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Coming soon: That Takes the Cake! Austin Cake Show

cake show

By Tiffany Young

So, you’re thinking about entering Austin’s That Takes the Cake Art Show this year? Here’s what you need to know:

1. It takes place Feb. 22-24.

2. It’s got a new location: ACC, Highland Mall, 6001 Airport Boulevard, Suite 1199, Austin, TX 78752 (which is very near the hotel that is always booked for the cake show).

3. Early registration has passed, but regular registration is open until Feb. 16.

4. Entry fees are: divisional competition $25, showcake competition $25, tasting competition $15.

5. Registration info, rules and prizes can be found at Rules.

6. If you enter sculpted cake, it must be made of, well, cake. Otherwise, most entries can use cake dummies.

7. The competition is pretty stiff. Just look at that picture of Willie Nelson above. It’s not really him–it’s a cake. I know, crazy.

8. This year’s theme is cake of ages.

9. Your friends and family can attend: $10 per day or $17.50 for a weekend pass online through Feb. 16 or $12 per day or $20 for the weekend at the door.

10. Celebrities, such as Karen PortaleoMarina Sousa & James Rosselle, Mike McCarey, Dot Klerck, Colette Peters, Nick Lodge & Lauren Kitchens and Dot Klerck will be teaching classes: http://thattakesthecake.org/index.php/classesandevents/celebrity-classes.

11. There are onsite competitions to watch on Saturday and Sunday.

12. There’s a lot more info over at http://thattakesthecake.org.

Below are some pictures from last year’s competition to get your creative juices going. Here are some posts from prior years: 2013 Day 1, 2013 Day 2, mom takes second, my mom wins third, and 2012.

Hope to see you there this year!

 

 

Celebrate: Dad’s 65th Surprise Birthday

11505671855_2cca233457_oBy Tiffany Young

In September, we threw my dad a surprise birthday party for his 65th year. It was a lot of fun helping plan and getting everything together, even though it was tricky and took a lot of work.

We decided to celebrate 2 weeks ahead of time, since my brother and I both had long weekends for Labor Day. I thought for sure my dad suspected something, since 1) my mom wasn’t home when I got there, 2) my mom and I went “shopping” at 7 a.m. the day of the party because I needed “work clothes” and we sent him to the movies with my brother ALONE.

My mom and I made the guitar cake, which turned out well, but we both thought it could have been better if we’d have more time. I had her buy some strawberries for us to throw around the top and sides to spruce it up. The cake turned out delicious!

We also had some good appetizers, which my cousin and aunt ended up helping with since they showed up a little early and we still had so much left to do.

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Favorites included pinwheels; watermelon, feta and mint with balsamic vinaigrette; Caprese salad and cheese and crackers.

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Neighbors, old friends and a few relatives came and drank wine, ate food and enjoyed each others’ company.

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Looking back at the pictures reminds me just how precious every birthday really is, as one of the neighbors who is in the pictures has passed away since then, just about a week ago unexpectedly.

That being said, I wish everyone a happy holiday and to remember to enjoy those you love right now in the moment, because you never know what will happen. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. Hug (or spoon) someone you love today! Happy holidays!

Congrats to Chef Bren Young!

Bren Young with coworkers congrats

By Tiffany Young

It was such a big weekend, I’m going to have to break this into a couple of posts! But for starters, I must congratulate my mom, Chef Bren Young, for her second place medal in the Adult multitiered novelty intermediate cake. Last year she took third in the beginner’s division. This year she moved up a division and was shocked when she found more than 20 other contestants in her division with some really spectacular cakes. I can honestly say I think she was very surprised to hear her name announced. My mom became a chef in her early 50s. Became a pastry chef instructor just a few years ago. And made her first fondant cake just last year. Recently she has begun selling her cakes for birthday parties, specializing in novelty cakes for children, such as sock monkeys and some pirate I’ve never heard of, but who is popular with the young’ens. Her years of art classes and selling crafts have been great preparation for decorating cakes and each one gets better and better! Way to go! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!

That Takes the Cake! Day 1

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That Takes the Cake Art Show and mom takes third!

Lots of families have traditions, and one of ours has become attending the That Takes the Cake! Art Show in Austin, Texas. This year’s contest is quickly approaching (Feb. 23-24) and I’ve been thinking a lot about my entry (which I hope I don’t back out on!). Our cake will be themed “Jump Little Cake, Jump!” to go along with our cupcake book of that name. It’s going to be fun! I have never entered a cake before (or really decorated one, so it will be interesting!).

Last year, my mom entered for the first time and won third place in the beginner’s division for her Princess and the Pea cake. I was so proud of her!

 

Bren Young’s princess and the pea entry won third place in the beginner’s division of That Takes the Cake art show in Austin, Texas in 2012.

 

Close up of Princess and the Pea bed

 

Princess and the Pea close up

 

A close up of the woodwork and pea for Bren Young’s Princess and the Pea cake entry.

 

If you’ve never been to the show, you should check it out. Entry fee is only $20 and gets you into the show for free. Otherwise, entry is $8 for a day pass or $14 for the weekend if you purchase online in advance. There are onsite competitions, demonstrations and of course lots of beautiful cakes to admire!

 

A sweet Thanksgiving

By Tiffany Young

 

About a week ago I stopped eating bread, leading up to Thanksgiving. Everyone kept asking, “But why are you giving up bread?” You’ll see from the pictures below why it is necessary to cut back before visiting my parents for Thanksgiving.

My mom and I were a little bored after a few days of sitting on the couch, so we decided to frost a cake. After all, you can only watch so much TV in a long weekend (my brother would disagree, however). We took a break from watching “Breaking Bad” and made some butter cream frosting. The pictures and video below are the results of our hard work. The video has my mom saying we’re finished in 20 minutes, but really that was just to get a rise out of my  brother since we had said we’d only be 20 minutes and he watched at least one-and-a-half Star Trek shows during the time it took us to complete the cake.

Let me know if you have any questions about how to frost a cake and I’ll get my mom to share some tips!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Put Another Candle on My Birthday Cake

So, I turned another year older last week. Some people dread that day as they get older, but I take it with pride—I got to live another year? Beats the alternative! As we’ve noted, my parents came to Austin to celebrate with me.

The delicious birthday cake my mom made me.

We went to dinner at Technique Restaurant, the local culinary school’s training kitchen (review to come soon). When we got there they pointed us to a table and in the center what did we find? A beautiful pink cake!

My mom is a pastry chef instructor at North East Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant, where she teaches students all about baking breads, cakes and other desserts. So she surprised me with a homemade cake. And what I mean by homemade is not what most people mean when their mom makes them a cake!

This view shows the pretty buttercream ruffles.

This layered cake included vanilla, red velvet and then another layer of vanilla with red raspberry filling and buttercream frosting between each. Butter cream frosting also coated the outside in a beautiful design that reminds me of a pink, satiny dress.

Our waiter told us everyone in the back admired the cake as it was cut and we sent him with a piece of cake of his own. As we walked out of Technique two women stopped us to tell us how gorgeous the cake looked.

Everyone enjoyed the cake, me included, and I’m still eating leftovers!