs me. This was my monthly rant and I feel better now. Thank you for ‘listening’!

Hope to see you next week at the Sugarcraft Show in the Radisson in Little Island!

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