In 2013 we decided to enter Cake International, the biggest and most highly respected cake competition in the world.
My youngest son suggested that I should do a helmet cake. A few years earlier I made him a full size helmet for his birthday, but this was something else. Suddenly memories came flooding back of how difficult and time consuming his birthday cake had been, so no way would I be making that for Cake International.
Valentino Rossi’s helmets are traditionally based around the Sun and Moon, which is said to signify the two sides of his personality. But this was no simplistic design. The helmet was peppered with intricacies which would make it nearly impossible to replicate.
It took hours and hours of work, over several days, even weeks, to create. I made it with fruitcake (big mistake) which turned out to be one heavy beast to lift! The hours of painting and cutting icing to the correct shape and pattern continued through the day and night. I was getting about 2 hours sleep a night.
I finally finished the cake, and we set off for Birmingham.
At Cake International, a few of the team quickly dumped our cake on the table and swiftly left. We originally believed our cake couldn’t stand up to anyone else’s there. We were wrong!
As my sons lead me over to see if my cake had won anything at all, even to see if it was out on display, they blindfolded me with their hands. At the table, they removed their hands and I SCREAMED! At that exact moment, one of my cake friends took a picture of me, complete with not so delicate big mouth wide open, mid scream. People turned in shock. The security guard moved swiftly to come over. Why had I screamed?
I’d only gone and won GOLD!
Only the BEST in the business win a Gold Award from Cake International. I was stunned into shock.
The judges had dug into my cake, after all of my hard work, but that’s when my sons said that they must’ve thought it wasn’t real cake to have done that. They were right. The shape was perfect. The taste was incredible. All of those countless hours of hard work had paid off.
When we got back home the reaction was great - we were congratulated by people all over Retford. Even the local media picked up on the story and soon we found ourselves in the Retford Times! The story remains online here.
It remains one of our proudest achievements, and over the following few years we really established ourselves as an industry leader in creating replica helmet cakes - from Formula 1 to MotoGP champions. But it all began, that fantastic day in Birmingham.