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Culinary students bake wedding cakes with wow power

Monique Arthur-Noel ices a cake.
Monique Arthur-Noel ices a cake.

Students in Principles of Baking faced the ultimate test last week: baking a layered wedding cake for their final exam.

Some students worked in groups, while others created cakes on their own. Students started by simply baking their cakes. From there they layered the icing to get a smooth finish, chilling the cakes between frosting applications.

Once the final frosting layer set, student decorated with a variety of ingredients.

Graeme Klinkenberger, who is known at work for his cheesecakes, created a triple-layer affair topped with cool blue fondant.  “I came here to retrain after working construction,” he says. “I’ve always had a passion for baking, and I’ve spent time learning on my own. TCC has given me a broader view and enhanced my knowledge.
Jessie Wally and Keare Edgar paired up to create their heart-shaped dream topped with hand-sugared roses and rose petals. “We learned that roses are edible, so we decided to use them in our design,” Wally says. An avid baker, Wally hopes to work in a bakery. She was the perfect partner for Edgar, who prefers cooking comfort food and hopes to open a restaurant serving the savory fare.
Susan Sumerlin, who graduates this May, worked with Debbie Boney to create another masterpiece. It featured hand-crafted, pink and yellow fondant flowers. “We decided to go bright and bold,” says Summerlin who plans to open a mobile dessert truck next year.

“This program has been amazing, and the teachers are kind and patient,” Boney says. “They take their time to explain things in detail and speak encouraging words to us.” Boney hopes to open a chef school for children after graduation.

Instructor Karin Grice, who is a pastry chef at Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant, says, “We run the gamut in this class and bake everything from quick breads, yeast breads and pastry dough, to pretzels, pies, cupcakes, scones and cream puffs.  Working closely in the kitchens, students become a family of sorts and help each other whenever possible.”

The wedding cakes are considered the final practical in the class and are graded on presentation, texture and design implementation. The cakes take center stage on the last day of class, when family and friends gather for a tasting and to view the finished creations.